Farewell and Inauguration Ceremony for Columbus Pastors
Bidding a fond farewell to outgoing pastor, Rev. Francisco Sanchez, and welcoming a young team of three new pastors, the Unificationists in Columbus, Ohio embraced a new era in their community on August 27, 2017.
Instead of a Sunday sermon, regional IW and representative of the National Ministry Team, Rev. David Rendel and District Pastor Rev. Yusun Abrahams shared a few points of encouragement for the community and the incoming pastoral team.
“One of the most important aspects of faith is to be patient, just like God has been patient since creation. Members of this community, please be patient with the new pastors,” said Rev. Abrahams. “To the new pastors, please be patient with the congregation, because sometimes change is difficult.”
Rev Rendel also urged those in attendance to be as supportive as possible to the new team: “Very important to faith is trust. Adam & Eve did not trust God, and Cain & Abel did not trust each other,” said Rev. Rendel. “I see many former pastors present today, which is a good sign because it can be very hard to step down from this position. This community works together. “
After a few testimonies from the community, the outgoing pastor Rev. Frank Sanchez gave his farewell address and received a plaque of recognition from the district pastors Garrun and Yusun Abrahams.
Following the heartfelt farewell message and moving testimonies, the new head pastor, Marquis Van De Mark, and new assistant pastors, Jong Duk Kim and Nathan Bratcher, went on stage with their spouses and shared their vision for the local Unificationist community. Pastor Marquis Van De Mark has been a longtime Columbus resident, while Pastor Kim was previously a national leader of the FFWPU Uganda, and Pastor Bratcher was raised in the Unificationist Columbus community. All three pastors, with their newfound responsibilities, expressed their preparation to dedicate the next three years of their lives to make the Columbus Family Church one of the most welcoming, God-centered churches in the nation that makes God and True Parents proud.
After the three pastors affirmed their pastoral vows to the community, the entire congregation, in a beautiful gesture, joined hands and prayed for all of the pastors and for the community. The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake and three cheers of victory.
“The Columbus community has not had a pastoral transition ceremony like this before,” Thea Schlichting noted. “It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together, witness a transparent transition and account for change together.”
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