Monday, October 15, 2012

Newark Central – Notes From My Knapsack 10-17-12

Newark Central – Notes From My Knapsack 10-17-12

Jeff Gill


Dick Hamm, our Disciples of Christ former General Minister and President, once pointed out that it's kind of odd that we insist on having an "Installation" service for pastors.


It does sound a bit like putting a new appliance into your kitchen; hook up the test meters, run some current, say no to the delivery guy making one last pitch for the extended warranty.


The fact of the matter is that your new preacher is already ordained, already had their trial sermon, already has had a whole series of "first" usually, and then there's this thing, this event, this "installation," which we will hold at Newark Central on Oct. 28th.


One reason we do this is because it is an occasion to affirm and celebrate connections as much or more than it is an installing sort of event.


Rev. Stephen Bentley, our longest serving regional staff member, will offer a special prayer and responsive reading that connects us as a church, in all our servant roles, to each other, and his presence reminds us of our connection to the Christian Church in Ohio. The message on Oct. 28th will be from Ann Updegraff-Spleth, who has served in the general church through a variety of roles, with Homeland Ministries and at Christian Theological Seminary, while she now is in a "ministry" to help stamp out maternal tetanus as head of the Kiwanis International Foundation.


Meanwhile, the regular work of mission and ministry goes on: we're looking at making November a "month of membership," talking about what it means to "belong" to a congregation, and inviting people who may be wondering what that involves to come and join, starting with Nov. 4th.


And for our youth, with the co-ordination of our youth director, Samantha Frizzell, the senior high youth will meet with me after worship on Nov. 11th for another installment (!) of our ongoing series "God, and stuff." Why "stuff"? Because as any parent of a high schooler knows, if you ask what they did today, the invariable answer is "stuff." So we will converse together over lunch about "stuff," and how God relates to it.


So what's an installation service, really? It's God, and stuff, and how we all are connected in sorting our stuff out. Plus, it's another reason to have a dinner after church!


In grace and peace,

Pastor Jeff

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