“Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’” (Eph. 4:7-8)
On Thursday, September 8th Valley Lutheran held a special Service of Installation and Rededication during chapel. While in the past installation services were held at area churches this service was intentionally held at Valley so that students could participate and witness the service and the promises spoken.
Paul’s words to the Ephesians (above) served as a focus for the service. Pastor Burhop from Trinity Lutheran Church in Reese built the context for this verse and connected it to the school year theme ‘Rise Up’ in his message.
“In everything our rising up first starts with Christ, because if he is not risen then we have no way of rising up….St. Paul tells us [that] before [Christ] ascended he had to descend. That’s the joy of Jesus, He who came down from heaven…descended for us to take on our sins, to suffer for us on the cross…to descend even more into the grave, and then from the grave is raised.”
While Jesus is indeed raised on Easter, Pastor Burhop reminded those assembled that he was also raised again at his Ascension. “St. Paul tells us that Jesus rose up, He ascended above all things so that he can fill all things, and in doing that, now he gives gifts to men.” And these gifts are many – the gift of Baptism and of faith, the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, his gift of forgiveness, and the fruits of the Spirit. And varied gifts, different talents to each person, that he directs us to use in service to one another.
Pastor encouraged those assembled to consider the various gifts that God has given them and seek out His calling for using those gifts, for being a steward of God’s varied grace, in the church and world.
“Pastor Burhop did such a wonderful job explaining “vocation” and what it means to be a “called servant of the Lord” and he related both of those concepts to the life of a student”, reflected Dr. Lisa Meyers, Academic Dean. “As part of the service, he also included the student body in the installation and rededication by asking them to promise to receive, honor, and support the teachers and staff as appointed by God for ministry.”
Mrs. Missy Cruz (left), math teacher, and Mrs. Amy Cooper (right), Director of Communications & Admissions, were both installed into ministry and Mr. Kyle DeWees was appointed as Interim Executive Director. The full Valley faculty also participated in a Rededication of their call into ministry.
“While this role is not necessarily new to me, the call now reminds me that this and all we do is, in fact, ministry. That’s a powerful lens through which to view the interactions I have with families and students!”, said Amy Cooper, Director of Communications and Admissions.
In addition to the students in attendance, parents, families, Board members, and area Pastors and Principals were invited to attend. Mrs. Cruz shared, “It was really special to be able to have my family present, and for the students to see that it was a big enough deal for my family to be there. I am so thrilled to be back here at Valley and look forward to shaping my classroom into a place where students are comfortable and learn a lot!”
“Accepting a position – any position – at Valley is truly a calling. The Installation Service was a wonderful opportunity to be reminded that a vocational calling is a response to what Jesus has already done for us and is an opportunity to join God at work in the world. To be able to affirm this calling in front of the student body was an extremely special and powerful experience for me,” reflected Mr. DeWees “…because our students are the focus of the ministry of Valley Lutheran!”
Praise God for this celebration and we pray His continued blessing on the faculty, staff, students, and families at Valley Lutheran!