Birds, Breakfast, Bull’s-eye, and Bob Marley?
Following the 10:30 am worship service, I gladly received suggestions on how to complete the alliteration of the four points in this past weekend’s message.
In my message, I noted that Jesus’ words in the latter half of Matthew 6 could be illustrated with the following images: birds, breakfast, and bull’s-eye. You may recall that I offered a fourth image, one of the pages of a calendar flipping to reflect the passage of time and to illustrate Jesus’ words in verse 34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” The problem with my message was that “calendar” didn’t maintain the pattern of birds, breakfast and bull’s-eye!
One suggestion for the “fourth b” was Bob Marley, recalling his carefree Jamaican music with its reggae beat. Another was Bobby McFerrin with his 1988 hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” McFerrin’s song does invoke a carefree attitude about the future, doesn’t it? A third suggestion was “beyond,” referring to the fact that followers of Jesus are not to be too concerned about tomorrow.
I appreciated the assistance and the creative minds of Pearce attenders. I think I should be consulting with this group before the weekend, don’t you? I can use all the help I can get!
Romania and Poland
Following one of the services, a woman who was visiting from out of town approached Pastor Mike. She related that she was impressed by the teens’ commitment to go to Romania and Poland and wanted to donate an anonymous gift in memory of a relative who had recently passed away. She asked Pastor Mike how much the trip was costing each of the teens. Pastor Mike responded that since each teen had already placed a $500 deposit, a balance of $1,800 was needed per person. The woman immediately pulled out her checkbook and wrote a check for $1,800, thus covering the remaining expenses for one of the teens.
A New Look in the Agapé Hallway!
If you wander upstairs near the Agapé Counseling Offices at Pearce, you’ll notice a fresh, new look. Earlier this week I found counselors Kelly Hammel and Anita McLeod sprucing up the offices. Agapé is a wonderful Christian organization, providing “professional counseling that integrates biblical truth with proven methods of psychological healing.” For several years, Agapé has utilized two offices at Pearce. This winter they are expanding into a third office, allowing a wider range of options for those in our community looking for help. For more information, visit Agapé’s Web site at www.agaperoc.org.
As I was working on this edition of the Dangling, I received word that Florence Mannoia passed away on January 12 at the age of 87. Florence’s husband Jim served as Pearce’s senior pastor for six years beginning in 1972. Prior to their coming to Pearce, Florence and Jim served for nearly a decade as Free Methodist missionaries to Brazil. A memorial service will be held at the Spring Arbor Church in Michigan on March 10 at 2:00 pm
Pearce will be joining with churches across the United States to observe Freedom Sunday on February 26. As the abolition of slavery is a significant part of our own denominational heritage, the Pearce pastoral team feels it is important for us to keep the contemporary issue of human trafficking before us.
On the weekend of February 18 & 19, copies of a “Fast for Freedom” prayer guide will be available at Pearce. (Or, you can download copies of the prayer guide by going to http://www.freedomsunday.org/downloads/FFF-Prayer-Guide.pdf.) Published by Not for Sale, this guide was written by people from various Christian communities from countries throughout the world. It combines the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Scripture, and fasting. I hope you’ll secure a copy and utilize it during the approaching Lenten season.
Al Tizon at Pearce
I am looking forward to having Dr. Al Tizon at Pearce the weekend of March 3 & 4. Dr. Tizon is the Associate Professor of Evangelism and Holistic Ministry at the seminary of Eastern University in Philadelphia. His passion is helping to equip faith communities to do holistic ministry in their communities, especially on behalf of the poor and the marginalized.
On his Web site, Dr. Tizon writes: “Evangelism, church renewal, compassion, justice, and mission—subjects I teach—may sound ‘old school’ to postmodern ears. Still, to work with students to understand both the intellectual and the practical impact of the old, old Story upon a desperately needy world is what gets me up in the morning.”