Calvary United Methodist Church | 131 West Second Street | Frederick, MD 21701 Church 301-662-1464 School 301-662-6783

I made a trip down to Washington, D.C. this morning to be present for the installation of Dr. Carla Works, as the new Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary today. The installation took place in the Oxnam Chapel on the seminary grounds. Wesley President David McAllister-Wilson explained that this was both an academic occasion, that involved robes and regalia for the professors, as well as a spiritual occasion taking place in a place of worship under the sign of the cross.   It was a wonderful worship service with an inspired preaching, lively music and a receptive gathering of people.


As I sat in the worship service, I was reminded of many other times I have been in that very place. I remember it was in that room that I was welcomed as a new student beginning my formal theological education. It was there that the seminary community gathered after hearing news of the Challenger disaster and after learning of the death of a beloved professor from AIDS. It was there in the chapel that I had to preach two sermons as a rookie as part of an intro to preaching class. It was also in that very chapel on a very warm August afternoon thirty-seven years ago, Wanda and I were married.


The furniture has been altered. There is now a ramp where the pulpit used to be and the altar has been replaced with a table. A projection screen was added and there were only two or three faces I recognized in that place today, but it’s still much the same.


Sitting there, I realize I have changed a good bit, too. And yet, still this is a place where people gather with eager longing to hear a word of good news.  People come to connect with God, find a sense of belonging, to gain a sense that God still has plans and still can breathe life into us and our world. Wherever we find “church,” we can still find something worth holding onto.


Grace and peace,


Rev. Steve Larsen




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