CRO Update: Summer is here!

Hello from your Church Relations Officers!

We have had a busy few weeks between the two of us. Currently, Rev. Jordan Davis is enjoying some much-needed vacation time with her husband. Jordan has not taken a vacation since beginning her journey with Union shortly after graduation, so we hope she is enjoying some time away!20160714_133229

If you’ve been following our blog, you will have noticed that she has written entries for several weeks. She was carrying the torch for our office while I have been away on maternity leave. My husband and I welcomed our first child, Estelle McCoy Ball, in the early morning hours of Monday, May 30th. She is perfect in every way, but we’re a bit biased!Baby Stella-7

Last week was my first week back to the “office” of emails, liturgical preparation, and traveling to guest preach at Fairlawn Presbyterian Church in Fairlawn, Virginia. I was a bit nervous to get back into the pulpit after several weeks away, but I was greeted with such warmth and hospitality at Fairlawn. My worries soon melted away after walking through the front doors.


Fairlawn is just outside of Radford University campus and is currently pastored by alum Rev. Allison Unroe, a 2011 graduate of Union. The plan for my visit worked out well as Allison was scheduled to serve as Pastor in Residence at Camp Hanover, a site and position very dear to her heart. Fairlawn Presbyterian Church holds Allison very dear to their hearts. She was described by several members as, “a young pastor with an old soul”, and it became very clear that she has cared well for this predominately older, smaller congregation.

I was aided by a lovely congregant, Anne Green, who assisted in worship with me. Anne was a great resource to me, a visiting preacher, because she shared about how things are “done” to help orient me to their worship style and preferences. I find this incredibly helpful as I navigate as visiting pastor! Moreover, the use of lay-leadership is incredibly empowering for congregational members and Fairlawn does this very well.

If you are a clergy person, you may understand the necessity of taking off Sundays for Sabbath, continuing education, or, God forbid, in an emergency. If you are a lay-person, you may understand the joy in participating in planning or leading worship in your congregation. Supporting the full-participation of members and leaders, alike, in worship unites the Body of Christ in beautiful ways!

Do you include lay-leadership in your congregation? In what ways are lay-leaders invited to plan, participate, and lead in your congregation? We’d love to hear about them!

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We would love to see you while we are out and about visiting congregations and presbyteries. Interested in a visit? Shoot an email to our address listed on the right column of the blog! —>

Nicole C. Ball, Church Relations Officer