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LeeLee Hinson-Hasty is coordinator for theological education and seminary relations in the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the PC (U.S.A.). Through his work Lee hopes to capture and share a more expansive view of theological education, of church leadership and of vocational discernment as he sees through the eyes of some exciting Presbyterians in and related to seminaries.

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August 16, 2013

The Community’s Bread

Thoughts on Celebrating Theological Education/Seminary Sunday

Breaking Bread

Newly-ordained Lindsay Rae Conrad presides at the communion table at her home church.

My daughter learned the words of institution for communion by heart by the time she was three years old because our congregation sang them. Her tea parties as a preschooler often began with her giving thanks and then offering a cup saying, “Take a drink and remember me.” Like my son, she misheard or copied him by calling the bread broken and shared at the communion table, “the community’s bread.” Their theological ears heard correctly, it is the community’s bread, something to be shared. Lindsay Rae Conrad, ordained July 28th, understands the bread and the cup are something to be shared day in and day out wherever the people of faith gather. Her first act as a newly ordained teaching elder/ minister of Word and Sacrament was to preside at the communion table in her home church, Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Only minutes before did she rise from her knees during the ordination prayer and was she charged and declared ordained by the presbytery’s commission. As she walked from in front of the communion table to behind the table the presbytery, her family, her church family, and friends all sang joyfully hymn #514 in the Presbyterian Hymnal:

 

Let us talents and tongues employ,

Reaching out with a shout of joy

Bread is broken, the wine is poured

Christ is spoken and seen and heard.

Jesus lives again, earth can breath again,

Pass the Word around, loaves abound!

 

Lindsay is a graduate of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and started her service as a pastoral resident at First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan this month.

Beth Lindsay and Lee

Beth, Lindsay, and Lee.

It was my honor to serve as one of Lindsay’s pastors at Saint Andrew in the late ‘90’s, co-teach her confirmation class then, and preach for her ordination service. Lindsay and many in her co-hort in the class of 2013 from our Presbyterian Seminaries are what Paul Roberts, President/Dean of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary calls “life changers.” I can honestly say, she changed my life. The ruling elder mentor for Lindsay, Beth Groover, presented Lindsay for ordination describing how so many had already been blessed by her gifts for leadership in the Church. My guess is… she will, like so many teaching elders, continue to break bread, pour wine, speak Christ’s Word, and change lives.

 

On Theological Education/ Seminary Sunday, September 15, 2013, I join others in giving thanks for those our Presbyterian Seminaries form, like Lindsay. Bill McConnell, the Executive Director of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, shared with me that the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God, has “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ,” and corrects a missing repeat in the chorus I think I will repeat as I remember Lindsay and others newly ordained during this season and now as I go home to gather at the dinner table with my family:

 

Jesus lives again, earth can breath again,

Pass the Word around, loaves abound!

 

Maybe I will even teach my daughter how to sing it. You can, too, as it will be #526 in Glory to God.

 

Lee in Louisville giving glory to God.

Tags: leadership, sacraments, theological education, vocation


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