All are welcome

The Service of Installation

On Sunday, October 19, 2014, Tamara Franks was officially installed as the Pastor of High Country UCC. Let the dance begin!

Covenant within the UCC centers all relationships within and throughout the church and other parts of the denomination. A Service of Installation acknowledges the relationships, states the covenant or promises that the Pastor, Church and wider community are entering.

Rev. Marcia Cham read the following:

From Celtic theologian J. Philip Newell, he writes……

“Like never before in the history of humanity, we are becoming aware of our inter-relatedness. We are beginning to comprehend that what we do to other species is what we do to ourselves. We are beginning to perceive that what we do to other nations and peoples is what we do to our own soul. The question is whether we will choose to translate this emerging consciousness into transformative action. And the further question is where we will find strength and vision for this work.”

To the home of peace
to the field of love
to the land where forgiveness and right relationship meet
we look, O God,
with longing for earth’s children
with compassion for the creatures
with hearts breaking for the people and nations we love.

Open us to visions we have never known
strengthen us for self-givings we have never made
delight us with a oneness we could never have imagined
that we may truly be born of You
makers of peace.

Rev. Tommy Brown offered the Word/Sermon


James Christenbury (Moderator):  High Country UCC, guided by the Spirit, has called Rev. Tamara Franks to be its pastor and teacher.  We request that the Western North Carolina Association install her in this ministry with us, according to the faith and order of the United Church of Christ

Rev. Jerry Rhyne (Western North Carolina Association Representative): The Western North Carolina Association has reviewed this request from High Country United Church of Christ.  With prayer and intention we have examined Tamara and are ready to install her as your pastor and teacher.

Tamara, we invite you to come forward as an indication of your acceptance of the call from High Country UCC.

Today the Western North Carolina Association acts in cooperation with High Country UCC.  Installation confirms and celebrates the covenant among a local church, its pastor and teacher, and the larger church.  Honoring this covenant, we are committed to share in the ministry of the United Church of Christ and in mission with ecumenical and interfaith partners.


James: Tamara, using your very words, we call you to “come and work side by side with us, loving us, caring for us, pushing us, poking us and helping to press us outside our comfort zone and into the next growth zone.”  We ask you “to join a new group of people in a new land, not to conquer it but to journey with it weaving yourselves into its rich tapestry.” Will you covenant with us to do so?

Tamara:  I do so covenant, and I ask, will you as the congregation of HCUCC do the same in covenant with me?

Congregation: We do, and with great joy!

Tamara: Amen and Amen! May the Living Christ lead us in a great dance, indeed!

James: She will! To that end, Tamara, we ask that you use your gifts of teaching, preaching, creativity, humor and candor to lead our congregation on our faith journey as a church and as individuals, each on our respective faith journey.

Tamara: I gratefully accept that challenge, and I ask, likewise, that you nurture, stretch and bless me, too! I, as you, yearn to grow and deepen spiritually. (**I added extra words here going off script making explicit my desire to be poked, pushed, etc by the congregation.)

Congregation: We absolutely will! With you as our pastor, our leader and one of us, we will dance together in community.

Tamara: Then let the music begin! Together we will spread extravagant welcome and bold action grounded in and inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus.

Congregation: Together will be and do these things. We will help each other be hands and hearts and voices infused with God’s radical love in service to others, and in God’s unceasing call to work for peace through justice.

All: We will be a prophetic voice and witness in this community. We will stay in touch with our humility, humor and call to remain non-violent in communication and in action, as we do so. We will serve with grace and compassion for all, within and without our community.

Tamara: Let us all now affirm our church’s Mission Statement:

All: We come together as High Country United Church of Christ to create a safe, loving environment, to discover and cultivate spiritual growth, and to establish community by reflecting and celebrating God’s love. Our mission is to inspire positive change in our world as we are led by Christ’s example of love, compassion and acceptance of all people.

James: I invite members of Western North Carolina Association and Southern Conference churches and those visiting with us to stand as you are able and to speak your words of support.

Non-HCUCC folk:    High Country United Church and Tamara, we promise to offer you our prayer and gratitude for your shared life as pastor and people and for your broader common life with us.  We say yes to this mutual ministry you have with each other and among us.  We are pleased with what God is doing here and look forward to your dancing among us continuing to weave yourselves into the greater community.

All: Let the dance begin!

Song of Celebration “Simple Gifts and Lord of the Dance” HCUCC Members; Melanie Childers, Sondra Edwards, Martha Johnson


Rev. Jerry Rhyne:  I declare that you are duly installed as the pastor and teacher with High Country United Church of Christ in the Western North Carolina Association of the United Church of Christ.

Champagne Corks popped, toasts were made!