In this season of Thanksgiving, we at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church have much for which to be thankful. We celebrate that by the abounding generosity of this congregation the hungry are fed good things, those who thirst drink from the rivers of life, the sick are visited, and the poor have good news brought to them in word and deed. By the generosity of this congregation, people of all ages are being nurtured in faith, upheld by hope and encouraged to trust that the future belongs to the goodness and faithfulness of God who blesses each of us with abundant life. By the generosity of this congregation, for the first time in a decade we have a full pastoral team to help lead the congregation to fulfill our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ.
This Sunday’s Service of Ordination and Installation of Leigh DeVries as Associate Pastor for Youth and their Families offers a moment to pause and give thanks for the long and particular commitment this congregation has made to excellence in Youth Ministry and to celebrate a future filled with extraordinary promise. Leigh has been called by God to serve among us and brings a lifetime of being nurtured in the church. She is passionate to share the love of God with youth in imaginative, creative, joyful, playful and missional ways. In her few months here, Leigh is already making a difference to include and engage youth in ministry in significant ways – which will be clearly evident by their participation in the service this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
We will welcome a number of special guests from our Presbytery as well as Leigh’s friends and family from around the country. We are delighted to hear the Word proclaimed by the Reverend Erika Spaet, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and jointly called by the ELCA and the United Methodist Church as a church planter in Bend, Oregon. By her friendship with Leigh, Erika’s background in social justice, public action, ecumenical engagement and storytelling speak to their shared commitments.
We also will welcome the participation of Leigh’s father and brother, both PC(USA) pastors. Mark DeVries, who describes himself as “the proud father of Leigh,” has served in youth ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville for 28 years and is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects. Her brother Adam is Associate Pastor for Youth and their Families also at First Nashville. What a blessing that these three family members have shared a deep call to youth ministry in our denomination.
This Service of Ordination and Installation promises a personal moment of joy for Leigh, her family and friends, and a corporate celebration for our whole congregation as we mark this chapter of new beginnings, fully staffed and ready to greet the future in faith and faithfulness.
I look forward to seeing you at the celebration on Sunday!