But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction. – 1 Thessalonians 5:12
This is a story many years in the making. It begins many generations ago, when Mauls and Alexanders and other ancestors were first elected and then ordained as elders and deacons in their various churches.
Some, too, became preachers. Rebekah and her brother were both called as Presbyterian pastors and all her siblings have served as elders.
Now today, the first of her generation, our daughter Naomi has been ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian church; called, elected, trained, ordained, and installed.
And I have to tell you, being her father and occupying the home where Naomi was a teenager, this is a beautiful, providential, blessed moment.
Seriously, all parents of teens pray hard and sometimes they wear the knees through on their jeans for all the time spent in fervent petition to God. You pray, and you plead, and you bargain, and you promise God all kinds of silly promises because you just want to make it through high school, or maybe next week, or even to the end of today.
And above all you want them to be happy, and fulfilled in whatever direction they take in life. And if you are so blessed you want some grandchildren and if you hit the lottery you get grandchildren like ours…
But you never (most certainly not back when they were seventeen and you are on your knees and at your wits’ end) never do you ever imagine that one day you will be sitting in a church watching your child – that child – get down on their knees in front of the congregation and see all those people lay their hands on her and witness the power of the Spirit of God hover over the prayer and that when she gets up she is an elder in the church, set aside and equipped by God to lead the people….
Well, we did.
Part II – Godspeed to Eniko:
And then, the serendipitous aside is this story is that one of her pastors, Eniko, said goodbye to the church because she is heading to Ohio to lead a congregation there. So I have included some photographs of her too, preaching, teaching the children, and giving the benediction.
So Godspeed to you, Eniko, may your new adventures be full with joy and blessings. And thank God for you, Naomi and the church where you have found your home, may your ministry be fruitful and overflowing with light and love.
Enjoy the images, then pray for the life and work of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Richmond.
God is full of imagination and creativity and infinite possibilities. Here in Richmond, back home in Wake Forest, and in your church too.