Usually, installations happen within the first 6 months of a pastor arriving at a new church. Because of covenant ministry, Michael has already been serving with Old First for 3 and 1/2 years. But he was not called until November 18, 2012, after the 3-year covenant ministry and a period of discernment were completed.
So, we need to celebrate and covenant before God the work we believe we are being called to do together. An installation is technically a service of the Philadelphia Association that ritually effects the covenant between the Association, one of its local churches and the minister called to be their pastor. It reminds us that none of us can do ministry alone; that the power of the church comes when all people recognize and answer their call to ministry in their having been baptized in Christ; that together we represent and do the work of the United Church of Christ.
Michael will be installed as Old First’s thirtieth pastor on Sunday, June 23. As well as gathering our members for the service, we will be hosting pastors and lay leaders from other churches in the Association and the wider church.
The Rev. Geoffrey Black, the UCC’s General Minister and President, will be the preacher. As well, both Michael and the congregation will be charged with the responsibilities of their covenant relation.
Immediately following the service, there will be a reception in the front courtyard. It will be a pig roast. (Sort of like killing the fatted calf, but translated for our German Reformed heritage.)
Please mark your calendars. And let the church office know of people we need to send special invitations to, such as former members or mission partners.