A Personal Sighting
This weekend, I’ll conclude our examination of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus by taking a look at a fascinating passage in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Christians. In a powerful section on belief in the bodily resurrection, he mentioned, seemingly almost as an aside, that Jesus made several appearances in the days following that first Easter. He noted that Jesus even appeared to a crowd of 500 believers on one occasion. Then he instructed his scribe to write, and at this point I imagine his voice is trembling with the thought of it all, “…and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”
You may want to read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 in preparation for services this Saturday and Sunday. I’ll try very hard to be in good health this time!
A Special Welcome to Josh Sarchet!
Last Saturday evening, Josh Sarchet was welcomed into membership at Pearce. Rev. Nelson Grimm did the honors of receiving this gifted young man who has blessed our congregation with his musical gifts. You may have noted the joy on his face this past Easter morning when he led our bell choir at a special point in the services. During the week, Josh is a music teacher at Rochester Prep Elementary School. A special welcome to Josh!
A Bevy of Bishops
I’ve always delighted in those collective nouns such as a coalition of cheetahs or a zeal of zebras. Well, this year Pearce is privileged to welcome a bevy of bishops. Now, I mean no disrespect by using that term. It just has a way of rolling off one’s tongue. But it also expresses a wonderful reality that is occurring this year at Pearce. We are hosting three bishops at various times in the next five months.
First, we have the privilege of hosting Bishop Samuel Kayinamura of Rwanda. I enjoyed meeting this wonderful and gifted leader during Pearce’s exploratory visit to Rwanda in January of 2015. Bishop Samuel is traveling to North Chili to participate in our “Linked with Love” partnership celebration on the weekend of April 30 & May 1. I’ve asked him to preside over our time of Communion in worship services that weekend. He will also be sharing his story at a special reception on Thursday, April 28, at 7pm in the Friendship Center.
Then, on the weekend of July 16 & 17, Bishop David Kendall will be our guest preacher. Bishop Kendall was elected to this position of service in 2005. He oversees Free Methodist ministries in the heartland of America and those on the continent of Africa. He is a gifted communicator and has keen insight into the Scriptures.
Finally, on our fall “Kick-off Weekend,” Bishop David Roller will return to Pearce to help us gather and celebrate coming back together after a busy summer. Bishop Roller has graciously preached at Pearce on several occasions over the nine years he has served as our bishop. He is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever heard and, as a result, wonderfully communicates the narrative of the Bible.
How blessed we are as a congregation to have this “bevy of bishops” flocking to our community of faith. I hope you take the opportunity to hear each of these godly leaders.
When You Need a Friend!
I would be remiss if I failed to express deep appreciation to those who came to my aid in my time of need this past weekend. Friday night, I came down with an unfortunate stomach bug that kept me down and out for a couple of days. (As I write this on Tuesday, I am 80% back to normal. I heard that cackle from those of you who have never considered me “normal!”)
Saturday morning, as Mary stood over me while I shivered on the couch under an afghan, she informed me that it was clear I wasn’t going to be in any condition to preach that evening. “Who should I call?” she asked. I ran through a list of potential rescuers and replied, “Call Wayne McCown!”
Well, as those of you who attended last weekend’s worship services at Pearce are well aware, Wayne put on his superhero cape and came to my aid. He was even so gracious as to continue with the weekend’s planned text and theme. What a guy!
Then there were others who helped out as well. Nelson Grimm assisted with the Saturday worship leading tasks that had been assigned to me. Scott & Beth Bellinger took charge of the Sunday evening Bible study in my stead. My wife made several contacts on my behalf and tolerated my moaning and groaning throughout the weekend. (Am I making this sound dramatic?)
All this to say, thank you to a wonderful group of people!