It was a great joy last Sunday to witness Mark Elliot and Mike Payne be unanimously elected to serve as deacons of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. Today we have the holy privilege of ordaining and installing these brothers to the office of deacon in our worship services.
It is generally believed that the first ordination of deacons took place in Acts 6:1-6 when the twelve apostles urged the growing number of disciples in Jerusalem to pick seven wise men, full of the Holy Spirit, and of good reputation to serve in the work of caring for widows. Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus were chosen for the work. In an act of ordination, the seven men were, “…set before the Apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them” (Acts 6:6).
This morning we follow the Bible’s pattern of ordaining men to the office of deacon, and thus you will notice several unique elements in today’s worship, including the taking of vows, the laying on of hands, the right hand of fellowship, and an officer charge. These actions are reflective of the biblical practices for ordination that are demonstrated in a variety of places throughout the New Testament—Acts 13:1-3, 14:23, 1 Timothy 1:22, 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6, Titus 1:5 being a few of the most notable. Please approach today’s special service with solemn joy, prayerfully asking the Lord to increase the effectiveness of Cornerstone’s ministry through the multiplication of servant leaders.
On a different front, hasn’t it been exciting to see the churchyard come to life? As you well know, big projects like the landscape upgrade don’t happen without a dedicated team of faithful servants. I’d like to publically recognize and thank Joe Haworth, Peggy Mueller, Brent Roberts, Susan Bumpus, Gene King, Russ May, and Jim & Gwen Smith for serving on our landscape team. These brothers and sisters have labored long and hard to ensure that our little corner of Franklin is beautiful, welcoming, and serviceable for ministry. As opportunity arises, please let these servants know how much you appreciate their sacrifice.
Beyond words, let me tell you how you can really say, “Thank you!” We have dipped into our monetary reserves a sizable amount this past year in order to perform needed maintenance and upgrades to our church facility. As you know, our beautiful stain glass windows are now fully restored, our sprinkler system is in place, and we’re now in the final stages of the landscape upgrade. To be in the clear financially on the landscape upgrade, we need $30,000. On the behalf of the elders, would you consider giving in a designated way toward the landscape project? Whether $10 or $10,000, most of us have the means to give something—even if it’s just the nickels and dimes buried in your couch cushions! Above your normal tithes and offerings, prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you give toward this important project. Wouldn’t it be great if by the end of May we were in the clear financially on the landscape project? Please help us achieve that goal.