Church communities of Longboat Key came together to celebrate the installation of the first full-time pastor and first woman pastor of Christ Church of Longboat Key.
The installation of the Rev. Julia Piermont took place Feb. 4.
Piermont’s pastor colleagues came to support her at the special service. The Rev. Brock Patterson of the Longboat Island Chapel, the Rev. David Marshall of All Angels By the Sea Episcopal Church, the the Rev. Nancy Deming of All Angels, Ruling Presbyterian Elder Doug Haddix of Worthington Presbyterian Church in Ohio, the Rev. Richard Culp from St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Texas, and the Rev. Melana Scruggs of Peace River Presbytery in Port Charlotte were part of the 220 attendees at the service.
Previous Christ Church pastors, the Rev. Norman Pritchard and the Rev. Bruce Porter, also attended. Both worked part-time at Christ Church, never calling for an installation. As the first full-time pastor, Piermont had the honor of having the first-ever installation service at Christ Church.
“Pastor Julia opened our eyes to putting our full trust in Jesus, even with discomfort,” said Haddix, from Piermont’s previous congregation, in the service. “Before Pastor Julia arrived, our church had gone through a two-year interim period. Her boldness gave us more courage. Her trust in God gave us confidence. She didn't put the wind in our sails, she helped us trust that God will do that. So may it be for Christ Church that all of you move forward together powered by the Holy Spirit with Julia as your captain, like she did for us.”
The Rev. Laurie Haas led the installation ceremony. This included Piermont reciting “The Litany of the Gifts,” promises and vows.
The end of the ceremony had all elders in the Presbyterian Church and ordained clergy from different faiths who attended the service putting their hands on Piermont and praying the prayer of installation. Piermont ended the service by blessing the attendants.
“I feel surrounded by great support,” said Piermont. “It is a humbling feeling on the one hand. The service made me very humbled and, on the other hand, very powered by prayer. I’m so grateful for my colleagues being here. It is a huge gift for them to give that kind of support.”