ORUCC Installation Sunday 2pm

Installation Worship Service Note
May 22, 2022

Dear ORUCC Community,
I am delighted to invite you to our Installation service, as church and pastor, this Sunday May 22nd at 2pm. I love ritual, because it helps us practice for the world we want to create.
We will ask for God’s blessings in all the changes and transitions in our lives, with Psalm 121:8 where the text says,
“The Lord will keep
  your going out and your coming in
  from this time on and for evermore.”

We will hear a word of blessing from the Rev. Amanda J. Conley who will preach at our installation! Amanda is my close friend and colleague from seminary and has seen me through so much life transition. Amanda is a LGBTQIA+ UCC clergy person and Board Certified Chaplain practicing in Columbus, OH.
Amanda loves serving as a hospital chaplain, because she sees it as a place where socio-economic differences, suffering, and faith collide.
Amanda is also a consultant and educator for public schools all across Ohio, consulting with school districts about racial justice education and making systemic and policy change for more just and equitable environments.
Join me in welcoming Amanda to Madison and ORUCC for the weekend when you see her on Sunday!

Installations have a sense of completion and satisfaction, they mark a moment of deep peace and celebration on a long journey. We are finally here! We have been through so much transition as a church, in some ways we are getting good at it. Together we can normalize transition and seek spiritual resources and wisdom in transitions. Sometimes change feels scary and hard, but during our installation we are calling on some positive attributes of change. I hope this will be meaningful for all of us and help us in the transitions and changes to come as individuals and a church.
The Holy Spirit is the biggest change agent in Christianity, creating inspiration and guiding our journey. We bring RED into our ceremony to celebrate the Holy Spirit, who has guided us to this place.
We will call on a few attributes to claim during transition and change; beauty in transition, joy in transition, vulnerability in transition and creativity and play in transition.
Change is done best when we make sure the good from the past is honored and carried forward. During the service we will light a candle to honor the past. Change feels best when we choose it: each of us will be invited to put a stone in bowl near the altar which has transformed into a river, to claim our desire to trust God into the future, putting our stone in the river of change.   

We are in a really good place as a church right now. Our moderator Barbara Strechberry, who will welcome us and represent ORUCC in the service, and I say that to each other often, as we look out over the past week or the week to come, and see the life-giving worship and ministries that continue to blossom at ORUCC. We trust in the spirit’s guidance to tend to the whole church and to each of us as individuals seeking wholeness in God.
At the end of the installation service, my partner and spouse the Rev. Daniel Cooperrider will offer a blessing for me and for us, a benediction in the Japanese tradition of Hanami, which is a celebration of the falling cherry blossoms which represent transient beauty. Beauty in change. We will both become members of ORUCC with other New Members at the 10am service.
We are so happy to be with you all and to make it “official.”
May God bless each of us in our coming and our going, from now and forevermore. Amen!