Hills vacancy brief as a former minister returns

Rev. Alan and Wanda Camarigg
Rev. Alan and Wanda Camarigg

When Rev. Alan and Wanda Camarigg arrived in Hills, MN, on February 6, 2013, to serve the URC, it was somewhat like coming home. Rev. Camarigg previously served the Hills congregation from 1991-1997.

But leaving their congregation and most of their family in Lynden, WA, after living there for 16 years seemed very much like leaving home.

“We left all our children and grandchildren behind in Washington with the exception of our second to the youngest son,” says Rev. Camarigg, explaining that he now lives in nearby Rock Valley, IA. Even their youngest son stayed behind to finish school before beginning a nursing program in Bellingham this fall. “So, all of a sudden, Wanda and I are ‘empty nesters.’”

Although that aspect of the move has been difficult, the Camariggs are excited to be back in Hills, warmly welcomed by the congregation they left 16 years ago. Rev. Camarigg preached on the morning of February 17 as a “guest preacher,” and was installed during the evening service.

Rev. Spencer Aalsburg, of the Sioux Falls United Reformed Fellowship, led the installation service. Preaching from Ephesians 4:11-16 on “Our God calls us to mature into the full-grown body of Christ,” he emphasized that the church’s teaching ministry is for equipping the saints to works of ministry or service.

The Hills URC meets for worship at 9:30 AM and 6:30 PM. The congregation consists of about 120 members.

Rev. Camarigg attended Mid-America Reformed Seminary, followed by a required year’s instruction at Calvin, prior to accepting his first call to Hills in 1991. In 1997, he accepted the call to Lynden Orthodox Christian Reformed Church, which became Covenant Grace Reformed Church when it left the OCRC in 2006. In 2012 the congregation voted to affiliate with the URCNA.

“Part of considering a call is reviewing the past,” says Rev. Camarigg, “and one of the things that Wanda and I realized is that we’ve always been in positions of flux with regard to federative and denominational issues.”

“The Lynden congregation joined the URC just this fall, for which we were very thankful, but the Hills congregation has been in the URC federation for 14 or 15 years now; and I’m really looking forward to focusing on the preaching and teaching ministry.”

“My goal is, by God’s grace and reliance upon Him, to feed Christ’s sheep and lambs with His Word; and my prayer is that the Lord will grant spiritual growth to the congregation so that we may serve Him faithfully in the years to come to the glory of His name.”

The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 13 of the March 20, 2013, issue of Christian Renewal.

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