God is Doing Something New

I am still reflecting on what a great day we had together at church last Sunday. The afternoon service was remarkable, and I am so blessed that many braved the rain to attend in person. We had a good group watching online as well. (Within about 24 hours of the installation service, there were 62 views on YouTube.)
An installation service is a special moment for a congregation and their new pastor. It’s a worship service in which members of the Presbytery formalize the call of the congregation and its new pastor. It’s a service of celebration marking the start of a new pastoral relationship.
The commission from Presbytery was a group I invited to be part of the service. Four of the five were immediately recognizable. Randy Hall, Ken Davis, Cathy Fulp and Susanne are people you already know. The fifth member of the commission was Rachael Brooks. Susanne and I have known Rachael and her husband Michael and their children for about twenty years. We first met them when they joined the church I was serving in Kentucky. That was a long time ago! Rachael followed a call into ministry and is presently the pastor of a small church in Pilot Mountain. It’s great to be serving in the same presbytery.
By my request, Ken sang 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman. There is a line in that song that I felt spoke to the moment:
   The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning;
   It’s time to sing Your song again.
   Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, 
   Let me be singing when the evening comes.
Shelley chose the anthem, God Is Doing Something New for the choir to sing. It fit exactly right for the day.
   God is doing something new, here among us, let it start.
   May it change us, restore our hearts, He’s the way through the wilderness.
   In the Desert, He’s the stream. God is doing something new in you and me.
Rachael’s sermon from Ezra 7, was full of encouragement for what God has planned for us together. She gave us a faithful vision for what’s ahead.
These are days full of energy and excitement for the church. And I humbled and grateful to share in the work with all of you.
Finally, I want to share my thanks one more time for the notes and sympathy cards I’ve received since my mom’s death. You’ve sent messages of hope and peace, and that has meant a lot to me over the past month. In February, I am planning some time with my brothers when I travel for the Navy to California.
Peace to you as we are growing together in Christ.