Good Shepherd, Berkeley: Rebuilt and reconsecrated

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, an electrical fire broke out at about 10 p.m. in the sacristy of Good Shepherd, Berkeley. The sacristy was completely destroyed, and the interior of the historical sanctuary was also damaged. The roof was destroyed. Over the last two years, the people of Good Shepherd have partnered and worked with a diverse group of skilled laborers to rebuild the church located at the corner of Ninth and Hearst in Berkeley. On Sunday, January 11, the newly completed building was reconsecrated as a church.

The service began in the parish hall, with the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California, praying, “Receive the work of our hands in this place, now to be set apart for your worship, the building up of the living, and the remembrance of the dead,” before the gathered assembly moved to the entrance of the church singing “Come Holy Ghost.” Outside the doors of the church, Bishop Andrus marked the threshold with his staff and prayed for peace to the building and all who enter it.

Once the assembly had gathered in church, the bishop, vicar, and a warden invoked the Persons of the Trinity in making the building holy, offering it to God, praying that it will be an aid in strengthening its members and that its members will be open to the promptings of God. After blessing the entire space, both the baptismal font and the new pulpit were blessed.

The readings for the day were for the dedication of a church, and prior to the gospel acclamation and proclamation, the new organ and piano were blessed. Bishop Andrus preached. The Prayers of the People took the form of a litany with the people responding, “We thank you, God.” The biddings covered the typical areas of prayer, but were set in the context of gratitude for the newly rebuilt space. The prayers concluded with Bishop Andrus consecrating the new altar. During the affirmation of faith, Bishop Andrus, the Rev. Este Gardner Cantor, vicar, assisted by the Rev. Ellen Ekstrom, deacon, asperged the congregation reminding participants of their baptisms as they professed their faith in the Triune God.

After the Eucharist, Bishop Andrus commissioned volunteers of the Good Shepherd Feeding Ministries, who take sandwiches to day laborers, among other aspects of feeding ministry. After the service, a joyful and bountiful potluck took place in the parish hall.

Additional photos are available on Facebook (no login required).