Many of you already know Rev. Canon Gina Gilland Campbell from when she was appointed to serve Laurel Heights in the early 1990’s or through her marriage to her husband Arch. However you may have been introduced, I know all of you will want to welcome her back into the Laurel Heights pulpit as she presides for World Communion.

Reverend Campbell is a native of the Rio Texas Conference and has helped to shape the lives of many congregations here and all over the United States. Reverend Campbell serves as faculty on the Center for Family Process and has worked with Dr. Murray Bowen and Rabbi Edwin Friedman, in addition to the congregations she has served. Through her ministry, work at the center and her private practice, Gina has provided tools and concepts to better the lives and ministries of clergy, laity, professionals and families for over 25 years.

Gina is currently serving as the Canon Precentor of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, the National Cathedral, where she facilitates worship. The role of “Precentor” is carried over from the synagogues into the early church. The title of “Canon” refers to a cleric conducting his or her life according to the orders or rules of the church. This way of life grew common (and is first docu-
mented) in the 8th century. She was the first United Methodist pastor to preside over the Eucharist in the National Cathedral under the recent covenant between The Episcopal Church of America and The United Methodist Church and has done great work in building bridges between differing faiths and denominations throughout her ministry.

Reverend Campbell is ordained as Elder in the Rio Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church and has served faithfully since her ordination in 1985. She is a compelling presence representing the church in liturgy, word, order and sacrament and while letting each aspect of her ordination stand on its own with its own authority, she is able to communicate the overwhelming presence of Christ in the church as each individual aspect blends together in the common body of worship.

Each part of worship influences and affects every other part of worship. No one part stands alone. Our lives and attitudes affect our worship and in turn, our worship should affect our lives and day to day living. The attitudes of our past and the families we grew up with shape the way we hear the scriptures and see the kingdom of God being lived out in our congregations, our communities and then back into our current family situation. By
coming together on World Communion Sunday and sharing in the ancient liturgy of breaking bread and sharing the cup, you are participating in the shaping of the church, the kingdom of God and your life.

Sabbatical is a time for renewal and growth. As Rev. Campbell leads the congregation in its Sabbath rest, the liturgy of Word and Table and thehearing and receiving of the Word of God, may you individually and as a body be renewed and strengthened.