Clipper Staff Writer
CLEARFIELD -- St. Peter's Episcopal Church will be celebrating on Sunday.
The bash is a "Celebration of New Ministry," that marks the change in status from priest in charge to rector for the Rev. Susan Beem Beery.
The Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, will officiate at the induction of Beem Berry. She will also speak at the 10:30 a.m. regular worship service for her annual visit to the congregation.
The celebration will be held at the church, 1579 S. State Street, beginning at 3 p.m., with a "fiesta" following.
"We're celebrating our ministry and the transforming of St. Peter's into a place of vitality and spirit," Beem Beery said. The service is one of only five in which the bishop's services are required and is next to ordination in terms of the bishop's oversight.
Most of St. Peter's congregation lives in north Davis County, but some travel from South Davis to attend worship at the church which moved a year ago from a traditional building, which was very hard to find and was aging, to a new site at the former Workforce Services Building.
The new church building is all on one level and is handicapped accessible, making it welcoming to all.
The move to the congregation's new building was only a portion of the transformation experienced by the congregation.
Other aspects of the transformation can be found in a group of newcomers "who hitched their wagons to us while we were still at the other building," Beem Beery said. And the support of the "righteous remnant," members who have been a part of the congregation for years.
Those newcomers have brought in families with children, which has resulted in more energy within the congregation.
There's also more in attendance each Sunday -- "more strong voices singing, praising, and worshipping." she said. There are also different people taking leadership positions.
"I think we've just become open. We've reinvited the spirit in, in an intentional way," she said.
"It also helped that the congregation had clergy who believed in St. Peter's and believed it could be revitalized," Beem Beery said of herself.
In addition to worship and Sunday School, the church also has offered a mixed confirmation class with the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden and an adult education class "Walk Like an Egyptian, Think Like an Anglican," designed to teach those who have joined the church from outside the Episcopal faith and those Episcopalians who need a refresher course.
Sunday's celebration will include symbols of leadership, such as keys, holy oil, sacraments, and books presented to Beem Berry by the congregation inviting her to be their priest, and symbols of leadership she will present to her lay leadership -- items like books, shovels, a pen and other "pragmatic items" to the ministry.
The service will also feature special music from the choir and Holy Eucharist will be shared.
The Rev. Cheryl Moore, who went to seminary with Beem Beery and Connie Sutliff, a lay person who works for the diocese will preach together at the special service. Beem Berry said the joint sermon shows that clergy and lay people can work together and emphasizes that "by baptism we are all ordained."
Beem Beery has served the congregation for three years, on a three-quarter time basis. Now, she'll be full time.