April 8 was a day that I will never forget. Thank you to each of you for giving me the opportunity to be installed as Co-Pastor alongside Hal on that day. It was a truly beautiful celebration and a fitting conclusion to the hard work and prayer of so many people in our congregation and presbytery.
The highlight for me was that my Dad, Pastor Karl Kling, gave a charge to Hal and me from the pulpit. This is a very old tradition in the Presbyterian Church that a member of the clergy gives a word of exhortation to a newly installed pastor to set the tone for their upcoming ministry.
Karl noted that the largest Presbyterian church in the world is the Myung Sung Presbyterian Church in Seoul, South Korea. They report 100,000 members (!) and seven worship services on Sundays. Their esteemed Senior Pastor, Dr. Kim Sam-Whan, has been their leader since 1980.
But for all that grandeur and achievement, the pastors of Myung Sung have a rule before entering the pulpit: Take off your shoes.
That’s because our worship is Holy Ground. It is bigger than the preacher. It is more than the congregation. Every week as we gather together to hear and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, we stand in the presence of the Living God, the Risen Christ.
So like Moses in Exodus chapter 3, we must take off our shoes. We stand in the presence of one who is
bigger than achievement
bigger than our pain
bigger than our slavery
Jesus Christ leads us through the wilderness of sin and death and into the land of God’s promises.
So every week the pastors of Myung Sung take off their shoes before they preach. And each day that Hal and I serve you as Co-Pastors we promise to take off our shoes, so that we might serve you not out of our own strength, but out of the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for sharing this Holy Ground at 301 Drake Ave SE with us. Let’s all take off our shoes as we walk through this new season together into the land of God’s Promises.
I can’t wait to hear what happens next!