November 12th, 2018
Rev. Randy Calvo was called and accepted as the pastor of Hatfield Congregational Church on November 12, 2017, one year ago today. Yesterday I was Installed formally by the Hampshire Association, UCC. The Installation Service began at 3:00pm.
Clergy from the Hampshire and Franklin Associations processed into church as a sign of our covenant and bond.
Those who had formal roles in the Installation Service were seated in the Chancel. Our Music Director, Anthony Tracia, led us in our entrance hymn. The choir was seated in the front row.
Amy Novak, Senior Deacon, then offered words of greeting to all gathered and led us in the Call to Worship.
Janet Varnon, Hampshire Association Moderator, then greeted us on behalf of the Association and asked us to share the gift of peace. Rev. David Neil and Rev. Sherril Willis read from Isaiah 43:1-11 and Galatians 2:19-20, respectively.
The choir sang "Here I Am Lord" in an absolutely beautiful a cappella version. Rev. Dr. Cynthia Crossan-Harrington offered the sermon. Rev. Cynthia was extremely helpful in the transitioning of Rev. Randy into his UCC ministry. She was named his mentor by the Committee on Church and Ministry. And the two have been friends since she came to the Whately Congregational Church ten years ago. Her sermon was entitled "And then God laughed." She spoke about the unexpected surprises that God keeps in store for us even when we think we are so certain what are plans for the future may be. Her inspiring words can be heard on the video upload of the Installation Service, which should be available tomorrow.
Rev. Barbara Turner Delisle then offered the Pastoral Prayer. Gordon Pullan extended the Invitation to Give and the Prayer of Dedication. The collection benefited the Hampshire Association's Scholarship Fund.
At this point, the actual Service of Installation began. Glenda Flynn, Moderator at Hatfield Congregational Church, presented the church's request to install Rev. Randy as their settled pastor and teacher. Bob Varnon of the Hampshire Association reported the Association's examination and consent.
Rev. Robert Livingston extended the Exhortation to the congregation, the pastor and to all present. At this point, Rev. Randy was asked to stand front and center, and Rev. Jill Graham, Associate Conference Minister, then oversaw the covenant between pastor and congregation, and then also the covenant with the Hampshire Association, UCC.
Rev. Barbara Seamon offered the Prayer of Installation for Rev. Randy and then Rev. Jill proclaimed the Declaration in the name of Jesus Christ that completed the Service of Installation of Rev. Randy as pastor at the Hatfield Congregational Church.
When Rev. Randy served a church in South Deerfield, Rev. Dr. Will Sencabaugh was the pastor at the South Deerfield Congregational Church for 10 years. Rev. Will is an energetic soul, to say the least. Rev. Randy had asked him to offer closing thoughts at the end of the Service, not knowing exactly what to expect, and that's exactly what he got. Rev. Will was kind enough to drive north to his old haunts from his current pastorate in Lebanon, CT. I simply cannot do justice to Rev. Will's closing thoughts, but he had us all in tears. Tomorrow I hope to upload the video of the Installation Service, you'll have to see for yourselves.
We then gathered in the parish hall for light refreshments. I thank everyone who baked and worked to make everyone welcome.
My sincere thanks to Rev. Jill for formally installing me, the clergy who gathered, the Association representatives, the members of the congregation who came back to church a second time and the guests who traveled to be there, Anthony for leading us in our music and the Chancel Choir for their gift of music. I thank the congregation for the green stole embroidered with the pictures of all the stained glass windows in the church, and to Glenda for making it.
What a great way to celebrate my first anniversary at Hatfield Congregational. May our covenant help us to work together for the good of all of us, for the community and for the sake of Christ's gospel in the world.
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