I received a note yesterday from a mom in our church. She wrote that this past Monday evening, she was trying to bribe one of her sons to go to his karate lesson. Evidently, his motivation wasn’t very high that evening. So, the mom resorted to one of her proven methods: the bribe. According to the mom, her son has “tons” of actions figures and always wants another to add to his collection.
“I have a deal for you,” she said, “if you go to karate, Daddy will order the G.I. Joe action figure you wanted off of Amazon.” Her son looked at her and, snapping his fingers with a wave of his hand, replied,
“No deal. Pastor Wally’s sermon.”
The mom was a bit puzzled. “What?” she asked.
Her son replied, “Enough is enough. I have plenty of action figures.”
“So,” wrote the mom in her note, “thank you. This is the first time in ten years my son has turned down another toy.”
Gaining Some SWAG
“It is a week of celebration. We crossed the threshold of our first SWAG goal!” wrote Jim Morton in an email on Tuesday. We are indeed celebrating this week that the first of our SWAG (Stewardship with a Goal) projects is now fully funded. As a result of your generosity, we have raised a total to date of $25,452, enabling us to pay for the asbestos abatement in Pearce’s boiler room.
The next project on our SWAG list is to make a $10,000 payment on the principle of the loan taken out in 2001 to finance the construction of the Family Life Center and Christian education wing of our facility. Will you help us keep our SWAG momentum? (Simply make your gift by noting on your check or offering envelope “SWAG.”)
Pearce’s Worship Schedule
Last week, I announced our worship schedule for Sundays during this summer, beginning on June 16. Effective that third Sunday of June, we will hold a single worship service at 10:00 am This “summer schedule” will be in effect through Sunday, September 8.
Beginning September 15, we will return to our “normal” Sunday schedule of 9:00 and 10:30 am worship services. The summer schedule is intended to be nothing more than a temporary change.
Our Saturday worship schedule will remain unaffected by this summer schedule. We will continue to gather each Saturday for worship at 5:00 pm in Parmerter Chapel.
Beginning the weekend of April 27 and 28, we’ll begin considering “Corner Conversations” in our worship services. If you were at our Annual Celebration in February, you know that we are emphasizing our mandate to spread the Gospel by engaging in conversations about the Christian faith wherever we go.
To help us be better prepared for those impromptu conversations that surface during our weekly routine, I’ll be walking us through a series of questions that skeptics often ask. Questions such as, “Aren’t there many paths to God?” or “If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world?” (A particularly relevant question in light of this week’s devastating bombings in Boston.) My hope is that this six-week series of messages will assist you to better dialogue with those who may be skeptical of the Christian faith.
To compliment this series, I’m encouraging everyone to read Tim Keller’s, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. In an interview with Christianity Today magazine in 2008, Keller said:
Perhaps there was a day in which Christians thought that you evangelized largely through intellectual argument, but now I hear people saying, “No, it’s all personal. If you’re going to win people to Christ, you just have to be authentic. You have to just reach out to them personally. You can’t do the rational.” In other words, Christians are saying the rational isn’t part of evangelism. The fact is, people are rational. They do have questions. You have to answer those questions.
Don’t get the impression that I think that the rational aspect takes you all the way there. But there’s too much emphasis on just the personal now.
Keller’s book is not a light read. Make sure you have a strong cup of coffee next to your chair as you pick up his book, but I think you’ll find the reward worth the effort.
Copies of Keller’s book are available at the book rack in Pearce’s foyer, starting this weekend, for $12.00 per copy.
What a Crew!
This past Tuesday, the Pearce pastoral team, office support staff, facility staff, and P4K leadership gathered at 8:00 am in jeans and t-shirts, to clean some of the long-neglected cubby holes in our facility. The crew cleaned out several storage rooms and even found a few items for inclusion in next week’s Mission Garage Sale. My thanks to a great team of people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in!
News from a Corner in Russia
You are invited to be part of a presentation by Peter and Yana Smirnov on Sunday, April 28, at 9:00 am at Pearce. The Smirnovs, old friends of the Pearce faith community, will be in town for a few days. The Smirnov family is coming to the United States to celebrate Yana’s graduation from a doctoral program at Regent University in Virginia. Peter is the pastor at Dedovsk, Russia. He and his wife were an active part of our church during their years of study at Roberts Wesleyan College.
The Smirnovs will be providing an update on their ministry in Russia in Parmerter Chapel, during the 9:00 am Sunday school hour, on April 28. They will also be sharing later on Sunday at a reception held in honor of Yana’s graduation. Dave and Avis Barnes are hosting the reception from 7:00-9:00 pm in their North Chili home. (Please RSVP the Barnes at 594-4125 if you plan to attend the evening reception.)