On Monday, November 16, 2020, Lynda Hurt and Isaac Petty were ordained into the Sacred Order of Deacons at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Read on to find out a little bit about their respective journeys of faith. You can see their ordination pictures here, and a video of the service here.
The Rev. Lynda Hurt
My journey to the Diaconate has been long, full of life’s interruptions, and not a particularly personal or intuitive calling. God called me through the agency of the faith community, speaking through the individuals who helped to shine a light on my gifts of compassion and empathy. It was a gradual awareness that an inner voice was always leading me to places where the need for love, hope, and justice was the greatest. God worked on me through people, and I finally listened.
I was confirmed into The Episcopal Church in 2013 after years of attending as a ‘perpetual visitor.’ Previously, my life’s work was devoted to youth and young adult ministry, mission outreach, church communications and administration in the United Methodist Church. I graduated from Kansas State University, attended St. Paul School of Theology, and received a Certificate in Diaconal Studies from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry in May of 2020. My husband and I have lived in Mission, Kansas for 34 years.
Urban ministry is where I feel called right now. The diversity of the inner-city challenges my sensibilities and gives me an appreciation for this broken world’s complexities. It is with a lot of joy and gratitude that Bishop Marty appointed me to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kansas City where homelessness and the under-served are a very visible part of the landscape.
When I think about my role in the liturgy, I am reminded of the incarnational Jesus who created a space of hospitality at the table, inviting people to hear and proclaim the Good News and empowering them to go in peace to serve. May God give me the eyes and ears to see and hear the cries of the brokenhearted and marginalized, and may it be through our work with the people that God gives us the grace we need to recognize the abundance and blessings we have been given to create spaces of hope for those in despair. I pray that wherever I am, the work of the Holy Spirit will lead me to the places that Jesus would be.
The Rev. Isaac Petty
While the road home was long and winding, I knew I had arrived and could kick my metaphorical shoes off when I was confirmed into The Episcopal Church a few years ago. The common prayer life, the diversity of liturgical expression, and the sacramentality of our cooperation have continued to engraft me into our communion. Here, at home in The Episcopal Church, I have vowed my life to share in our ministry. It is my vocation to lead us into closer relationship with God and one another, through ministry in the order of the church and in witness to a disordered world.
I was raised in an evangelical church in rural Kentucky. By young adulthood, I had already become captivated by the sacramental work of the Church catholic. In my university days, I discovered Anglicanism and slowly started visiting Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, Tennessee – initially on high feast days and, incrementally, growing to a weekly practice. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in religion, I moved to Central Europe, where I worked in refugee resettlement and coffee shop ministry. Attending Roman Catholic parishes of all varieties and in different countries, my love for the liturgy of the Church was confirmed.
While discerning the next steps in my life, I moved back to the States and enrolled in a seminary in Kansas City. It was here, in early 2017, that I found St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at 13th and Holmes, where I have forged relationships that have shaped me into the person I am today and which will carry me for the rest of my life. After earning my seminary degrees, I completed my Anglican Studies coursework at Bishop Kemper School for Ministry. Meanwhile, I continued to serve in various capacities at St. Mary’s and continued to be formed in our Anglican heritage. It was on the chancel steps at St. Mary’s where I was confirmed and, a few years later, the same spot where I was ordained a deacon on November 16. God willing and the bishop consenting, I will be ordained a priest next year. I will always carry with me my diaconal vows of service to the Church and world. I am eager to see where God’s Spirit will call as I continue walking life’s road with Christ.