Sunday was a very busy day across our synod. I’m grateful for a reliable vehicle that got me across multiple conferences to participate in two joyful services of welcome.
My day began in Abilene as I was there to lead worship and install their new Synodically Authorized Worship Leader, Emelie Clements. Emelie moved to Abilene with her husband, Dave, who is in the Air Force and stationed at Dyess in Abilene. She is also a candidate for ministry who is beginning her seminary education this fall as a distance learning student at Luther Seminary. We are grateful for the partnership we have with Emelie’s home synod (Metro Chicago) and Luther Seminary that makes it possible for our congregation to benefit from her leadership even as she learns. Emelie will also be mentored by Pr. Paul Cannon, a retired military chaplain and ELCA pastor who lives in Abilene and serves our congregation at Faith in Sagerton.
From Abilene, I traveled across our territory to join the celebration at Emanuel in Dallas, where Pr. Rachel Ringlaben was being installed as their new pastor. Pr. Rachel came to us with a history of bilingual ministry and many of the gifts we need at Emanuel.
This worship service joined the voices of our Eastern Mission Conference and our Latinx Conference, with both Deans leading the service. Pr. Jesus Escamilla preached and co-presided for the installation with Pr. Jeff Bergeron. The showing of support from neighboring pastors was also wonderful!
Following the service, the congregation hosted an excellent taco dinner and had a special cake to also celebrate Pr. Rachel’s birthday. Great end to a great celebration!