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Installation Service for Pastor Raymond Eichler III

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Pastor Ray is being installed as our “Called Pastor” on October 19 at 3 PM. Since he’s been our pastor for over two years now, you might be wondering why it took so long! When we were seeking a pastor, the Pastor Nominating Committee had some rules to follow. One of those rules says that a congregation may not call a pastor who has preached for them within the past six months. This is a sensible rule, as it keeps PNCs focused on the long haul instead of being charmed by a sermon or so. But Pastor Ray was not serving a church at the time and became a steady supply for our pulpit as we searched. The PNC approached him to see if he felt called to us as we were feeling God’s guiding hand toward his ministry. It was good fit, and the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry pointed us toward a relatively new process - the Temporary Supply Pastorate. In this case, the pastor and the Session enter into a contract for a period of one year, renewable for another single year. At the end of two years, the pastor and the congregation have a decision to make - stay and become the permanent installed pastor, or leave. Both Pastor Ray and the Session felt that God was leading us to a permanent call, and Presbytery agreed. A Congregational Meeting was called and the vote was unanimous in favor of calling Pastor Ray to us. Because summer was coming on, with vacations, General Assembly, a hiatus in the Committee on Ministry’s meeting schedule and some other items, it took a few months to get the installation on the calendar and a commission ready to install our “new” pastor. But now we’re ready, the date is set and the service is being planned. We hope all of you will be here on October 19 to welcome this new stage of Pastor Ray’s ministry with us, and to look into the future together.
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