GORE BAY—She is already a valuable member of Lyons Memorial United Church in Gore Bay, as well as the community, but this past Sunday an official covenanting service was held by the Gore Bay Pastoral Charge, and Sudbury Presbytery for Reverend Laurie Howard.
“Good afternoon. Welcome to all Sudbury Presbytery people and Manitou Conference,” stated Jeff Hietkamp, chair of the church council. “Today we celebrate the official covenant of (Reverend) Laurie (Howard) to the church.”
After the call to worship hymn ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp,’ the opening prayer and the scriptures Reverend Dave LeGrand (of Capreol) reflected on the day. “I’m in my last month of serving as chair of the Presbytery. A long while ago, about a year and a bit, Laurie and I began planning this covenant service.”
“We gather in God’s presence to recognize and celebrate a new ministry, binding ourselves to one another in vows of covenant as we continue to serve God in this place.”
The reading of the warrant to Covenant was read by the chair of presbytery with the presentation of the new minister member of council/search committee, Rev. Laurie Howard, and chair of presbytery.
“We present the Reverend Laurie Howard, who has been called to a ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care in Gore Bay Pastoral Charge,” read Wendy Hietkamp. “We believe that Laurie is qualified for this ministry, and that she has been prayerfully and lawfully selected.”
Rev LeGrand said, “Laurie, you are here in response to the Call of the Gore Bay Pastoral Charge, and by action of Sudbury Presbytery and Manitou Conference. We ask God’s blessing on what we do here this evening in recognition of this new relationship. Let us draw our hearts together as we share in a statement of our communal faith, A New Creed.”
Rev. LeGrand then stood with Rev. Howard and said, “the church recognizes that the gifts of ministry offered by all men, women, and children help create the whole Body of Christ, Ministries of hospitality, teaching, comforting, administering, and speaking with a prophetic voice are only a few of the many gifts God grants to us.”
“Laurie, you have been called to a ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care in the Gore Bay Lyons Memorial Pastoral Charge,” said Rev. LeGrand. “Members and adherents of Gore Bay Lyons Memorial Pastoral Charge, you are called to join Laurie in worship, study, prayer and action.”
Rev. LeGrand in a reading to congrgants said, ‘would the members of the Gore Bay Lyons Memorial congregation please stand. You have invited and called Laurie Howard to serve as an ordained minister in your midst. She needs your support and involvement as together you seek to envision, enliven, and enjoy this next phase in the life of your pastoral charge. Will you covenant to participate in Christ’s ministry together with Laurie and with Sudbury Presbytery in faith and hope, in peace and love,” to which the congregants said they would.
The Presbytery chairs then stood and declared that they welcome Rev. Howard as a member, and would covenant her and the Gore Bay Lyons Memorial Pastoral Charge.
The members of the congregants then presented symbols: a bible brought forward by Brenda Strain, “as a symbol of the Word of God we are called to teach and proclaim”; a pitcher of Water by Heather Patterson, “accept this water as a symbol of the baptism that marks us as God’s own; a cup and break presented by Stacy and April Torkopoulos “as symbols of our unity in Christ; paintbrush presented by John MacDonald as a symbol of change, possibility, boldness, balance, happiness, joy and talent.
A quilt was brought forward by Wendy Hietkamp that depicts a story of belonging; and a key brought forward by Carolyn Lane Rock as a symbol of knowledge, mystery, trust, truth, courage, strength and effort.
The Pastoral Prayer was followed by a minute for mission.
After the service a pot luck dinner was held in the Robinson Hall. At that time Mr. Mr. Hietkamp presented Rev. Howard with a Haweater pin.