Covenant with Rev. Victoria Long

On Sunday October 8, 2017, the Rev. Victoria Long, an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, and a member of Lakewood UCC was affirmed in a four-way covenant.
This covenanting process is the UCC way of honoring the ministry of those who serve in a setting other than the local church.  The partners in the four-way covenant are the individual ordained minister, the local church home of the individual, the wider United Church of Christ, and the organization or institution in which the individual is serving.
In Victoria’s case, the partners were Victoria, Lakewood UCC, the Florida Conference of the UCC, and Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health.  Following several years in parish ministry, Victoria has found herself called to ministry as a Hospice Chaplain (also known as a spiritual care coordinator).  Now that the four-way covenant is in place, Victoria maintains her standing as an authorized minister of the UCC and Lakewood UCC officially recognizes her ministry beyond the congregation taking the church to the world.
Participants in the special liturgy during morning worship on October 8 were Victoria Long, Rev. Leslie Ethredge of the Florida Conference, Charlie Lewis an Advisor at LUCC, and Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care for Suncoast Hospice and and LUCC member.
 

THE FOUR-WAY COVENANT LITURGY

Regional Minister/Conference Rep – LESLIE
We affirm with the wider United Church of Christ that God calls the whole church and every member to participate in and extend the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Further, we recognize that God calls individuals to all kinds of special service to the church and to God’s world on behalf of the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Victoria Long has been called to the special ministry of hospice chaplaincy and the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ now covenants with Victoria in this ministry.

Covenant Partner Representative – JIM ANDREWS
Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health has declared that, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it has called Victoria Long to minister as a Chaplain and that it now receives her as appointed by God and covenants with her in this ministry.

Local Church Rep – CHARLIE LEWIS
Lakewood United Church of Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has prayerfully considered Victoria Long’s call to specialized ministry as a chaplain and now covenants with Victoria in this ministry.

Regional Minister/Conference Rep – LESLIE
Victoria, given that you are called to ordained ministry by the grace of God and that Suncoast Hospice has been led to call you as a spiritual care coordinator, are you willing to covenant with the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ, Lakewood United Church of Christ, and Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health in this specialized ministry?

Individual – VICTORIA
I am willing, and I promise to serve faithfully, fulfilling the pastoral office according to the faith and order of the United Church of Christ.

Regional Minister/Conference Rep – LESLIE
Representatives of Suncoast Hospice and representatives and members of Lakewood Church and the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ, will you rise in body or spirit, and affirm our mutual covenant with Victoria?  We will read together from the statement printed in the bulletin:

Members and Representatives of the Four-Way-Covenant – CONGREGATION
We receive Victoria and offer our prayerful blessing and loving support to her as we enter into this covenant.  May we find together the excitement of new discoveries and new creations, building together a faithful and faith-filled community where love, joy, and peace abound!

Regional Minister/Conference Rep – LESLIE
In the name of Jesus Christ, and on behalf of the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ, I declare that Victoria Long is duly installed as Chaplain and as part of a four-way-covenant. Let the people say, “Thanks be to God!”

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