Church bells chime for new pastor at Friedens Lutheran
The Rev. Mary Gade, associate of Bishop Samuel Zeiser of the Northeastern Synod, served as the installation official for the new pastor at Friedens Lutheran Church, Stony Run.
Pastor Althea Albright, a Berks County native, came to the church in February after looking into several different denominations. She decided Lutheran was more aligned to her beliefs.
Albright said she felt called to the ministry since she was in middle school. She attended Susquehanna University and the Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary.
Before the children’s message, the class sang “This Little Light of Mine.”
The church displayed red as a symbol of Reformation Sunday. The color was used by Martin Luther when he helped found the Protestant denominations. The children’s message was about his use of symbolism.
During the sermon, Pastor Albright asked how strangers are treated. Luther termed them “neighbors.”
“We pray for all who are in danger today,” she prayed. “May all in Pittsburgh know your presence.”
Council President and Call Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Lampart introduced Pastor Albright for her official installation.
“After prayerful deliberation, we of Friedens Lutheran Church have called Althea Diane Albright as pastor,” Lampart said. “I present her and this letter certifying the call.”
Bible readings followed including this from Timothy: “Set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
Gade asked Albright several questions including: Will you commit yourself to this new trust and responsibility in the confidence that it comes from God? Will you preach and teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and in harmony with the constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America? and Will you give faithful witness in the world that God’s love may be known in all you do?
Albright answered to each one: “I will and I ask God to help me.”
The congregation was asked if it would receive Althea Albright as a messenger of Jesus Christ, sent to serve all people with the gospel of hope and salvation?
The congregation’s answer was “We will, and we ask God to help us.”
“Althea Albright, the office of pastor is now committed to you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” Gade said.
Three members of the congregation told her what her job will be: “You have been called to be among us to baptize, to teach and to forgive sins.” “You have been called to be among us to proclaim the good news.” “You have been called to be among us to preside at the Lord’s supper.“
Gade then introduced the new pastor: “People of God, I present to you Althea Albright, your pastor. Let us welcome her in the name of Christ,” said Gade.
The Sunday School children provided the flowers for the installation and a luncheon followed the service in fellowship hall.