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THE HISTORY OF CALVIN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Part VII:  2010: New Beginnings

GAIN AND PAIN:  CALVIN CHURCH’S RECENT HISTORY – 2010-2011

2010: A NEW YEAR AND A NEW PASTOR:

Kathleen Haines

Happy New Year, Calvin Church!  We greeted the new year with a new pastor at Calvin.  She was the Reverend Kathleen Burlslem Haines;  she and  her daughters, Sarah and Jane, and a son, Ben, came to us from Virginia where she conducted a campus ministry at James Madison University in Harrisonburg.

During Lent, Pastor Kathleen taught a special six week series in the adult Sunday school called “Hospitality”.  It emphasized her signature theme of welcoming all people to our church, and making our church known in our neighborhood. 

The spring Haitian earthquake called us to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and we made a series of special offerings to that cause.  The Membership and Evangelism Ministry organized small group get-togethers to help our new pastor get acquainted with the membership. 

The Calvin Youth Group was reactivated under the leadership of Todd and Jill Cholmondeley and Mark and Kim Williams. 

In the fellowship hall, the kitchen sported a new wall to hide the pantry shelves, and new chairs graced the tables. 

2011 AND A NEW VISION FOR CALVIN

As we entered the new year, we felt good about our future.  Pastor Kathleen wanted to begin a process to zero in on where Calvin was and where we wanted to go in terms of goals and objectives.  The entire church engaged in a four-month process (January thru April) called a New Vision for Calvin Church.  A large number of meetings, both large and small, sought to assemble information that would help us establish that vision.

KATHLEEN, WE HARDLY KNEW YE!:

In January the Stewardship and Mission Ministry began a program to lend $100 to people who needed a hand up, with the provision that those folks would repay the church when they could.  It was called the “Eyes Wide Open” project. The new pictorial directories arrived.

On Palm Sunday we were treated to a new computerized projection system to enhance worship. The system was funded by Harry Fry in memory of Penny, Mary Smith in memory of Ed, and Joan Seymour in memory of Tom.

The Presbytery passed the proposed amendment to the fidelity and chastity clause (10A) by a vote of 99-72, and it eventually passed churchwide. 

And then came June! It started out well. The youth group, augmented by some adults, traveled to Pittsburgh to work for a week at an inner city Presbyterian church, helping the needy of the surrounding area.

And then came the double whammy! After less than 18 months at Calvin, Pastor Kathleen resigned her position. She announced that she would leave at the end of June to be married to Prakash Navaratnam in Virginia, and then to move to Columbus, Ohio. Her resignation meant that Calvin Church, once again, would be without a permanent pastor.

And June wasn’t finished with us yet! During the last week in June, a 100 year, 4”, rainfall caused the creek at the rear of the church to overflow. The waters cascaded across the parking lot and flowed into our lower level, flooding the fellowship hall and causing considerable damage..

AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED

It didn’t take a vision process to know what our immediate goals were for the remainder of 2011. We had to get our fellowship hall back in working order, and we had to take steps necessary to secure an interim minister.

Another immediate goal was to fill the pulpit until the interim came on board. Credit your session with taking the action necessary to fill the pulpit, both short and long term. Joan Seymour of the Worship and Music Ministry did a remarkable job of filling the pulpit on short notice until an interim pastor was secured. At the same time, Steve Van Eman, Joan Seymour, and Karen Middleton, comprising the interim search committee, went right to work to find an interim minister.

WELCOME, REV. DAVID GOOD

David Good

On September 8, Session contracted with the Reverend David Good to begin his interim pastorate at Calvin Church effective on November 1. The search committee had done an excellent job of winnowing a large number of candidates to produce Rev. Good as the one for Calvin. This is his eighth interim position, and he and his wife, Jane, arrived on schedule. Pastor Good, also an accomplished musician, has captured the attention of the congregation with his unique preaching style and excellent explanation of scripture. 

On the fellowship restoration front, Steve Van Eman (a man for all seasons!) has engaged TRI-WEH Restoration to put the fellowship hall back in order. Progress was good, and we were back in the fellowship hall for two Session-inspired town meetings on December 11 and 18 to review the 2012 budget and hear reports of the Session ministries. Coffee hour, which had been suspended in July, was restored in August to the delight of all concerned.

