On March 19, Pittsburgh Mennonite Church celebrated the ordination of our pastor, Dave Swanson. While Dave was licensed when he first joined us in Pittsburgh in 2014, the further process of ordination is meaningful because it recognizes God’s call, the congregation’s affirmation, and a pastor’s dedication to ministry.
Many friends and family were able to join us, and Isaac Villegas, a friend and mentor as well as Dave’s former pastor at Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, drew on passages from John 4 to preach on Living Water. Dave Mischler, the Allegheny Mennonite Conference minister and interim pastor at Scottdale Mennonite, led the ordination service. Michelle Burkholder, associate pastor of Hyattsville Mennonite Church, brought a supportive letter from Pastor Cindy Lapp and her congregation and gifted Dave with a beautiful piece of cutout art based on Romans 5:1-5: “Now since we have been made right in God’s sight by our faith, we are at peace with God through our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us to the grace in which we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to the day on which we will become all that God has intended. But not only that—we even rejoice in our afflictions! We know that affliction produces perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and character, hope. And such a hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” With special music by Tony Brown and children’s time with the puppets (including Puppet Pastor Dave, of course), we enjoyed worshipping together and we were able to share a meal afterwards and take some time to get to know the many people who came to show their support for Dave and Caren. Dan Peirce, Dave’s brother-in-law, shared a photo montage that he made of the service, which you can see here.
(Photo credit: Joyce Wasser)