Installation at St. Mark’s


“Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice.”  —Philippians 4:4

It was a time of much joy for the members of St. Mark’s Ev. Lutheran Church (F.L.C.), Sauk Village, Illinois, when, on Sunday, August 17, 2003, the Rev. Paul E. Bloedel was ordained and installed as their pastor. Their joy was shared (Romans 12:15a) with members from five of their sister congregations: Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church (F.L.C.), Oak Park, Illinois; Peace Ev. Lutheran Church (C.L.C.), Oak Forest, Illinois; Faith Ev. Lutheran Church (C.L.C.), Jackson, Michigan; Faith Ev. Lutheran Church (F.L.C.), Stover, Missouri; and St. Luke’s Ev. Lutheran Church (C.L.C.), Seattle, Washington.

For the special, festive worship service, Pastor David T. Mensing of Peace preached the sermon on Acts 20:26-28, with the theme: The Pastorate of the Local Congregation(I) Its solemn charge, (II) its God-ordained office, (III) its primary duty, and (IV) its ultimate purpose.   Pastor  Robert J. Lietz of Trinity served as liturgist.  The choral anthem, “Lord of the Living Harvest” (Hymn 492), was sung by members from both St. Mark’s and Trinity.  The ordination of Pastor Bloedel was carried out by Pastor Lietz, President of the F.L.C., and the installation by Pastor Mensing, one of Pastor Bloedel’s seminary professors. There was a reception following the worship service, hosted by the ladies of St. Mark’s.

At a special meeting of the Voters’ Assembly on July 6, the voters of St. Mark’s, on the first ballot, had unanimously cast their votes for Candidate Bloedel to be their pastor-elect.  He accepted their call on July 8, thus becoming their God-given shepherd under Christ.  St. Mark’s provided him and his family with a “West Coast break” from about mid-July to mid-August, to help him “catch his breath” after a very strenuous academic year, followed by a thorough (and successful, by God’s grace) colloquy at the June C.L.C. Pastoral Conference.

The members of St. Mark’s are very, very grateful to the Concordia Lutheran Conference for planning, carrying out, and supporting the five-year theological training program which Pastor Bloedel successfully completed in June.  They are especially appreciative of his professors’ labors during those five years, and of the great patience and cooperation of their respective congregations.  But most of all, they are thankful to the Triune God for providing them with a faithful pastor.  Their confession is exactly that of the Psalmist: “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).

 —R. J. L.