“Stay Close to Jesus” Ordination Charge

It was more moving than I expected it to be,” said the Rev. David Barr, of his ordination to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, August 11 at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, in Charleston. He was surrounded by family and friends; his father, the Very Rev. Dr. John Barr, the retired former Rector of Holy Comforter, Sumter, preached and a number of parishioners from that church made the journey to the ordination, but one of the most moving moments was when Bishop Mark Lawrence anointed him with oil. “It was a more profound spiritual experience than I expected,” he said.

He was also touched when, during the sermon, his father told him to stand. “He told me to remember that I’d already made vows to my wife and shouldn’t let the vows I was about to make supersede those. He also challenged me with three things he’d heard from another priest, ‘Stay close to Jesus. Stay close to the Word. Stay close to his people.’”

David, who has a BA in theology and English literature from Covenant College, an MA in theology and ethics from the University of Virginia and is completing his PhD in theology from the University of Toronto is comfortable in the world of academia. He’s now, however, looking forward to the life of a pastor. “In some ways I’m more trained as a thinker and questioner than a pastor. In school questions are theoretical, but in a parish they’re lived out. I’m looking forward to living with people who are asking the most challenging and important questions to the church and the world – questions of life.

David and his wife, Caroline, live in Charleston. He is Scholar in Residence at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul.