A couple of Sunday's ago as part of MBCC's worship extravaganza were we were chartered as an official congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA, ordained our first class of elders and I was "installed" for the first time in 13+ years of ordained ministry. [See pics]
For you non-Presby's this basically means that I now become the official pastor of an official congregation . . . officially. Yeah, lots of lingo and pomp, but pretty significant milestone in the life of this particular church. It was quite the celebration and went better than I thought it would. If not for a moment, I am pretty proud of where we are at this point in our life.
So now I am installed.
Seriously. It kind of feels like one's 18th birthday when everyone asks you if you feel any different. Nope. Same old thang. Sure, a Session now is responsible for the life of the church in a new way, and that will impact some things, but for the most part, more than a signal of something new, it was a confirmation of what we have been doing and the amazing possibilities for what we may grow into.
For me the bigger question is not, "Do you feel any different?" but "What now shall you do and how shall you be?" Installed pastor, ordained elders, "real" church . . . we can argue the validity of any of it in today's constantly changing ecclesiastical landscape, but if nothing comes out of our journey that does not bear some fruit of justice, hope, love and grace . . . well, it really IS just a bunch of whoop-de-doo.
So as I move into the next season of my life as pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, I am that much more inspired and compelled to be part of something great. Great in terms of living and leading in ways that exemplify my relationship with and our life together in Christ. We did not need permission to do this, but at this stage in our life, these moments provide us with a renewed challenge to be all that we claim to be.
Let the adventure begin . . . again.