Old-time religion met newfangled technology last week when
a hospital-bound minister at a Brooklyn Heights church was installed in a 1,000-year-old
ceremony – by cell phone.
The Rev. Dr. Patrick T. O’Neill was installed as
the new minister of the 175-year-old First Unitarian Church last Sunday in
an event that drew nearly 400 people from around the area and across the country,
including Borough President Marty Markowitz.
The only person who didn’t make
the religious installation, in fact, was O’Neill himself. He was being treated
for a fractured toe by doctors at Long Island College Hospital, but he agreed
to take his vows by cell phone.
” It may be a first,” said O’Neill from his
hospital bed. “Unitarians are kind of famous for loving innovations anyway,
so now here we are, working with a technological innovation.
Well I guess I have heard being a minister is a call. So if you lose your
vocation is that a dropped call.
You also have to have a real good cell phone
provider to make sure you can hear that still small voice. God does keep
telling all of us "Can you hear me now."