Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


From the Staff @ HIEC

Congratulations to Joshua Case

Dear Holy Innocents Family:

It is a great honor to announce that Joshua Case has been named a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Atlanta. As many of you know, Joshua already holds a Master of Divinity from Emory University's Candler School of Theology and had formerly discerned a call toward priesthood while working in Europe. For personal reasons, Joshua delayed that discernment but in our midst has fully discerned a call toward ordination. As a part of his process, Joshua has been taking additional courses at Sewanee this fall.  

On Saturday, December 21, Joshua will be ordained a deacon. All priests of the Episcopal Church are first ordained as deacons and serve in the diaconal office for a minimum of six months prior to ordination as a priest. This ordination process preserves the ancient practice of the church whereby ordinands live into their office as servants of the Good News before bearing the sacramental life in the presbyterate (priesthood).   

An often overlooked aspect of ordination is that one “gives up” some ministry when ordained. With each ordination, the ordinand leaves behind some of the prior office. If you think about it, laity have the broadest ministry, bearing the Gospel in all things and in all places; theirs is the most expansive. A deacon gives up the freedom to work in all areas, narrowing ministry to the margins, bringing voice to those who are often voiceless in the world.  Priests narrow yet again, being primarily responsible for the sacramental life of the parish on behalf of the bishop. A rector has an added responsibility of ensuring that the physical parish, its capital and ministries, are administered for current and future generations. Curates, or assistants to the rector, assist him or her in that vocation. A bishop has the most restrictive ministry, guiding and shepherding a diocese, giving up the day to day sacramental life of priest for teaching and guarding the faith of the overall Body.  

Grace and peace,