The Love-Powered Day, Part 2: New Callings

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

Psalm 133
– writer/photographer Derek Maul

Yesterday’s post proved so popular (more than 2,500 views to date) I thought it prudent to add Part-2 right away. If you missed Part-1, you can read “A day saturated with inspiration, love, and (new) hope.

So here are a few more of my favorite images from the day, along with a couple of short stories that illustrate some of what we all found so inspirational.

God’s call to minstry:

One of the most satisfying functions of community ministry is preparing and then affirming candidates responding to God’s call. In the Presbyterian tradition it’s a huge task that takes many years; the final hurdle is sharing their story and fielding questions at a meeting of presbytery.

The two young women who were presented for ordination Saturday morning acquitted themselves beautifully.

One story resonated profoundly with me. Esther was brought up in a church that actively rejects and suppresses God’s calling to leadership and ministry in women. As a result, she walked away from faith for a season.

Patiently and gently, God led Esther back via the ministry of Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church in Durham. She had a dynamic experience of grace that transformed her in ways she could not have imagined back when her local Pharisees were “shutting the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces” (Matthew 23:13).

Welcoming the new executive:

Next, the same minister whose preaching reached deep into Esther’s soul stood up to provide the transition into this post’s other story.

– Rev. Katie Crowe: “up on the toes” enthusiasm

Rev. Katie Crowe, I have noticed, speaks from her toes when she is passionate about something; which is, it’s easy to see, most of the time. The evidence is in this photograph from Saturday morning.

Katie chaired the search team for New Hope’s new executive. When she gave the report, along with her team’s recommendation that the Presbytery extend a call, she spent a good fifteen minutes on the tips of her toes!

I don’t point this out as something funny, but as a kind of bellwether for exactly what I have been writing about vis-a-vis the work of the Presbyterian Church here in our part of North Carolina.

The enthusiasm, the belief, the hope, and the promise are all palpable. Katie Crowe’s feet don’t lie.

– Rev. Dr. Bruce T. Grady accepts his call

So, Rev. Dr. Bruce T. Grady.

From everything we heard, and everything I have read, and from the way he presented himself Saturday morning, Bruce Grady looks to be a great fit for the Presbytery of New Hope.

In Mark chapter 9:14-24 (one of at least 50 texts in Rebekah’s all time top-ten favorite passages of scripture), Jesus gets to the heart of why the most amazing and unlikely things continued to happen throughout all 40 years of her ministry. “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

This is the impression Bruce Grady gave when he spoke. This is Jesus we’re talking about! This is the gospel! Anything is possible!

I’m enthusiastic. I feel the promise.

After all, Rev. Katie Crowe’s feet don’t lie! – DEREK

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