St. George's Gets a Permanent Priest

On Sunday morning a celebration took place at St. George's Episcopal Church in La Cañada that included gifts, cake and a bounce house. It may sound like a birthday party, but in fact it was all for the installation of Rev. Amy Pringle as the seventh rector of the church.

The church has been without a permanent minister since Rev. John Day left in the summer of 2004. Pringle was first brought in two years ago as an interim minister for a few months, then as priest in charge.

"I am delighted [at being installed as St. George's priest]," Pringle said. "It was an easy choice to make...there are so many great people here."

The Right Reverend Sergio Carranza, Bishop Assistant of the Diocese of Los Angeles, led the installation which included a series of symbolic gifts that were exchanged between Pringle and representatives from various ministries of the church. One gift given to Pringle was from the Outreach Ministries which includes Amani ya Juu [sale of African textiles], Dragon Thrift Shop, Habitat for Humanity and Red Shirt Project, an outreach to the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation in South Dakota. In turn, Pringle gave a gift of a basket from Mexico that had been woven with candy wrappers. This gift was placed near the altar where parishioners could drop their donation into it, and the funds will be distributed to the outreach projects.

A guest speaker at the service was the Rev. Bryan Jones, Rector of St. Thomas of Canterbury in Long Beach. He also happens to be Pringle's husband. Jones spoke of their summer trip to the High Sierras where they hiked and explored. He gave the ceremony a personal touch.

Pringle has been a priest for 11 years. Women were first allowed into the Episcopal priesthood in September, 1976. Since then many women have became ministers.

"I think the main difference a woman can bring is that we understand power differently," Pringle said. "We are naturally collegiate."

She added that a woman's role in society has often been to bring people together, whether it is in the community or gathering their family to the dinner table.

"Women priests have the ability to get everyone at the table together and work as a team," Pringle said.

She hopes to continue the church's outreach programs, to broaden the variety of worshiping experiences and include more programs of spirituality.

The morning's festivities concluded with Frank's Famous Deli frying up hamburgers and hot dogs; music provided by an antique player music box; a magic show and, of course, a bounce house that children enjoyed as well as Pringle.Sunday services at St. George's Episcopal Church are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The later service offers child care and Sunday school.

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