There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
This weekend as we gather for worship, we will install our new intern Garth Englund. Installations are important. If you were to do a word search on “installation,” you would find listed; appliance installation, TV installation, followed by installation of a pastor, then installation of other church leaders. Although this list contains quite a variety of installations, there is one thing all installations have in common. An installation is the putting in place of something or someone. But what does that mean when we are referring to a pastoral intern?
First, just knowing that an Installation is part of the worship service informs us that something significant is taking place and it involves a community. It marks a new day and a new direction in the life of this congregation. It tells us to look and see the work God is up to. The people of Holy Trinity have a gift in nurturing pastoral interns in a way that gives them experience in pastoral care, preaching, teaching and administration. You are encouragers. The Intern Committee provides constructive feedback and assists the intern in recognizing goals and working toward achievement of those goals. You are a blessing to the Intern who is walking a new path in a new setting. So, the Installation informs us, the people of Holy Trinity that we are charged with something very important, that of nurturing and uplifting Pastoral Intern Garth Englund for the next year, as he learns about being a pastor.
Secondly, Intern Garth will be charged with the duties of his new role;
- To learn and serve among the people of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
- To carry out his ministry in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and the confessions of the Lutheran Church in harmony with the ELCA.
- To be diligent in his study of the Holy Scriptures and faithful in his use of the Means of Grace and prayer.
- To grow in love for those he serves, strive for excellence in his skills and adorn the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a godly life.
This charge is taken seriously, and so deserves the witness and support of the people of faith as we aid Intern Garth in living out these duties.
Next, the Installation reminds everyone that each person has a vital role to play as the church moves forward for the glory of Christ. We open ourselves to receive Intern Garth as one sent to serve in this church. We open ourselves to pray for him, to help and honor him for the work he is about to do, and we will strive to live together in the peace and unity that Christ gives.
Yes, God is at work! Some of you have been able to spend time with Garth during the short time he has been with our congregation but many of you are just beginning to get to know him. His life has been a journey that did not take him directly to a calling towards ordained ministry, but a journey of twists and turns that eventually led him to this congregation. I encourage you to ask him about his call story. Let him hear yours. Let him get to know you. One of the greatest joys of ministry for myself and any pastor is the love we experience in sharing God’s love together and reach out to others. I am confident Intern Garth will experience your love and care for him, as you have shared it with our interns in the past.
At the end of the Installation, Intern Garth will be declared “installed as pastoral intern” and a blessing will be given. Everything will be put in place. A relationship is formed and blessed by God. God will work through our relationship together as a community serving Intern Garth, Luther Seminary, and the whole church of God. We give thanks that God has equipped us for the ministry of Internship, and welcome Intern Garth to Holy Trinity.
In Christ, Pastor Pam Schroeder