Continuing to Break the Awkward Silence
I’ve been reading Jeffery B. Gibson’s recent book on the Lord’s Prayer, entitled The Disciples’ Prayer: The Prayer Jesus Taught in its Historical Setting. Gibson’s concluding comments include this: “…to follow Jesus and say the Disciples’ Prayer is to pledge oneself to demonstrating and proclaiming a certain way of ‘being’ in the world, a way that mirrors and magnifies the very character of the God of Israel as Jesus made him known.”
This weekend, I’ll continue our consideration of what Gibson calls “the Disciples’ Prayer” as found in Matthew’s gospel. Focusing on verse 11 of chapter 6, I’ve titled this message “Absolute Dependence” and will explore what it means to rely on God for our daily bread.
Communion This Month
It is a long-standing Pearce tradition to offer Communion on the first weekend of each month. Communion this month will be offered instead on Good Friday (March 25) at Pearce’s 7pm service in the main sanctuary. Communion will also be served, resuming our regular schedule, on the first weekend of April.
Looking for an Informative Read?
I’ve just begun making my way through Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, follows the lives of landlords and tenants in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee. While focusing on stories of eviction, the book prompts the reader to consider the bigger issues of poverty and inequality.
Early reviews of the book, which was just published this past Monday, have been quite positive. The Wall Street Journal reviewer noted, “[Desmond’s] argument in this impressive work of scholarship is that eviction is such an exploitative process, so biased in favor of profit-seeking landlords, that it pitches otherwise capable tenants into crisis and thus into poverty.”
I realize, as one who stands in the tradition of B. T. Roberts, that I should have a greater sensitivity to the issues surrounding poverty in our time. Roberts, in his own day, expressed his conviction when he wrote, “My special mission is to preach the gospel to the poor.”
This coming Wednesday evening (March 9) at 6:30pm, Lydia Monroe, Carol Stevenson, and Kristin Coon will discuss their recent visit to Nzige, Rwanda. Educators who are interested in being a part of the team heading to Nzige this August to help train the Nzige staff, or teachers desiring to help prepare materials for that trip, are especially encouraged to attend. Join Lydia and her team in Room 134 of Pearce’s education wing.
Carol Stevenson was recently appointed to lead the team of teachers headed to Nzige in August. Carol has extensive cross-cultural experience and is well qualified to serve in this leadership role.
From Roof to Parking
As I reported last week, plans are being finalized to have the Parmerter roof replaced this summer. A $161,200 bid from Elmer W. Davis Roofing was recently accepted by Pearce’s Property Committee. To date, a total of $115,190.50 has been received and only $46,000 remains to be raised by July 1. To reach this goal, we’ll need to receive a weekly average of $2,900 over the next sixteen weeks.
Already, Pearce’s leadership is anticipating our next project and is investigating the possibility of expanding our parking capacity. Our church’s Orchard Street lot can accommodate 114 vehicles and our parking strip on the east side of Orchard Street can hold an additional 22 cars.
The parking lot owned by the college (known at RWC as Lot A) can handle 154 vehicles and is available for our use on Sundays and on evenings when major events are not being held at the RWC Cultural Life Center. There have been several occasions in the past couple of years, weekday funerals for example, when Lot A is not available to our congregation and, as a result, parking has been challenging. The elimination of the college’s parking lot on the site of the new Crother’s Science and Nursing Center has resulted in a greater demand placed on Lot A.
No decisions have been made regarding parking, but the Property Committee is taking a look at our congregation’s options. Bob DeRoo, a member at Pearce, has suggested that we all begin bicycling to Pearce, but his suggestion has yet to be embraced by the majority of those attending worship services here.
Another Savory Season
Jim Heeks and his crew recently wrapped up another season of Savory Suppers on Wednesday evenings. The average attendance during the seven weeks the suppers were held in January and February was 168, many of them being people from our community who take advantage of good food at a reasonable price!
Jim sent me a photo of Karen Monahan with the potato whisk. The photo reminds me that those who volunteer in the kitchen place their lives at risk. Karen does look a bit “whipped” by the whole experience. (Sorry, bad pun!)