by the Rev. James M. Bimbi
In an ordination service filled with diversity and the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Rev. Kevin Clayton “Clay” Brown was consecrated a priest on Saturday, February 4, 2023. Held at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew, and presided over by the Rt. Rev. Kevin S. Brown, the assembly joyfully raised their voices in song and prayer, assenting to the ordination of Fr. Clay with a loud “AMEN!”
The Rev. Ruth Beresford, rector of Christ Church Christiana Hundred, the congregation that sponsored Fr. Clay for ordination, gave an inspiring sermon filled with heartfelt reflections on his life’s journey of faith – from his childhood days of being a boat boy carrying the incense for the thurifer at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in West Philadelphia, to his getting lost in 2010 on his way to the store and ending up at the steps of Christ Church.
A lighthearted moment occurred in the middle of Rev. Ruth’s sermon when, just as she finished saying that Clay had never abandoned “his trust in the one who had called him to share in the healing and blessing of God and the power that transforms life,” that a chime rang out from the church’s belltower. The congregation laughed as she looked up and said, “Wow! that was cool. Perfectly timed!” which turned out to be a great summation for the whole day.
Over twenty priests from around the diocese were present to join the bishop in the laying on of hands as the bishop prayed, “Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ your son, give your Holy Spirit to Clay, fill him with grace and power, and make him a priest in your Church.” A YouTube video of the service can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLiPI7A2CjM.