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:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
The Turbulent Two Thousands
A History of Calvin Church
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