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kelli being honored at mission hills ucc for her service of 9 months as pastoral internKelli is honored for her internship and given her first stole, then later served communion for the first timeToday was the last day of Kelli's internship at Mission Hills UCC where she spent the last eight months or so gaining experience in leading worship, calling on people, and all the other things that go into a pastoral role at a church. She still has a year and a half of school to do; this is just a part of the overall program as she earns her M.Div. degree. She has delivered four sermons at this church and three at our home church in PB. Many times, she has done many other parts of the liturgy. Today, she was anticipating some sort of recognition during the service, but maybe no more than an announcement. She completely didn't expect that she would be given a beautiful stole with all sorts of imagery commemorating our denomination's 50th anniversary, and bright and varied imagery which coincided with the church's celebration of Diversity Day. (The candles right beside her and Scott Landis are actually variously colored glass oil lamps made to look like candles.) MHUCC is a very welcoming church and they count their commitment to diversity as among their greatest strengths. Kelli has had a rich experience there. Not content with recognizing her internship simply with a stole, she was also given the chance to serve communion as well, the first time she has served it in a pastoral role, not just issuing the plates and cups as would an usher or deacon. So that was quite a surprise for her! Afterward, she was half the justification for a nice spread of food as the church said farewell to her while also celebrating the church's commitment to diversity.

kelli with pastor scott landisKelli with Pastor Scott Landis of Mission Hills UCCI just happened to have my new cell phone with me and ready enough to take a few pictures and videos, despite getting it only yesterday. It seems I did the laundered cell phone thing finally, and despite a valiant effort to save my old phone from the suds, it went up to cell phone heaven on Friday night.

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