Pastor Ami Vielehr and other members of the church welcomed me this morning as I came to see their ministry in action. What a wonderful experience it was. This being the first Sunday of the month, it was Communion Sunday and Pastor Vielehr made an interesting announcement. "Communion is going to be shared earlier in the service this morning so the children who believe can receive communion before going to children's church." I was delighted this change was made so everyone was able to participate who should be sharing in this part of worship. The sermon that followed gave spiritual food for the soul. This small church is truly flexible in it's worship, and prayer time. The keyboardist and minister of music, Durant D. Charleroy, the special music by Mr. Bill Fink, and audio visual presentations during worship all helped make a wonderful spiritual connection. Following the service many of the congregation gathered in the fellowship hall for refreshments that looked more like a meal. One delight was cupcakes made by the pastor's daughter that looked wonderful. The congregation continues to grow and serve the needs of this community and surrounding towns. If I remember correctly, Beverly is only one mile by one mile but has seven churches in this river front town along the Delaware River.
The Sunday afternoon Installation Service for Rev. Linda Pepe was held in the beautiful sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Moorestown on September 30, 2012. The sanctuary was filled with many guests from across New Jersey and many who had interfaced with her faith journey and assisted in the search and call committee of the congregation. The ABCNJ was well represented by our core staff. The Greater Delaware Association was also represented by several pastors and the current moderator Virginia Oehlert.
Rev. Dr. Elmo Familiaran, who had worked with the church in their search for the new pastoral leadership also presented the charge to the pastor. He shared in his comments that he would like to change the name of this service from a service of installation to a service of consecration. Rev. Vernl Mattson shared in the Litany of Installation and extended welcome from the region and the association. Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer had several different parts in the service and as the pictured shows he gave to Rev. Linda Pepe a certification of installation.
The church hosted the entire gathering to a wonderful reception in their social hall following the service. Rev. Pepe expressed her thanks to everyone who attended and said the congregation is seeking to welcome everyone to their services.
The First Baptist Church of Gloucester City came together for an afternoon worship service of installation for Pastor Richard E. Gehret. Pastor Rick has been serving the congregation as an Intern and then associate Pastor working with Rev. Dr. Robert Muse. The timing could not be better as Rev. Muse is retiring and will continue serving as a mentor and as their pastor emeritus while Pastor Gehret completes his seminary at Palmer Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Jack Vars, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Vincentown gave the keynote sermon as Pastor Gehret has been a long time member of that congregation before his internship in Gloucester City this past year. Rev. Vernl Mattson and Rev. Robert Muse shared in the charge of installation, words of installation and prayer of installation. Now the music for the day was a shared effort between the First Baptist Church of Gloucester City and Vincentown because both congregations have played a role in Pastor Gehret's call and preparation for ministry. The co-chairs to the Church Council Dante Fretzer and Virginia Oehlert extended the right hand of fellowship and words of welcome. There were several pastors and member congregations from GDVA in attendance for this service as well as those from the community. A nice reception was provided for everyone following the service hosted by the women of the church.
This was a blessed day in the life of the church as it now continues to do ministry in the community and beyond. Virginia Oehlert, moderator of the GDVA expressed her joy and thanksgiving for the fine support the congregation has received during their search and call process. Pastor Gehret expressed his joy in the day, the gratitude he had for each person who has played a part in his spiritual journey to this point. It was a rich and wonderful conclusion to the service of installation.
September marks the Third Anniversary Celebration for the First Asian Baptist Church of Haddonfield where Reverend Hojin Yu is senior pastor. The Congregation is filled with young people who make their worship wonderful. Here they are taking time in there outdoor worship celebration to greet everyone and make them feel at home.