Diocese of California celebrates 10 years of Bishop Marc Andrus

On Thursday, May 26, clergy and lay people from throughout the diocese gathered to celebrate 10 years since the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus was elected the Eighth Bishop of California. The celebration took place at an Evensong at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

The service began with a longer and more colorful procession than usual as many clergy of the diocese vested and processed. The Very Rev. Malcolm Young, dean of Grace Cathedral, was the officiant, and the service music was sung by the cathedral’s Choir of Men and Boys. In a nod to Andrus’ installation, the hymn “Bring many names” was sung before the psalm by the assembly. The lessons were Exodus 3.1–12 and Acts 7.30–38. The office was set by William Smith, and the canticles were from Mary Badarak’s Evening Service. The anthem after the sermon was John Joubert’s “O Lord the maker of all things,” and the final hymn was “The canticle of the turning,” a paraphrase of the Magnificat.

The Rev. Sylvia Vasquez, rector at St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek, offered the homily for the service. During her remarks, Vasquez praised Andrus as a prophet among the people. She said that he was a prophet with vision and a prophet willing to face tough criticism — and even arrest — to lead God’s people in the Bay Area. Vasquez highlighted Andrus’ passion for justice for all people. 

She also praised his commitment to transparency and collaboration as much as is possible with the organizational structure of The Episcopal Church, so much so that he’s working to change the culture of an entire church. Vasquez noted that while Andrus is gentle, he is fierce and tough-skinned — because that’s what prophets need. She expressed how impressed she continues to be by Andrus’ being a lifelong student, which she said was embodied by his continually inviting those with whom he disagrees to serve on committees with him.

The final prayers for the Evensong were offered by the Rev. Eric Metoyer, associate for congregational ministries for the Diocese of California, the Rev. Lori Walton, president of the Standing Committee, and the Rev. Chip Barker Larimore, chair of the Executive Council. 

Metoyer recounted Bishop Marc’s bringing a vision of Beloved Community to the Diocese of California and prayed in thanksgiving for Bishop Marc and Sheila’s vision and that God would unite the diocese as a strengthened beloved community. Walton noted how the Diocese of California and the San Francisco Bay Area have “grown up together,” and offered a prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake. Drake’s prayer has been the prayer and directing focus for the Expanding Horizons Capital Campaign. Barker prayed for God’s guidance in respecting the dignity of the earth and humanity’s neighbors, after noting how the Andruses have led that work by example.

After Bishop Marc’s final blessing — which was referenced by speakers throughout the service — a festive reception took place on the cathedral plaza. The fare featured Southern food. During the reception Dean Young shared a number of proclamations and acclamations that had been sent to Bishop Marc from San Francisco’s supervisors and from state legislators. Since the Evensong, a commendation from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has arrived as well.

Photos of the service are available on Facebook. Audio of the service, as well as the service leaflet, are available from Grace Cathedral.