Sometimes it feels like the trajectory of a lifetime can pivot in one short day. Surely such a day is upon Benjamin Geeding this Sunday. Such a day is also upon First Congregational Church, Darien as we consider calling Benjamin to be our Minister of Youth and Pastoral Care. (The worshippers at 8:30 am have elected to attend at 10 am for obvious reasons.)
This is how we Congregationalists choose pastoral leadership. Not from the top down, but from beneath, with the people, having done our homework, hearing careful guidance from our Search Committee, gathering as God’s people, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Benjamin Geeding will preach on Sunday to an especially attentive congregation. After the service, John Wygal, head of the Search Committee, will interpret for us all how Ben clearly stood out among all of the candidates who were considered. Benjamin will then be available to answer any and all of our questions. Then Benjamin and Christine will depart the Meetinghouse so that our discerning conversation can enjoy its fullest candor. Every question will be invited and every comment heard as we share in this discernment.
Sunday is pivotal in the life of your spiritual home. Yes, we need you all for a quorum, but it goes far beyond that. Leadership matters. It is not enough to have a person of robust and intelligent faith, it is also essential to have a person of character. Otherwise the faith part just falls apart in your hands. Benjamin Geeding brings all of the gifts we now need.
Benjamin was born in Lansing, MI. (I hear some decent pastors hail from those parts!) He was raised south of Chicago, not far from where I initiated my ministry, amid Illinois corn and soybeans. He has worked with inner city and at-risk youth. He has experience as a counselor to parishioners, young and old. He has done global mission work trips in India, Africa, Costa Rica, Brazil and Jamaica not to mention in gritty Chicago with the homeless.
Benjamin is musically savvy as a singer and conductor. He knows Come As You Are-style worship. You might have noticed Ben’s impressive fluency in faith, breaking it down for all without violating its content. Benjamin has passion for living and conveying Christian truth. The light of his joy as God’s messenger in a dark world is evident. Maybe best of all, Ben loves First Congregational, Darien and feels called to this place that is our spiritual home.
I hope you will consider how God is enlisting his gifts in our service this Sunday at 10 am. We need you here when it matters, in this pivotal moment, as we look to a bright future.
The Rev. Dale Rosenberger, Senior Minister