Blog Post by the
Rev. Dr. Craig Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Sunday at Webster Groves was another celebration of a pastoral installation. Rev. Hannah Dreitcer is the fourth installation in my seven months as your Transitional Presbytery Leader. I anticipate at least three more installations of new pastors by the end of the year. In the past three years, there have been a number of pastors who have become a part of the presbytery. I have written about the presbytery being like a forest of large redwood trees, and how we need to nurture new life that is birthed from the fallen trees and rich soil. I was writing about congregations. However, I now see we are in the midst of a pastoral transition as well.
We are living in the midst of a tremendous opportunity. Giddings-Lovejoy has been blessed with many young, gifted pastors who have a vision of ministry that is ecumenical, inclusive, and creative. Erin Counihan is bringing life to the South St. Louis through Amen house. Joshua Noah is weaving hope and energy into Chrystal City. Mel Smith and Kaitie Kautz are pulling together a presbytery wide cohort group of children and youth leaders. Miriam Foltz is building UKirk, a campus ministry that includes both St. Louis University and Washington University.
These are just a few of the new pastors who are seeing the church in new ways. These pastors are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and are delivering that message in ways today’s world can understand.
It is not enough to watch them, we must applaud them. We are called to encourage our new pastors, and help them dream dreams. As a presbytery, we are challenged to integrate our new pastors, and allow them to assist in changing the culture of the presbytery.
In the book, Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block believes a community can be restorative. He writes, “The core question that underlies each (restorative) conversation is, ‘What can we create together?’ This moves us from problems to possibility; from fear and fault to gifts, generosity, and abundance. . . “
God continues to guide new pastors into Giddings-Lovejoy from across the country. These pastors can take us from our fragmented past into a unified future. They have the potential to bring us energy and break us free of our “calcified past.”
This is an exciting time to be a Presbyterian! It is a time of change, and an opportunity for possibility. Truly this is God’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
Rev. Craig M. Howard