I get to be involved in something tomorrow that in my mind is hugely symbolic and ceremonial, but is also incredibly significant.  I am participating in the installation service of a new pastor with his congregation.

David Tonner begins his pastoral relationship with the Killam Baptist Church in Killam Alberta tomorrow morning.  He isn’t their first pastor, and probably won’t be their last.  But he comes to the congregation with love, and energy, and hope, and promise that these next years will be good ones.  And they are receiving him with joy and affection and appreciation.  They have been seeking and praying for a pastor for a year now, and they believe that God has answered their prayers.

Tomorrow is symbolic.  It’s got a little ceremony (Baptists aren’t really ceremonial types.)   There are some special prayers offered, a covenant of cooperation is read between pastor and people, there will be a visiting speaker (me), and then a number will gather round David and his wife Jilleen to pray with them inviting God’s help over the long journey.  And then there is the mandatory pot luck lunch after the service in the basement of the church.  For some the pot luck might even be the most enjoyable part of the day.

But it’s not just symbolic.  Tomorrow is significant.  It is the first step in the long journey towards successful ministry.  The Boston Marathon is 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km).  It can only be completed successfully if you take the first step.  Graduating from university takes upwards of 3200 days of schooling but it can only be completed if you step into your first day of school.  A long fruitful ministry is launched with the first step.

Tomorrow is a significant day for Pastor David and his family, and for the family of believers known as the Killam Baptist Church.

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