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Celebrating God’s Call: The Installation of The Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros

by Mary Domb Mikkelson

Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros (middle) with Rev. Dr. Jon L. Berquist, President, Disciples Seminary Foundation, and Rev. Libby Tigner, Associate Conference Minister for Church Relations, Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros (middle) with Rev. Dr. Jon L. Berquist, President, Disciples Seminary Foundation, and Rev. Libby Tigner, Associate Conference Minister for Church Relations, Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

It was a joyful day, filled with music, prayer, love and celebration.  The Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros, who but ten weeks earlier had been ordained at beautiful Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona, Arizona, was formally installed as the Settled Pastor of Community Congregational United Church of Christ (CCUCC) in Los Alamitos, California on Sunday, January 5, 2014. http://www.ccucclosal.org/

From the opening hymn, “Joyful, Joyful We Adore You,” through the Recessional, “God the Spirit, Guide and Guardian,” the service rejoiced in the call to serve God and humanity, celebrating all who open themselves to God’s call, a summons beautifully worded in the opening line of the Call to Worship:   “People far and near, listen for God’s call; your Creator knows your name and bids you come.”

The “Special Music” segments of the service featured artists from Anaheim, California’s Creative Identity, a program for adults with developmental challenges where music and the arts are used as tools to develop skills and improve self-confidence.*    Joaquim Dixon, accompanied by George Gilliam, jazz guitarist, music therapist and founder of Creative Identity, sang “Pass it On” and “His Eye is On the Sparrow.”

The Rev. Dr. Jon L. Berquist, President of the Disciples Seminary Foundation in Claremont, California, gave the sermon.  Also participating in the program were many representatives from CCUCC, the Central Association and the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, a partnership nicely summarized by these words from the program:  “God, Eternal Word Within Us, help us listen so that we hear your call to be Christ’s body, claim our gifts, serve faithfully.  May we each in word and action join in mutual ministry.”

The theme of mutual ministry is stressed again in Rev.  Ceniceros comment on the church website, www.ccucclosal.org:   “…we are beginning the New Year in one of the most hopeful ways possible…with an installation service for this community.  In many ways the service is a formal way to celebrate our covenant of joining together in ministry.”  She goes on to speak of them moving forward and rolling up their sleeves to work together while remembering “to carry with us the lightness and hope that comes with a new year.”

The people of CCUCC and Pastor Lorraine appear to be well on their way to a very happy New Year.  May it be all they envision – and more!

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*Creative Identity Vision Statement:  “We envision a supportive and integrated community where individuals with developmental disabilities are valued and accepted as creative and contributing members of society.”

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