For more than half a century, Eckerd College has sustained its covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Through the decades, we have nurtured, supported, served beside, and learned from each other. Today we gather to reaffirm our history and look toward our future.
When a congregation calls a new pastor, it looks with affection on the stories and people who have brought it to this point and looks toward the next chapter. As Eckerd College installs, for the first time in its history, two Presbyterian ministers of Word and Sacrament to head its Spiritual Life programs, we, too, turn our eyes toward the new possibilities for spiritual life on this campus.
We celebrate in this Installation the vision of those founding presbyteries and congregations by confirming their vision of what the Reformation was all about: to take God's Word out of the closely protected monastic cloister and bring it into the streets and homes and classrooms of everyday life.
We also celebrate in this Installation the myriad ways the Eckerd College community honors faith -- from a commitment to world-class teaching and learning to the dedication of students and alumni engaging in service across the globe.
As Eckerd College looks toward the next half a century, we do so grateful for our partners in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Donald R. Eastman III
President, Eckerd College
In the act of "installing," those previously ordained formalize their call to a particular ministry; in today's service that ministry is as chaplains to Eckerd College. The Book of Order, Part II of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) offers this explanation for the installation of ministers of Word and Sacrament: "Every Christian is called by God to serve the church; however God calls some persons to serve the church in particular and specific ways in congregations. When the [community], the presbytery, and the minister[s] have all concurred in a call to a permanent or designated pastoral position, the presbytery shall complete the call process by organizing and conducting the service of installation." (W-4.4006) This evening's service is an official meeting of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, the governing body to which Doug and Libby are members. Today's celebration serves as a reminder to both the Eckerd College community and the wider Church of our unique connection through covenant relationship.