Will you pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?

This weekend we will celebrate the Installation of First Presbyterian Church’s eighteenth pastor. In over two hundred and thirty years of history, there have only been eighteen individuals who have served this congregation as its senior pastor. And as of Sunday, I will join their ranks.

Calling a pastor to stay with you for an extended period is a big deal. Though there are many kinds of pastors who serve, having a pastor installed to work with you in ministry sends a powerful message to the community: we are looking to the future. There is no such thing as a “permanent pastor,” but an installed senior pastor means that we are planning to be here for a while.

One of my favorite preachers once said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” That is what this weekend signifies in our church’s life and history. A new step. A new day. A new chapter.

We have been blessed with a long and storied narrative in this congregation. Though we cannot see where this next chapter will lead us, we know that just as God has been with us from the very beginning, so God is at work among us now, breathing life into these hallowed halls and loving church family.

Every time an officer of the PCUSA is ordained or installed they are asked a series of questions. They are vows, of a sort. And the one above is by far my favorite.

My question for you is will you join me in this new work we are beginning? Will you pray for us? Will you bring the very best of your energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?

Just imagine what wonders God will provide when we do.

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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