Yesterday I concluded my short interim engagement at Elmhurst CRC. Both morning services saw the installation of the new lead pastor: Rev. Peter Semeyn, by a group who represented both Peter's past pastoral work and his family, and also representatives of his new charge. It was solemn yet warm, and from the little I have seen of Peter this church has a great future ahead.
Someone commented to me that it seemed that every service I had preached at over 5 weeks was action-packed with different events. Yes! And this was another full but well conceived Sunday. In the first service I managed to restrict my sermon to 20 minutes (with over 20 powerpoint slides) so that we finished in time for all the education classes. However, during the second service, Pastor Gregg leaned over and whispered that I could take as long as I felt was right (because there was no deadline....apart from congregational fatigue!) What a difference it made. I guess it probably ran to 30 minutes but Carol commented that there seemed to be so much more space (and some humor) because of those extra minutes. I was certainly grateful to finish with such warm and encouraging follow-up from the congregation.
We both thank the members for letting us in on their journey between pastorates - it has been a really wonderful experience. Thank you all.