Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville posted the following news on Twitter Friday night:

UPDATE: Someone on social media noted: “It seems heartless, but if the point of ordination is service, then ordaining a dying person, unable to provide said service, is an abuse.”

My response:

Diaconal ministry is more than what you do; it’s who you are. Beyond that, there are myriad ways to serve God and his people. I would argue that soon-to-be Deacon Ken is serving his classmates, his family and his bishop by bearing witness — showing how to face the end of life — and by marking his final days with humility and gratitude and hope. He is serving by being — which can sometimes be the greatest service of all.

Lord, the one you love is sick, and his time on this earth is nearing its end. Draw close to him and those who love him. Help them in their hour of need, that they may remember that you are the Resurrection and the Life. Lord of consolation and mercy, we pray that you may welcome Ken into your embrace, and that this servant who loved you in this world may rejoice with you forever in the next. May he soon hear the words of gratitude and hope: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

SUNDAY UPDATE:  Check out photos of Bishop Stika celebrating the ordination — against a stunning backdrop — right here.