“Take heed therefore unto…all the flock
over the which the Holy Ghost hath
made you [overseer].”
On Sunday, July 27, 2014, Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tucson, Arizona, assembled in the sanctuary of God’s House officially to welcome its new pastor, the Rev. Daniel P. Mensing, in festive worship celebrating his ordination into the Holy Ministry and his installation as the shepherd and overseer of the flock. It was a beautifully sunny day in Tucson, as the members and some guests from Peace in Oak Forest joined in a service of great rejoicing.
Pastor David G. Redlin, the congregation’s pastor for over forty years and now retiring from the office, served as liturgist and officiated in the installation; and Pastor David T. Mensing of Oak Forest, the new pastor’s father, seminary professor and Vice President of the Concordia Lutheran Conference, both preached the sermon and officiated in the ordination. His text was Acts 20:26-28, focusing on The Pastorate of the Local Congregation — I. Its solemn charge, II. Its God-ordained office, III. Its primary duty, and IV. Its ultimate purpose. Following the offering, Vice President Mensing conducted the ordination ceremony — the rite in which a man’s first call into the pastoral office is recognized — and Pastor Redlin then installed the new pastor into the office to which he had been called by the Holy Ghost, namely, the pastorate of Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church. The service was specially beautified by a musical offering sung by the congregation’s choir. After the customary charge to the new pastor, a special intercession, and the Lord’s Prayer, the congregation sang Hymn 484 (“We Bid Thee Welcome in the Name of Jesus”); and the new pastor concluded the service with the Collect for the Church and the Aaronic Benediction. Greetings and letters of congratulation from sister congregations were then read from the lectern before the postlude (“Now thank we all our God!”).
After greeting their new pastor in the receiving line and then assembling outdoors for pictures, the congregation presented to Pastor Redlin a commemorative bench at the entrance to the church, specially constructed by a local craftsman and set with a tiled mosaic highlighting people and events in his ministry at Good Shepherd.
The following Sunday, August 3rd, Good Shepherd formally recognized and celebrated the retirement of Pastor Redlin from the Holy Ministry, in which office he had faithfully served for over fifty years. The communion service was specially enhanced by two offerings rendered by the choir. Pastor Daniel Mensing preached the sermon based on II Kings 2:1-15 — the account of the Prophet Elijah casting the mantle of his office upon his student, Elisha, and then being received into heaven in a chariot of fire. Pastor Mensing’s theme was The Retirement of Our Faithful Pastor, commemorated by (I) our reluctance to see him leave his God-ordained office, (II) our confidence of his continued fellowship in the Gospel, and (III) our thankfulness to God for his succession. The service was followed by a celebratory luncheon and a multi-media presentation reminiscing upon Pastor Redlin’s ministry. Pastor Emeritus Redlin and his dear wife, Susan, continue as cherished members of the congregation.
Let us all remember this beloved congregation in our prayers, that, in the pastorate of their new shepherd, the Lord of the Church would bless the ministration of His Word and Sacraments in their midst for their spiritual nutrition, edification, and preservation in the true faith unto salvation, that He prosper their God-ordained relationship and their work together to His glory in the Kingdom of Grace, and that He graciously grant Pastor Redlin rest from his labors and many further blessings in the coming years of his retirement!
—D. T. M.