A Weighty Matter
For example, this past week an email was forwarded to me by the office staff. It’s from Mike Auble. Mr. Auble brings in students from BOCES 2 to use our weight room. Here’s what he wrote:
I want to send my most sincere thanks for allowing us to use the fitness center at Pearce. It was (as always) a positive and valued experience for our students. I can’t say enough great things—from the Pearce staff, Roberts students, and daycare children—everyone has such a positive, calm aura about them that is so good to expose my students to (who sometimes don’t get that in their lives).
Often times, my students stop me in the hallway to ask if it is a “Pearce day.” They really enjoy the opportunity to get out of our school building (which is confined to just one basement hallway at the Spencerport Administration Building) and go to a place to exercise and make themselves feel better.
I hope that we met your expectations and that it will be possible to continue this relationship in the coming years.
Again, I thank you.
The Origins of SWAG
In recent weeks, you have been introduced to SWAG. SWAG stands for “Stewardship with a Goal” and is Pearce’s emphasis to fund $200,000 of upgrades on our facility, and to encourage all of us to live with a Kingdom mindset in regard to our finances. This past weekend, we received $4,092 for this special emphasis, bringing our total to date to $11,783. This means we have raised nearly half of the $25,000 needed to fund the first project on the 2013 list: the abatement of asbestos in the boiler room.
Pearce’s SWAG was suggested by Jim Morton, a member of the Finance Committee. But in doing some research, I have discovered that the word “swag” is also a British or Australian slang expression, originating in the early 1800s to refer to stolen goods. I probably should clarify that by our use of SWAG we are encouraging you to give money that has been honestly earned, rather than stolen. Just thought I should make that plain! (And by the way, thanks for your generosity!)
Westside Brass Quintet in 9:00 am service this Sunday.
Pearce is richly blessed with many gifted musicians. Most weekends, I drive home from worship services thanking the Lord for the beautiful music! I am especially looking forward to the 9:00 am service this Sunday to hear the “Westside Brass Quintet.” This quintet is comprised of Paul Shewan and Roy Smith on trumpet, Blaine Willhoft on horn, Dustin Marling on trombone, and Seth Rawleigh on tuba.
The What Whisperer?
I had the same reaction when I first heard that “The Elk Whisperer” was going to be here this coming Saturday for Pearce’s “Outdoor Day.” “The what whisperer?” I asked Pastor Mike. “The Elk Whisperer!” he replied with his characteristic, sly smile. I was, of course, familiar with the “Horse Whisperer,” portrayed by Robert Redford in the 1998 film. But, I confess, I was totally unaware of any “Elk Whisperer.” I am sure to find out more this coming weekend. Check out the complete schedule for Saturday’s “Outdoor Day” at http://www.pearcechurch.org/index.php/pearce-sportsmen/.
The Winter Financial Blahs and Blues
After the euphoria of the Christmas season and the expectations of a new year, along comes January and February. It means going back to school, paying credit card bills, facing property taxes, beginning the process of preparing income tax returns, and many other potentially disagreeable activities.
Following the year-end giving rush that most churches experience in December, the months of January and February generally produce lower levels of giving. Pearce is no exception. Can we be thankful and appreciative in spite of the numbers? Let’s try.
We don’t want to overreact to a small sample of the year, but for the first eight weeks of 2013, our giving to Building (mortgage) is a few dollars per weeks above budget. Praise the Lord! On the other hand, giving to Operations is about $1,300 per week below budget and $400 per week lower than the same period last year. This is not catastrophic, but there is room for improvement.
We appreciate your giving, whether it is part of the heavy giving in December or the lighter giving in January. Still, it helps Pearce when your tithes and offerings are received evenly throughout the year. In this electronic age, consider having your monthly tithe check sent by automatic payment from your bank account.
Have you ever wondered about the swinging light fixture in the northeast corner of Pearce’s sanctuary? Or do you ever ask, “How did the big boulder end up near the Common Grounds’ entrance to our church?” Or do you sometimes ponder why a Canadian pastor is on the staff of a church in North Chili?
I don’t know if any of those questions will be answered in next months’ Discovery Class, but if you’re curious about Pearce, this class is the place for you! The class will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in Room 141 in Pearce’s education wing. For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Challenged?
Is Pearce’s “Winter Challenge” proving to be a bit demanding? Good! I hoped it would be. At least it is proving to confront and challenge me in my own walk with Christ. The challenge can be summarized with this question: “How can I increase the number of moments each day when I am aware of, and surrendered to, God’s presence and His will?”
To help us accomplish the challenge, I’ve given three assignments.
- Learn to be grateful for imperfect people and imperfect circumstances.
- Pick someone and serve them anonymously, inconveniencing yourself for their sake.
- Discover practices that place you in God’s presence where He can transform you.
Are you wondering what this week’s assignment will be? I’m going to keep it under wraps until this weekend, but I must confess it is another tough one. (I feel like they have gotten a bit more demanding with each passing week!)
But don’t be discouraged! I think we may just find ourselves more aware of His presence as we seek to take our Christian walk more seriously.