Melinda Bobo has a familiar face, but Wednesday night was the first time she was officially recognized by her church.
Bobo has been leading Lutheran Church of Grace and St. Mark's Episcopal Church since September, though she just had her institution this week.
"Everyone has a real sense of what we come together for and what they're celebrating after six months," Bobo said.
The tradition is an Episcopalian one that gives clergy time to get settled in before asking for their commitment to the church. She's now the pastor of the Lutheran congregation and vicar (head of a mission church) of St. Mark's.
"In terms of work itself, it doesn't change any of that," Bobo said.
She likened the service, an exchange of commitments between her and the congregation, to a wedding ceremony.
"It does make a difference to stand up and say those words," she said.
Bobo's responsibilities won't change, but the feeling in the church might.
"This is a church that's rejoicing that we have a wonderful, wonderful vicar and pastor leading us," Church of Grace member Nancy Muldoon said. "We are singing with a louder voice."
Bobo was honored to have bishops from the Episcopalian Diocese and Lutheran Senate, both in Denver, attend her service and reception.
"It connects us to the larger church and it reminds us this is not our private party," she said.
Her parents, Charles and Annie Ruth Bobo of Spartanburg, S.C., came for the occasion as well.
Bobo agreed to stay at Lutheran Church of Grace for five years when she came, and she's eager to watch the congregation learn together over the long term.
"My real goal for both congregations is really just to grow in their relationships with God and each other," she said. "As we can do that together, it's going to be really exciting."
But there seems to be some debate over who's getting the better end of the bargain.
"We really think we're blessed," Muldoon said.
"Thank you," Bobo replied. "I am too."
For more information on the churches, which share a meeting place at 657 Green St., call 824-3470.