Outgoing Collegium members released; new moderators installed
Written by Diane Weible
July 5, 2011
found in the Book of Worship of the
United Church of Christ, delegates and visitors to General Synod 28 were able
to offer thanks, praise, and prayer
one more time to outgoing Collegium members, and to witness to the installation of the moderators for the
Associate General Minister Edith Guffey, Local Church
Ministries Executive Minister the Rev. Stephen Sterner, and Wider Church
Ministries Executive Minister the Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte were joined onstage
by representatives of the associations where Sterner and Rogers-Witte have
their standing and by a representative from Guffey’s local church as thanks was
offered, forgiveness asked for, and promises made to encourage their ministries
as they unfold in new ways.
An awkward moment followed the question to Synod delegates
as to whether “you release these ministers from relying on and turning to you.”
The words of release were not yet shown on the screen so all that followed the
question was silence. Once the slide caught up to the question, delegates
promised to do so, relying on God’s grace. With a look of relief on their
faces, outgoing Collegium members and delegates shared a laugh.
The Rev. Hamilton Throckmorton, pastor of Guffey’s home
church, Chagrin Falls Federated UCC, offered the closing prayer, thanking God
for the richness and grace of the three distinctive and hallowed ministries and
asking for God’s love to surround them in the days ahead.
Following the service of farewell, a service of Installation
was held as new Moderator Libby Tigner and Assistant Moderators Brian Holeman
and Dale Bonds were installed.
Outgoing Moderators James Robertson, Caroline Peters Belsom, and
Patricia Aurand led the service.
Praying for God’s grace, the moderators promised to carry
out their responsibilities diligently and faithfully. In response, General Synod
delegates promised to love and honor their leadership.
Outgoing Moderator Robertson offered a closing prayer
followed by a proclamation stating the new moderators installed for the