Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Man Set Apart

Last Saturday it was great to be at the ordination and installation service of (now Rev.) Andy Young at Cheltenham Evangelical Presbyterian Church. I guess there were about 100 people present which included the congregation plus many from other EPCEW churches and some local church leaders.

I have only recently begun to know Andy, but I have been struck by his seriousness about the gospel, his desire to learn, his abilities as a preacher and his love for the Scriptures. (How many men do you know who want to get together with others to talk about the Scriptures in Hebrew!)

I found the ordination process quite moving. After the sermon was preached (by Ian Hamiton of Cambridge) and the ordination vows taken, Andy knelt on the floor while members of Presbytery laid hands on him and Richard Holst prayed. (This moment distinguishes presbyterians from independents and congregationalists since elders of the wider church set apart a man for the ministry to serve a local church.) The process of fifteen or more men reaching in, eager to lay hands on a young man who has been proven fit for ministry was certainly powerful. Chad van Dixhoorn then charged him to "be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim 2:1). Notably, Chad also instructed Andy to stand while he received the charge.

The ordination was tinged with sadness because this was the final time that Tim Horn, the founding minister of Cheltenham EPC, would address its members. He charged them to use their gifts for the sake of the kingdom and warmly commended Andy and his family to their care. Tim, an MTW missionary, and his family returns shortly to the US on extended furlough.

The sermon and charges are worth hearing. I don't know if they were recorded. I will point them out if they are made available.

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