Rev. Kramer to be installed at St. John UCC

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"An installation service for the Rev. Kenneth D. Kramer, Jr., newly called minister at St. John United Church of Christ in Lincoln, is planned for 3 p.m., Sunday Oct. 25 at the church. The public is invited.

Installation is a rite that recognizes the new relationship between church and pastor. Rev. Kramer likened it to a marriage ceremony publicly confirming the relationship before God. The theme for the service is: “Moving in faith toward a new future that God will give us.” The theme is based on Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Besides Rev. Kramer eight people will take part in the service, including members of the local congregation, representatives of the parent denomination and long-time friends of the newly called minister. In addition, St. John members will provide special music.

Local participants are St. John president Warren Goetsch and Gary Atteberry, co-chair of the pastoral search committee. “It’s a pivotal point in both the life of the church and in Rev. Kramer’s life,” Atteberry said. “It’s a new beginning for the church. I think Pastor Kramer is excited to be here, and the congregation is excited to have him here.”

The installing pastor is the Rev. Tom Norwalk, associate conference minister of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ. The Illinois Conference comprises five associations. St. John UCC in Lincoln belongs to the 35-member Western Association, which will send three representatives. They include the Rev. Robert Sherman, moderator, and two members of the Church and Ministry Committee, the Rev. Dan Dexter and the Rev. Dwight Borden.

The Rev. Ron Ziemer will give the charge to the new minister, and the Rev. Connie Williams Moodie will present the charge to the congregation. Both are long-time friends of Pastor Kramer.

Following the installation ceremony, the congregation will serve a dinner. The public is invited to attend both the service and the meal. The church is located at the corner of Seventh and Maple streets in Lincoln.

This is the eighth installation service for Rev. Kramer. He was ordained in 1980 by his father, the Rev. Kenneth D. Kramer, Sr., at St. John’s UCC in Belvidere, IL, and has since served the United Church of Christ in both called and interim positions. He came to Lincoln from an interim pastorate at Salem Evangelical UCC in Quincy. His most recent called pastorate was in Marion, IL.

The Rev. Ken Kramer holds a bachelor’s degree in history education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and a master’s of divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

He began work in Lincoln on Aug. 1. In July his wife, Norma Kramer, suffered a broken back from a fall. Rev. Kramer said they have found members of St. John UCC to be “wonderfully generous and kind; we are deeply appreciative” for their work on the parsonage and their care when Norma was most fragile. He added that the citizens of Lincoln have been wonderful in helping the couple get settled in the community.


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