A full congregation was onhand Sunday afternoon to witness the ordination of Gary A. Rarick, of Tamaqua, at St. Peter's Union Church in Mantzville.

Rarick, a 2003 Tamaqua graduate, is the son of Glenn and Sarah Rarick, who both presented him his stole during the ordination.

Located in Plainville, N.Y., Rarick's new church will be the Plainville Christian Church United Church of Christ.

Being a local firefighter with the Tamaqua American Hose Company and York Fire Company, Rarick anxiously chose to join the Plainville fire company, which is located directly across the street from his church.

Some of the people participating in the service were Brooke Barski, Rarick's sister-in-law, and Daniel Coombe, Rarick's cousin, who both did the prelude; Rev. Cheryl Moore, St. Peter's Church, who gave the greeting and welcoming statements; Breanna Rarick, Rarick's wife, who read scriptures and presented him with his robe; the Rev. Christian Creyer, Rarick's friend and colleague, who gave the call to worship; the Rev. Alan Miller, Penn Northeast Conference minister, who provided the children's message; Christine Miller, president of the Joint Board, St. Peter's Church who provided two congregational paintings to Rarick; the Rev. Joanne Marchetto, Rarick's mentor and colleague, who provided meditation; and Ken Landon, member of the Plainville UCC Church, who shared words of praise in anticipation of Rarick becoming their pastor.

In addition to many other church activities, Rarick served locally with the Sons of Congregation at St. Peter's Church and consistory at St. John's UCC in Tamaqua.

"Finally, I'm done," said Rarick, referring to earning a master's degree via his combined eight years studying at Penn State Hazleton Campus and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He also expressed his appreciation to the congregation, friends and family for helping him reach this point.