Moments of normalcy
In a crazy season like this, we need to look for and grab onto moments of normalcy just to remind us that God is still in control and everything is going to be okay!
One of our signs of “normalcy” at Chapel Hill is actually abnormal for most churches: we ordain a lot of pastors. Did you know that? Most churches are lucky if they produce one or two candidates for ordained pastoral ministry in a lifetime. Do you know how many pastors you have produced, my Sweetheart Church? Eighteen! Eighteen in the last 30 years! And that’s not all! We have another five in the oven! (That is, we have another five candidates under care of presbytery whom we expect to be ordained in the coming year or so.)
Believe it or not, we are actually kind of used to this. We are becoming ACCUSTOMED to ordination services. But you have NO idea how unusual this is and what a gift it is to the larger church. It takes a special kind of church to be able to raise up and send off young leaders. Such a church needs to be intentional, patient, gracious, and Kingdom-minded.
Intentional in that you don’t believe leadership development happens by accident; you do it on purpose. Patient because, when you raise up young leaders, they make a lot of mistakes and you have to be willing to put up with that. Gracious because it takes wading through a few not-so-hot-sermons before you begin to see the diamond in the rough. And Kingdom-minded because you realize that often, you are investing in leaders you are going to send away. It is painful…and deeply fulfilling…to be a sending church. Because you say a lot of good-byes.
Fortunately, in this case, we get to keep the latest two! Julie Hawkins and Rachel White were both recently examined and approved for ordination as EPC Teaching Elders (Pastors.) One of the high moments of their lives will occur this Sunday at 3:00 pm when, together, they will be ordained and installed as brand new Assistant Pastors on the Chapel Hill team. (BTW, I’d be willing to bet that this will be the first-ever two-fer ordination for two women candidates!)
An ordination service is a big moment in the life of a candidate and their family. But Chapel Hill, it is also a big moment for you. You are birthing…once again…shepherds who will serve, care for, and lead a portion of the flock of Jesus. This should be a moment of deep personal pride, and I hope you will join me as we celebrate that moment together. We’ll worship in the Sanctuary and online; here is more information.
You are a Sweetheart Church, Chapel Hill. This is one more piece of evidence to prove it so!
PS—A reminder that we launch a third worship service next weekend. Here’s what you need to know: starting October 18, our classic worship service moves 30 minutes earlier to 8:30 am. Our modern service moves one hour earlier at 10:00 am. We are adding another modern worship service at 11:30 am. Our 8:30 and 10:00 am worship services will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube and will be available on-demand afterward. The 11:30 am service is in-person only. We’ll offer early childhood care for babies through Pre-K and elementary-school-age programming at 10:00 and 11:30 am. Nursery (3 months-2 years) will be available at the 8:30 am service.
Please make every effort to try a different worship service so we can spread ourselves out across the services. And consider volunteering to serve one hour and attend the other hour; we need help in early childhood, elementary, greeters, and more. Let us know if you can help by filling out the Weekly Check-in form. You can read more about our in-person guidelines here.