Summer Worship Schedule
One reason is that people have favorably commented on the Sundays when we have held a single worship service. During the past year, we gathered for a single 10:00 am service on at least five occasions (January 1, June 10, September 9, November 25, and December 30) and people seemed to truly enjoy it. So, this summer we will begin holding a 10:00 am service on Sunday, June 16. We will continue with that schedule for the next 12 weeks, concluding with our annual fall kick-off on September 8.
Another reason is that several 9:00 am worship people have expressed a desire to gather a bit later on Sundays for worship. This schedule will give those individuals a chance to get the sleep out of their eyes!
A few individuals who regularly attend the 10:30 am service have mentioned to me that they appreciate getting out a bit earlier in the summer months. After all, we live in Rochester and we need to take advantage of the nice weather when it is here! (As I write this on Tuesday morning, April 2, I’m watching snow falling outside my window. I rest my case.) So, having a single Sunday service will help families get off to the park or the lake a bit earlier in the day.
Now, I know some of you are wishing we had an even earlier worship service in the summer. May I remind those who feel that way that our Saturday evening service is a wonderful option? Why not worship at 5:00 pm on a Saturday evening, allowing yourself to rise early on Sunday and head out to your destination for the day?
We’ll make sure the music is appealing to both the 9:00 am and the 10:30 am crowds! (Pastors Harold, Mike, Kathy, and I are working on a quartet for July. On second thought, I think we’ll put a stop to that idea right now!)
Now this may not be the perfect schedule for everyone. (I have given up on ever finding the perfect worship service schedule. Believe me; I’ve tried quite a few variations over the years!)
So, rather than holding three worship services, we’ll be holding two this summer. I hope you’ll embrace the change!
Wandering in the Basement
Grab your broom and get sweeping the back deck! Grab the ladder and make those windows shine like the top of the Chrysler Building! It is spring, and that means it is time to clean. While you’re at it, don’t forget to rummage through the basement, and inventory the garage, for any items you want to dispose of at this year’s Annual Mission Garage Sale.
Pearce’s Annual Mission Garage Sale is not only a way for you to unload unwanted items, it is also a wonderful way to free resources for some very significant ministry, both in Monroe Country and around the world. Bring your items to the Family Life Center church on Monday, April 22, 12:00-5:00 pm; Tuesday, April 23, 12:00-7:00 pm; or Wednesday, April 24, 9:00 am-7:00 pm
Money, Mochas, and Mike
Are you interested in dialoguing about Pearce’s finances? Do you have questions about the 2013 budget or SWAG or the price of tea in China? Mike Wilson, the chairman of our church’s Finance Committee, will be available for informal dialogue on Wednesday, April 10, from 6:30-7:30 pm at Common Grounds. He can answer almost any question, but I’m not sure what he knows about the price of tea. Come and go as you like and take advantage of this opportunity to gain a better understanding of our community of faith.
I recently began a very interesting, first-hand account of someone’s spiritual journey in My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer. Written by poet Christian Wiman, the editor of the prestigious Poetry magazine, the book is the story of Wiman’s turning to God while facing a rare form of cancer at the age of thirty-nine and newly married. You may not be comfortable with all of Wiman’s assessment of the Christian faith, but I am finding this to be a invigorating and refreshing read. He definitely provides a window into the heart and mind of many thoughtful adults who are seeking an authenticity that may be sometimes lacking in the contemporary church in America.
You can also find an interesting interview with Wiman by Christianity Today at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/god-between-lines.html.
Where Do You Invest?
Two questions are likely to start a vigorous discussion among Christians. The first is, “Do I tithe on my gross income or my take-home pay?” The second asks, “How do I decide which organizations receive priority in receiving my tithes and offerings?”
Recently, members of Pearce’s Official Board were asked to share how they constructed a model for distributing their tithes and offering to various Christian organizations. Excerpts from their contributions are shared below.
Notice how each is unique, but there are common threads which serve as models for each of us.
“We see giving as an act of worship. God has redeemed and blessed us in great ways, so giving is a natural component of our love and gratitude toward God. We’re committed to tithing 10% to Pearce and giving gifts beyond our tithe to other Christian organizations. The Christian organizations we support are ones that have benefited our family or are specifically aligned with our mission.”
“We tithe to the Church because that is what we are called to do. Giving to organizations other than the Church is based on either a relationship with that organization and/or the work that organization is doing.”
“The ‘lion’s share’ of our giving is at Pearce. This is our home church and we need to support the building, programs, and missions at home first and foremost.”
“Since the beginning of our marriage, we determined that a tenth of our (gross) earned income belonged to God and should be given to the church we attended on a regular basis, for the church’s general use. Giving above that we consider offerings and we determine on a case by case basis.”
“Once we have established a goal for any given year, we then invest in the following manner: first 10% to Pearce, next amount to the missionaries we have chosen to support, then the next amount to Christian organizations we have chosen to support.”
This is just a start. Send Pastor Wally your “giving story” and it will be included (anonymously) in a later issue.