Monday, June 26, 2006

Now It's Official

I was 'installed' yesterday as the pastor of my church. Woo-hoo!

An installation service is a ceremony where the local UCC denominational association affirms the covenantal relationship between the local church, the UCC, and the new pastor. Normally this is done within the first 3 months of a pastorate but because of scheduling conflicts with the parties involved, it wasn't done until yesterday, a little over 6 months after I began my pastoral office.

Participating in the service is the Conference Minister and a representative from the association. But since this is a big ol' fancy service, there are others who participate too. I had a friend of mine, my former Conference Minister in the New York Conference preach the charging sermon and I had another friend lead in the prayers, she just received a new call at the assistant pastor at a church down in Florida. She and her husband will be leaving this summer for their new home there.

I was very happy to see a lot of my friends some to this service. There were folks from my former congregation, Broadway UCC as well as folks from the congregation where I was a student minister in Scarsdale, NY. With everyone present, the congregation was the fullest I have seen it since Easter. ;)

After the ceremony, my church had a reception that could have fed an army! We all ate so much that we had to be rolled out of the church. There was a bit of leftovers that I now have in my freezer here at home. I will be eating much of that reception food until Christmas.

The church did another wonderful thing. The flowers on the altar for the ceremony were actually house plants. One of our church members is the wife of a flower distributor and a flower arranger in her own right. She is amazing! Through her, the church purchased these huge and beautiful houseplants for inside and a few hanging plants for my front porch. And, there are even a few plants to put in my new garden out front.

All in all, it was a super day yesterday. After everything was done, my who participated in the service came over to the parsonage and we gabbed for hours. It was nice to have them over- and it was a wonderful way to cap an incredible day.

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