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‘I encourage your continuing ministry here’: Aurora pastor leaves Methodist church

Aurora Methodist minister says goodbye

AURORA, Ill., May 28, 2018—Aurora resident Rev. Deborah Tinsley Taylor said goodbye Sunday, May 27, to Fourth Street United Methodist Church in Aurora, where she served as pastor for eight years.

Taking a working retirement, Rev. Taylor is headed to Riverside and Cicero UMC churches where she starts as pastor of both churches July 1.

For her final sermon in Aurora, Rev. Taylor preached on “Impossible Mission Accomplished.”

The Sunday service featured a farewell ceremony honoring Rev. Taylor. During a litany of farewell, the pastor presented four gifts: a bible, communion basin, communion bread and a stole signifying office of pastor, prophet, teacher and leader.

The litany was followed by screened images reflecting Rev. Taylor’s tenure at Fourth Street UMC.

On behalf of the congregation, Giuliana Eggert, staff-parish relations committee chair, presented Rev. Taylor with a 49-in. television. Other gifts were presented at a reception that closed the farewell ceremony.

In her column in the April-May “The Chronicle,” church newsletter, Rev. Taylor cited highlights of her ministry. Included were beachball Sunday, Pajamuary Sunday, leap frog Sunday, Judas trial reenactment and numerous fundraisers.

Other highlights were downtown Aurora farmer’s market prayer booth, prayer beads, driveup prayer booth and dispensing Ash Wednesday ashes on the foreheads of commuters at local Metra train stations.

Rev. Deborah Tinsley Taylor, left, receives a 49-in. television at a farewell ceremony Sunday (May 27) marking her retirement at Fourth Street United Methodist Church in Aurora. Right is Giuliana Eggert, presenter. (Al Benson photo)

Effective July 1, Rev. Taylor will be succeeded by Rev. Derek Rogers, pastor at the Oswego campus of Wheatland Salem UMC. Rev. Rogers, a Sandwich native and Oswego resident, will pastor both Fourth Street UMC and Flowing Grace UMC, which worships at Aurora Christian School in Aurora.

After months of study and discussion, the congregations of both churches voted in April to merge July 1. In May, congregants voted to name the combined church Flowing Forth.

On July 1, Rev. Rogers will preach at an initial combined service at 10 a.m. at ACS. Starting July 8, worship will be held at 9 a.m. at Fourth Street UMC and at 11 a.m. at Flowing Grace until a new location is established for the combined churches.. On the first Sunday of each month, a joint service will be held at 10 a.m. alternately at Fourth Street and Flowing Grace locations.

Call (630) 897-5257 for more information.

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John Ross on Saturday, April 23, 2016 launched XPian News, a part of  Daybreak Communications, Inc. Ross is the facilitator of Aurora Christian Ministry Network (ACMN) and a member of the Fox Valley Christian Ministerial Alliance (FVCMA). He serves on the boards of Wayside Cross Ministries and the Kiwanis Club of Aurora. As a follower of Jesus, he has been for some 40 years a member of First Presbyterian Church - Aurora. He has an M.A. - Christian Leadership from Wheaton College Graduate School and undergraduate at Trinity International University.

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