I sat on the steps of the Elmwood Inn next to our Evangelism Coordinator, Barb Sixbey last Saturday. The room was filled with South people and our three guests from Los Angeles: Rev. Randy Lovejoy, Rev. Arlo Tysinger, and Videographer & Editor David Frame.
Off to the right were our new Associate Pastor, Laura Bachmann, who had just sustained the prosecution of her call (can’t you tell that Calvin was an attorney?) on the floor of Presbytery. [That’s a fancy way of saying she passed her examination and can now be ordained as a Minister of Word & Sacrament.] And next to her was our own member/Ruling Elder, Summer Sattora, who, in the same meeting, was elevated from Inquirer to Candidate on her road to ordained ministry.
And in front of us were about 20 AoF Leaders, engaging each other and speaking into a camera about their faith, their excitement with our church, their personal journeys.
“This. Changes. Everything.” Barb said.
She was right, of course.
And then she continued, “
This is what we started working toward five years ago, and now it’s all coming to be.”
It was a sight to behold.
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the sacred when you’re in the middle of living it. But this was a turning point in the life of our “wee kirk.” A full-time Associate Pastor and we are affecting the future of the PC(USA) through both our ministry and mission – our Acts of Faith model – and through preparing our members to go beyond us and carry the practices that we are trying to the greater church.
At one point in the weekend, our Presbytery Leader, the Rev. Amy Williams Fowler, treated our visitors, Laura and me to dinner and while we were there, I was able to see yet again why she is so well-respected around the country in terms of church transition and development. Gracious mentoring occurred on every level … pastor-to-pastor, advice for younger women colleagues, experienced presbyter to a new one just starting out in presbytery administration. How blessed we are that God put us here in this Presbytery at a time of such creative and experienced leadership.
Here are a few scenes of our time together. Thank you to all who shared their faith, spoke into the camera, opened their hearts, and celebrated God through our Acts of Faith by demonstrating radical hospitality to our new friends from California.