Last Friday I made my way over to Pearce’s Family Life Center to catch the opening ceremony of the Annual Mission Garage Sale. It’s a rather amazing experience to enter Pearce’s atrium and see the crowd lined up to enter the gym, some of whom had been waiting an hour for the sale to open. The atrium was so crowded in front of the gym doors that I had to go back outside and make my way into the gym via a back delivery door! Once inside, Bev Roy invited me to offer a prayer for the sale. She gathered together the team of volunteers, all easily identified by their yellow T-shirts, and I had the privilege of praying for the sale, asking God to bless it so that funds could be raised for missions.
And God did bless this year’s sale. A total of $13,000 was raised to help support this summer’s mission teams to Poland and Romania, to help Rev. Kevin Austin’s work in fighting human trafficking, and to assist Olive Kamerara, a Rwandan student at the University of Kigali, in obtaining her degree.
Thanks to all of those who worked so hard for this year’s sale and supplied the hundreds of man hours necessary to make the effort successful!
A Half-Century of Bliss!
I recently received an invitation addressed to the entire Pearce family inviting everyone to attend a reception celebrating Drs. Wayne and Darlene McCown’s Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. The reception will be held on Sunday, June 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Lighthouse Christian Camp near Barker, New York. If you plan to attend, please RSVP via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 626-664-7078.
Members of the upcoming mission teams to Poland and Romania will be gratified to know that they have the support of the first and second grade CLC class at Pearce. Pastor Mike and Jackie Kuhlkin were recently presented with a bag of coins collected by the members of the class, along with notes and a photo of the group. One of the notes read: “The first and second graders have been praying for you. Thank you for going to tell others about Jesus!” What a wonderful expression of love and encouragement for the teens heading out in July and August!
Bell Tower Restoration Moves Ahead
This past Monday, Pearce’s Facility Committee, with the approval of the Official Board, is moving ahead with the restoration of the Bell Tower. The Elmer Davis Company has been contracted to complete the project at a cost of $45,000. An estimated additional $1,000 will be spent on painting. The work is scheduled for this June.
To date a total of $15,700 has been graciously given by the Pearce family toward a goal of $25,000 to cover half of the project’s total cost. Funds from the estate of Stan and Virginia Magill are covering the other half of the restoration. If you haven’t yet contributed, I encourage you to help us raise the remaining funds in the next several weeks.
It’s All in a Sunday Morning
This past Sunday morning was so beautiful, I decided to stand outside the north entrance of Pearce before and after worship services. Following the 10:30 am service a couple of kids began climbing on the huge boulder that sits alongside our Family Life Center. I couldn’t resist the urge to join them, so I clambered on top of the rock and posed for a few photos with them. I can’t think of a better way to conclude a springtime Sunday morning at church than by hanging out on the boulder with a few of my friends.
I like to keep you posted on any good books that I’ve recently come across. Last week I finished the most engrossing book I’ve read in months titled, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. The book relates the events surrounding the death of James A. Garfield, a president who had remained largely unknown to me. Candice Millard, the author of the book, does a remarkable job of bringing Garfield to life. Garfield entered public life with a profound sense of calling. A near drowning while he worked on the Erie Canal convinced him that God “had saved me for my mother and for something greater and better than canalling.”
Pastor John Returns
Pastor John Tassone will return to Senegal this Saturday (May 5). You may recall that John and his family “adopted” the village of Ndidor in 2004. This will be his ninth trip, and he will be spending time catching up with his adopted family, sharing in times of prayer, talking of God’s Story, and exploring the long-term needs of the village. John will also investigate the possibility of having a medical team visit the village in early 2013. (If you are a medical professional and are interested in this opportunity, contact John at email@example.com.)
A Well-Lighted Place
Yesterday, Charles Canon, a junior at RWC, was studying in Pearce’s Common Grounds. While reading a Hemingway short story entitled “A Clean Well-Lighted Place,” he paused to remark to Dr. Paul Stewart, at a nearby table, that he appreciated Common Grounds. Dr. Stewart encouraged Charles to write his thoughts. So he did, in the style of Ernest himself!
I have found Common Grounds to be a clean well-lighted place and an excellent location for study and socialization. Unlike other coffee shops, the Pearce Café has bright lights, which are conducive for studying. Unlike other coffee shops that play music, Common Grounds at Pearce does not. I find this desirable at a coffee shop. In addition, the community at Common Grounds is noteworthy. When the workers are not busy, they will engage in conversation. Many college groups utilize the Café for discussions. I have had some free time this semester, and I have enjoyed spending it at Common Grounds Café. I am glad that Common Grounds Café is here because “there may be someone who needs the Café.” Common Grounds Café is clean and pleasant. It is also well lighted.
Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of spending some time with Roberts’ students who have called Pearce their church home during their college years. Greg Coles, who is graduating this weekend and heading back home to Potsdam to serve on staff at the New Hope Community Church, sent me his reflections on his experience at Pearce.
My time at Pearce: I might need a thesaurus to look up a sufficient number of words for “amazing.” The more I’ve engaged with the community here, the more I’ve fallen in love with it! It’s been such a blessing being able to get involved with music—I’ve been privileged to get to know the people I’m working with not just as wonderful musicians but as wonderful friends. And I’m so thankful for the encouragement and example of the whole pastoral team.