And, just like that… I’m Installed for service and use!

If you missed the Installation, please check out the pictures and videos that Sarah our Communications Guru has put up on <a href="http://<iframe src="; width="500" height="650" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media">Facebook.  You’ll hear wise words offered by colleagues and friends who poked and prodded, but also lovingly reminded us of our mutual accountability to one another.  This Installation wasn’t about me… but about US (I’m not sharing the chocolate, however*).

All of the activity of the past weekend has had me thinking (again) about how individuals collaborate in ministry and what it means to be church.

  • Church is messy because it requires collaboration.  
  • Church is difficult because it requires us to trust others.  
  • Church is frustrating because the wisdom of our goals is often foolishness to another.  

Yet participating in this messy, difficult and frustrating work is some of the most rewarding work any of us can do.  When we collaborate, we are called out of our egos and fears and find that we have been convoked to do this work together.  This convocation of folks is at the root of the Greek word ekklesia – or church.

To be convoked (it’s a word, I promise!) as the Church means to let go of our own way, and to find our collective way together.  It requires not just trust in God but in each other – which is a radical world-changing sort of love.  To be convoked as a Presbytery is to find ways to encourage that radical love in the communities we serve.  We are connected for service and use!

As I make my way around the Presbytery, there are two themes emerging.  One is a deep desire to be convoked – to collaborate with our Presbyterian siblings and to be in deep partnership with each other.  The other is mistrust for the Presbytery and a concern for being hurt by our siblings.

This tension is real.  This tension is also, I believe, integral to who we are called out to be.  The community we desire is not because of who we are… but in spite of it, and it is a witness to the transforming love of Jesus.  

The Installation is complete.  Now we are connected for service and use.  Shall we take the risk to deepen that connection?  I’m game – heck, I’ll even share my chocolate.

Blessings –


*Shannan Vance-Ocampo offered the Charge to the Presbytery, but she gave ME chocolate.  Nice how that worked out, eh?  No, really… I’ll share.  

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