Celebrating a Culture of Call: First Christian Church, Medina, Ohio

October has long been celebrated as the Ministry Appreciation Month (with this week especially noted as “Week of the Ministry”), and many congregations take advantage of the month’s special designation by lifting up their pastors in various ways. Some hold “pastor appreciation” events; some honor their pastor with a special moment during a Sunday church service; some lift up the various ministries of their congregation in a significant way; some collect designated offerings for a seminary or a seminary student.

This year, First Christian Church in Medina, Ohio, has taken the opportunity to recognize not just their full-time, paid pastor, LTS alum Rev. Laura Fitt-Baird, but also the eight other pastors who call FCC Medina their home congregation. Rev. Fitt-Baird says she has wanted to call attention to the gifts and skills of the other pastors in the congregation for a while, and so this year, she designed worship during the month of October to include others: Rev. Josh Baird (LTS alum, and also Laura’s husband); Rev. Don Baird (Vanderbilt alum and Laura’s father-in-law); Rev. Becky Baird (LTS alum and Laura’s sister-in-law); Nicole Curet, Ali Miguel, and Ryan Collins (current LTS students); and retired pastors Rev. Reid Miller and Rev. Paul Durbin.

Worship during October will include these folks preaching and providing the bulk of worship leadership. In addition, a love offering will be collected in support of the three LTS students.

What a tremendous celebration of those called to ministry! What a beautiful witness to the talents of so many among us! We give thanks for First Christian, Medina, and for the ministries they offer their community and the world.

There are many ways to celebrate. Laura’s is just one, and it is tailored to her very specific context and congregation. Another way might be offer a gift to the Ministerial Education Fund in honor or memory of a pastor who has meant a great deal to you — perhaps one who nurtured your own call, or walked with you through a difficult time, or has had a significant impact on the life of the Church.

Who might this person be for you? As you give thanks for his or her life and witness, we do so as well here at LTS, as we do for each person who supports the work of the Seminary and the call of our students.

Happy Ministry Appreciation Month — may God’s blessings abound in your work, and may you know how grateful we are for your ministry.