In October, Kay Horning produced a Variety Talent Show that was enjoyed by a good crowd. Things were looking up as we said goodbye to a difficult 2011.

Welcome 2012.  We look forward to the SON shining down on us in the New Year.

MISSION'S IMPORTANT:

A March 2012 tornado which heavily damaged neighboring Moscow prompted a Calvin group to take Sunday meals to the Moscow cleanup volunteers on two occasions. We also took a meal to the race track workers at River Downs, and we continued our involvement in SEM and IPM, the House of Peace, and Neighbor to Neighbor.

OTHER DOINGS!

In the Christian Education ministry, a new Tuesday evening Bible study was initiated by a group of former members of Friendship Lutheran Church, meeting in our facility. Two new air conditioning units were (securely) installed after our existing units were stolen. In October, Kay Horning directed a variety talent show that was enjoyed by a good crowd. We bid goodbye to 2012, not knowing that we would soon be saying goodbye to Reverend David, and welcoming a new full-time pastor.

THE MARINE HAS LANDED - PASTOR ED KAHL:

Ed Kahl

The New Year brought Calvin the Reverend Ed Kahl preaching his trial sermon on January 6. It was love at first sight and Rev. Kahl and his wife, Suk Hwa (we call her Sue) joined the Calvin family in February, 2013. Ed has been a Navy Chaplain, in addition to a solo pastor, and remains in the Naval Reserve. Sue has been a special needs teacher. They have two adult children, Hanna who is a math teacher and Tyler who attends college. Pastor Ed was well-received, both in the pulpit and as a counselor/friend of the membership.

SOME MUSICAL CHANGES:

In September we regretfully accepted the resignation of our organist, Char Bledsoe, a wonderful accompanist and musician. The search was on for a replacement. After some intense investigation and searching, Mr. Ted Seaman accepted the position and began his tenure in December. His musical talents, particularly his preludes and postludes have produced rave reviews from the congregation. In our Christian Education Ministry, Bob Bridges retired at year-end after teaching the adult Sunday school for twenty-five years.

WHAT IS OUR MISSION?

At the January annual meeting of the congregation, a committee was formed to compose a mission statement for the church. The committee produced the following statement approved by the congregation in late October:

The mission of Calvin Presbyterian Church is to bring glory to God in our Worship and in our outreach by opening our hearts and our lives to the Guidance of God's Word and the Holy Spirit.

We continued our support of a variety of mission projects, including the Southeastern Ecumenical Ministry (SEM), Inter-Parish Ministry (IPM), the Clermont County Battered Women's Shelter (House of Peace), First Fruits Sundays, support for Haiti, the racetrack ministry dinners, and other efforts.

2014 - STABILITY AND SERVICE:

What a welcome change as we moved into 2014. No Pastor Nominating Committees, a doable budget, a pleasant measure of stability for Calvin. Our Pastor Ed Kahl was challenging and inspiring us with his sermons and other messages. A request for a special building pledge was met with 13 pledging units and $7,650. A new pictorial church was begun in April and distributed in August. Organist Ted Seaman directed a variety talent show in May that was well attended and an excellent product. In the mission field, Kay Horning organized a group to begin taking meals to the Clermont County Homeless Shelter once a month, food enough for 45-50 residents. We continued all of our other mission projects for SEM, IPM and other tasks.

OUR 57TH BIRTHDAY:

Yes, September 22 will mark the 57th birthday of Calvin Presbyterian Church. We can look back on 57 years of much accomplishment, yet a period fraught with considerable trials and tribulations. With the help of our Lord and Savior, we have overcome. We continue to be challenged with a diminishing membership and a frail budget. We shall continue to overcome with the help of our committed members and the Holy Spirit. We must continue to LET THE SON SHINE IN.

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During 2007, Bob Bridges, our church's resident historian, reminisced about each decade of Calvin’s existence. Although he wasn’t at the church in the ‘50s, he's spoken with many who were. He has pieced together a sketch of those earliest years.  Bob continues to update our history on an annual basis.

 

 
   

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