Look, Ma, No Tie!
I simply couldn’t resist having this photo taken of Doug Steward and me. When I saw Doug last week at an event at Pearce, without his ever-present tie, I simply had to document the moment.
Ever since I arrived at Pearce, Doug has been checking to see if I am wearing a tie on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I wear a tie and pass his rigorous inspection. Then there are other times when my more casual attire is a bit of a disappointment to him. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must note that the photo was taken, not on a Sunday morning, but at an evening event.)
Perhaps I should have this photo enlarged and posted on the photo display in Pearce’s lobby. Just a thought! Thanks, Doug, for being such a good sport!
This Weekend at Pearce
The other day, while browsing at Barnes & Noble, I came across a recent book by Ann Lamott. I’ve always enjoyed Lamott’s perceptive and humorous writings about her spiritual journey. The book is titled Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers.
Lamott’s title is in the back of my mind as I work on the message for this weekend. The title of the message is “Help Me, God!” and is based on the second chapter of Jonah. As part of my message, I’ve asked someone who recently came to Christ to share her own story of discovering God’s help.
I hope to see you this weekend!
Teach Our Children Well
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke of the challenge of being intentional about teaching our children what it means to be a part of a church. You may recall I mentioned, as examples, that I hoped we taught our children how to tell God’s Story to others, ways to prepare for receiving Communion, and to be disciplined in their handling of money. I invited others to share their lists of things they want their children to know as they grow up a part of the Pearce community of faith.
Fay Spencer took me up on my invitation and offered the items from her list. I thought you might enjoy reading a few of the things she and her husband, Phil, want their sons to know. (Jonah Spencer is pictured here, making a tie-dyed t-shirt this past summer.)
- The church is filled with people who have the same problems, struggles, issues, and temptations as people who don’t go to church. Pain still comes to people who go to church.
- Today’s worship music is great, but doesn’t compare to the hymns of years ago.
- Pastors are just like everyone else who has a job. They don’t need to know every mistake they made in their sermons or how they handled or didn’t handle every situation. They need our support, encouragement, and mostly our prayers.
- Church shouldn’t be a list of rules. It should be an example of how we should want to live for God.
- And lastly, a church is just a building. It will never stand before God and be judged. You will. Your spiritual life is your responsibility. Pastors and people in church can help you, guide you, teach you, and pray with you but, in the end, it is your choice whether you accept the free gift of eternal life.
Financial Update: Seeking Balance!
Is it possible to have an amazing year of generous contributions from the Pearce family, but be below budget? Strange as it seems, it is true. You have contributed more in 2013 than any year since 2008, but the minor problem is the distribution.
Whenever an appeal such as SWAG is presented, people respond sacrificially. That has been the case in 2013. More than $100,000 has been raised for SWAG from contributions from more than a hundred families. Unfortunately, we are below budget in operations, debt retirement, and missions. With eight weeks remaining in the year, we are about $20,000 below the combined budgets in those three areas.
As you plan your year-end giving, prayerfully consider how to allocate your tithes and offerings to allow Pearce to meet all its financial goals. Thanks!
McCowns Head to India
Over the past several years, many at Pearce have supported the involvement of Drs. Wayne and Darlene McCown in Hope Africa University. At a recent board meeting, Wayne was elected as president of the Friends of Hope Africa University (succeeding Bishop Emeritus Gerald Bates); Barbara Rose, a former member of Pearce, was elected vice president.
Wayne is also serving on a newer “Friends Board” for the development of a Free Methodist university in Hyderabad, India. Wayne and Darlene are making their first visit to Immanuel University, November 25-December 17. (They plan another tour to Hope Africa University in January.)
While in India, Wayne will be consulting with IU faculty and lecturing to the MBA as well as the Theological (MA in Theology and MDiv) students. He will also be serving as speaker for a week-long pastors’ conference. Darlene will serve as speaker for a corresponding week-long conference for women (including many pastors’ wives) on the topic, “When There is No Doctor.” In addition, she will be consulting with faculty at a School of Nursing near IU.
The McCowns greatly appreciate your prayers for these upcoming trips!