What a Joint!
As you already know, I’m heading to Newark-Wayne Community Hospital next Monday for knee surgery. Due to a skiing accident in the 1980s, I lost my right ACL and meniscus. The years of “bone on bone” have taken their toll, so I’m finally going to do something to remedy the situation. On Monday, I’ll undergo arthroplasty surgery. (Now you know more than you wanted to know, right?)
Why Newark-Wayne? Good question! A friend of mine, Dr. David Cywinski, is part of the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center in Geneva. (I had the privilege of officiating at his wedding in 2001.) His partner, Dr. Dan Alexander, will be doing the surgery and, frankly, I am comforted by the thought that Dr. Cywinski will be “hovering” and insuring the quality of my care.
I am taking a couple of weeks of “sick leave” and a week of vacation to provide time for rehab and recovery. (So this will be my last Dangling for a few weeks!) I appreciate all the support I have already experienced and look forward to trading “war stories” with the many at Pearce who have already undergone this procedure.
Advent is only four weeks away! To help you and your family prepare for Christmas, I’ve selected two Advent devotional books as “Pearce Reads” for this season of the year.
The first book is by Ann Voskamp, an author familiar to the many of you who read her book One Thousand Gifts. This month, Ann published a new book entitled Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. The book, based on the concept of a Jesse Tree, provides devotions to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day and participate in activities to help apply the theme. It is a beautifully illustrated book and may be an especially helpful resource for those of you with children in your home.
The second book is one I recommended two years ago. TitledWatch for the Light, it is a wonderful collection of daily readings from a wide range of Christian authors, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Madeleine L’Engle. As Publishers Weekly noted in their review of the book, “These are not frivolous, feel-good Advent readings; they are deep, sometimes jarring reflections….”
Each of these books is available on the book rack in Pearce’s lobby, for a $15 donation.
Advent in the Home
I grew up in a church where I seldom, if ever, heard of the term “Advent.” We simply spoke of Thanksgiving and Christmas, with little recognition of the weeks between those two “family” events. At this time in my journey, I am appreciative of the rich church tradition of Advent and the ways in which those weeks preceding Christmas offer opportunities for spiritual formation in the home.
I’ve asked Elizabeth Cullum, a member at Community of the Savior, a Free Methodist congregation on the east side of Rochester, to come and help parents utilize the Advent season to help their children come to a deeper understanding of Jesus’ coming to earth. She will be presenting a workshop at Pearce on Wednesday, November 19, at 6:30pm in the Friendship Center.
I encourage parents and grandparents to take this opportunity to discover new ways of helping your children better learn God’s Story and the ways it impacts their own stories.
SWAG Is in Hot Water
Project #5 in this year’s SWAG is a new hot water heater for Pearce’s kitchen. The old one, now in its fourteenth year, needs to be replaced. Our volunteers have resorted to carrying pots of hot water from the stove to the dishwasher when they run out of hot water while cleaning up after a meal. We’d like to reduce the wear and tear on our volunteers and ensure a steady supply of hot water.
To date, we have received $4,174 towards this $12,000 project. Thanks for helping us keep our food and hospitality ministry in hot water!
The Turkey Challenge
November brings with it thoughts of turkeys and, for those of us at Pearce, the realization that it is time to collect food for our annual Thanksgiving Basket ministry. We are planning to pack more than 800 boxes of food for deserving families in the Rochester area.
In the past, our task has been made lighter by the generous provision of frozen turkeys from Foodlink. Last year, Foodlink provided 600 turkeys for our Thanksgiving Basket ministry.
Here’s the rub! This year, Foodlink has notified us that they will not be able to provide any turkeys. Zero! Nada! Zip!
So, do you get where this is going and why I titled this article “The Turkey Challenge?” We are in need of 800 turkeys!
Beginning the weekend of November 8 & 9, Jim Heeks will have his “Turkey Hotel” in the Family Life Center. This “hotel” (a portable freezer positioned along the wall of our gym) will be available as the drop off point for your turkey donations.
This is a big challenge, my friends. We will all need to pitch in to make this happen!
A Stellar Line-Up
In anticipation of my absence from Pearce’s pulpit, beginning the weekend of November 8 & 9, I’ve lined up what I think is a “stellar roster” of gifted preachers of God’s Word.
Dr. Doug Cullum, Dean of Northeastern Seminary, will continue our series “The Authentic Life” with a look at James 4:13-5:12 on November 8 & 9.
Dr. Tim Dwyer, Professor of Christian Scriptures at RWC, will finish our study of the book of James with a consideration of James 5:13-20 on November 15 & 16.
The weekend before Thanksgiving (November 22 & 23), Dr. Nelson Grimm, Assistant Professor of Applied Theology at NES, will provide the message.
I am deeply appreciative of the ministry of these three men and their graciousness in helping to fill Pearce’s pulpit in my absence. I hope you will give them your undivided attention!