Rev. Kristin M. Austew
From the Pastor
Christ is risen! Alleluia! All of this month we celebrate the season of Easter. What a perfect time to meditate on new life and growth! During worship on May 5th, an elder is installed to our Session. During worship on May 12th, an infant is baptized. The Spirit is truly living and moving in this church!
In the 5th Century, St. Augustine described baptism as an “outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.” In baptism we are claimed and named by God. As Presbyterians we believe “that God claims people in love even before they are able to respond in faith” (Book of Order W-3.04), which is why we baptize young children. When we baptize young children who do not yet fully understand the meaning of this powerful act, their parents and our church make a promise
to nurture and guide that child.
When we elect elders to serve on Session, we make a commitment as a congregation, to support, to encourage, and to respect these elders. It is the responsibility of the Session to prayerfully engage in “discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people” (Book of Order G-2.03), and each elder is elected by the congregation to this office. Installation services give us an opportunity to lift up in prayer all elders currently serving on Session, and to commit
to holding them in prayer as they continue to serve.
The beauty, and the mess, of being in Christian community is that we are all at different points in our faith journey! During my service of installation as Pastor, the children gave us each a scallop shell as a reminder 1) of our baptism, and 2) that we are pilgrims on this journey together. As you remember your baptism this month, I invite you to engage in prayer with me about how God might be working through you to “create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17a).
What does this look like? Could God be calling you to serve our church in a new way? What are the unique gifts you bring to the ministry of this church? Finally, how will you reach out to others in this congregation with love, grace, and support?
Grace and love,
© 2016 First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church of Bordentown
420 Farnsworth Ave.
Bordentown, NJ 08505