By: Moderator Cynthia Montgomery and Stated Clerk Sandra Hedrick
At our October Presbytery meeting we will be welcoming new colleagues into the Presbytery of St. Augustine, and one of those is the Reverend John M. Diller, the newly installed pastor at the Orange Park church. John’s installation was held on August 30th at 4:00 in the afternoon and attended by ruling elders and teaching elders from around our presbytery. The service began with a call for us to “clap our hands” and “shout to God with loud songs of joy!” (Psalm 47)
The sermon message was based on 1 Samuel 16:7b: “the Lord looks on the heart.” The Rev. Sheryl Sumlin-Barclay reminded us that we cannot escape, nor should we escape, our human nature. As we serve God and follow God’s call on our lives, we must remember that, just like King David’s ministry, our service to God will be lived out in the context of our humanness – our strengths, our weaknesses, and our everyday physical existence. Pastors may lead congregations in many ways, but they are not meant to lead alone – we are called into service as a community – a human community that works together, prays together, and supports one another. Together we are able to serve Christ more completely – for we are many parts of one body – the body of Christ!
Special music was provided by Sonja Lewis (organist), Vernon Humbert (cellist), and Jon Halter and the praise band. At the reception following the service, the worshippers welcomed John, his wife Regina, and his family into our midst. Those who were there will long remember the thundering downpour that provided the background music and encouraged us to extend our visiting time to make even more new friends!