Pastor Dana’s Installation Day!

 

On Sunday, January 22, Cross of Glory began a new chapter in its regrowth…the installation of Dana O’Brien as our official “for life” pastor. Not only is a overwhelming congratulations in order for Pastor Dana, but also a sense of welcoming that surpasses anything we’ve experienced in quite a long while. Pastor Dana will help anchor and grow CoG for many years into the future.

“Now you’re stuck with me,” Pastor exclaimed after the ceremony. The answer was applause that lasted seemingly 10 minutes long. “Yup, I gave you all lots of chances to get out of this before Sunday. So you know it — now I’m here for ‘forever’ or until you all no longer want me, whichever comes first,” she said to the congregation who was wearing a sea of red clothes for the occasion.

Installed by Bishop Jeffery Clements and Reverend Gary Erickson, the installation was an interesting ceremony that the church had anticipated for months. Pastor Dana joined CoG back in the fall and quickly endeared herself to the congregation with her infectious energy and sense of humor. Recently, CoG bonded with our new pastor over the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Time well spent!

“And now that I’m here for good (yes, that would be “forever”), it’s time to get down to business – to start discerning what God is calling us to do in this community. We’ll start out by focusing on who we are as church in this place and then get to know our neighbors, all the time looking for God working around us and jumping in to help. This is such an exciting time to be church and I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be!” she said.

Yes, that’s our Pastor’s noggin under all the outreached hands and arms of an official CoG blessing!

How did our new pastor prepare for the big day? “I’ll admit, I’m not much of a fan of formal ceremonies like installations and ordinations (particularly when I am the focus of the ceremony), so originally I was approaching Sunday as just another day. But then on Sunday morning, I realized that I was moved much more than I had expected to be,” Pastor Dana explained.

 
​”And that, of course, was solely because of all of you at CoG. Your excitement was palpable and I couldn’t help but have fun and enjoy myself as much as you all seemed to be. I had a great time! The band was terrific, everyone sang really loudly, and we had so much good food — all of that was such a blessing. And the gifts — the flowers, the donations on my behalf and the symbolic gifts of bread, salt and wine — were really cool and completely unexpected. I’ve never seen anyone get gifts upon arrival. Usually that doesn’t happen until one leaves. But, of course, since I’m never leaving… But it was the beach balls that were so Cross of Glory! You gotta love it!! And I’m sure all that joy made God smile!”
 
Being a pastor must be a daunting challenge, particularly for a bunch of southsiders like CoG. “Being your pastor is both a privilege and a challenge,” Pastor Dana countered. “I am very blessed to be here — I can’t say that too often. Way back in May when I first found out about Cross of Glory, I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to be. And after speaking with CoG leaders, I was fairly certain that God was calling me here and really hoped that they were feeling the same.”
 
 
“I look forward to walking with this congregation as together we discern where God is calling us in this community. I have no doubt that God will work powerfully through us as we live as God’s missional church each and every day. I’m excited about both what God is already doing here and the discipleship journey that God has planned for us all. This journey will be challenging; it will demand that we remember who we are as followers of Jesus, but it will also be the most joy-filled journey we’ve have ever been on!”
 
A very, very big welcome to Pastor Dana!

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