Members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and the Monmouth College community lay their hands on Jessica Hawkinson, kneeling center, during her ordination on Sunday in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.
Sunday at Dahl Chapel and Auditorium, a rich experience got a little richer for Jessica Hawkinson.
Representatives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and several members of the Monmouth College community came together to celebrate Hawkinson’s ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church and her installation as the College’s associate chaplain.
“My experience at Monmouth so far has been so rich,” said Hawkinson, who began working at Monmouth on Nov. 1. “The students I’ve met have made the College such an inviting and inspiring place.”
The opportunity to serve in the clergy is exciting for Hawkinson. She said she looks forward to continuing work as the associate chaplain and also serving as a leader of the Lux Summer Theological Institute
, a new summer program beginning this year that “introduces high school students to theology and helps mold them into inspired learners.” She also has hopes to encourage interfaith groups to be more active on campus.
“Jessica, after leading the Lux Summer Theological Institute for high school youth and after working with our Presbyterian ministry to college students, will have some very helpful and valuable insights into what young students want and need,” said Monmouth’s chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Teri M. Ott.
Also in attendance at Sunday’s ordination ceremony was Hawkinson’s mother, the Rev. Dr. Suzan Hawkinson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield (Ill.), who gave a touching speech during the Charge to the Newly Ordained.
Different colored stoles, each with symbolic meanings and purposes, were presented by Hawkinson’s brothers, father and husband.
The Rev. Mark Koenig of the Presbyterian Mission Agency explained during his sermon that although Hawkinson has been working for the College for some time, the purpose of Sunday’s gathering was to officially accredit her as an exemplary member and leader of the church.