During the time of the church’s vacancy, a variety of pastors and seminarians served as pulpit supply, but Chuck Tedrick felt a special bond with the congregation from his first visit.
“On my very first visit I went home and told my wife that I hoped to receive a call there one day,” he says. “I had fallen in love with the people.”
During Mr. Tedrick’s final year of his four-year program at Westminster Seminary California, he often led worship services at Calvary URC. He candidated there last spring, but was not eligible to receive a call until he sustained his candidacy exam. Once he successfully sustained his exam at the end of June, the call became official.
“In God’s providence, Classis Southwest 2010 was hosted by Calvary URC in Loveland, thus my exam was in the same church where God was calling me as Minister of Word and Sacraments,” he explains. “It was a joy that some of the members of Calvary were able to attend the exam. In addition, it was delightful to celebrate with them upon sustaining the exam.”
During Mr. Tedrick’s 20 years between undergraduate schooling and his seminary education, he became convinced of the truths of the Reformed confessions.
“I became more and more convinced of the truths of the Word expressed so well in our creeds and confessions,” he says. “I wanted to share these truths and the other rich truths of our faith with others.”
He chose Westminster Seminary California (WSC) for many reasons, some of which were that he was familiar with the writing and preaching of many professors, he was impressed by its desire to produce pastors and scholars, and he was gripped by the faculty’s passion for the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
He appreciates the support and encouragement he received during his seminary career from Christ URC in Santee, Grace URC in Torrance, First URC in Chino as well as other churches and pastors in Classis Southwest. He graduated from WSC in May of 2010.
Rev. Michael Brown of Christ URC in Santee, CA, and Rev. Gregory Bero of Grace URC in Torrance, CA, officiated at Rev. Tedrick’s ordination service. Rev. Brown preached from Ephesians 4:1-16 on “Christ’s Gift to You.” He noted that ministry of the Word is Christ’s gift to his church so that his people will be nourished, protected, and matured.
He pointed out that Christ provides food for his body through the ministry of the Word: “He does not expect his people or want his people to be self-feeders.” Rev. Brown reminded Mr. Tedrick that only God’s Word can nourish the souls of God’s people.
Rev. Brown also spoke about the need for God’s people to be protected from becoming “scattered sheep.” Christ, the True Shepherd, gathers them together and gives his church the gift of unity, which must be protected by “instructing the body in the articles of the historic Christian faith.” He urged Mr. Tedrick to be an example and an instructor, a preacher and a teacher.
Maturity in the faith, he noted, comes from the gospel. Only the gospel enables believers to speak the truth in love with “all humility and gentleness” as we grow in knowledge and become more like Christ our Head. He encouraged Mr. Tedrick to remember that his responsibility is to preach the gospel faithfully, not merely for the conversion of unbelievers, but also for the sanctification of believers, helping them mature.
Rev. Tedrick trusts that through the means of grace God’s people at Calvary URC will be nourished, protected, and matured as they feed on Christ and are conformed to his image by the Holy Spirit.
“I pray that the people of Calvary will know they are loved by God in Christ and seek to live their lives and love their neighbors in light of God’s amazing grace,” he says. “I pray that whether the church grows in numbers or decreases in numbers that we will remain faithful to Christ, His Gospel, and His Church. I pray that we will be a people who worship our Triune God in truth and love.”
Rev. Tedrick’s ordination service took place during morning worship and was followed by a fellowship meal.
Calvary’s 70-member multigenerational congregation has members ranging in age from two months to over 90 years. Church school hour begins at 9:00 a.m. from September through May. Worship services are held at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at 3901 14th St. S.W. in Loveland.
Loveland is situated at 5,000 feet elevation in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, about 50 miles north of Denver and only a half hour the Estes Park eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.
The above article appeared in the September 29, 2010 issue of Christian Renewal.
© Glenda Mathes