A Month of Baptisms
In May, Pearce was overflowing with baptisms! I hope you have felt as blessed as I have this past month. Altogether, we celebrated 17 public confessions of faith from individuals who have committed themselves to living for Jesus. That’s incredible! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of baptizing Denise Lynn Casper in our Saturday evening service. I hope you get the chance to meet Denise if you haven’t already. She is a kind and gentle spirit with a loving heart for the Lord. She has been coming to Pearce for about three years now and baptism was a very big step in her faith journey. I am so proud of her! We had agreed on baptism by sprinkling, but I think she was a wee bit surprised by how much water I actually used! Make sure you keep Denise and the rest of the individuals recently baptized in your prayers as they grow in Christ.
Ordained and Appreciative
Blue eyes. I will never forget the moment Bishop David Roller said to me, in an authoritative yet genuine voice, “Hand me your Bible and look at me!” I gazed up into his piercing blue eyes (I never noticed them until that point) and in an instant, I sensed this was a holy moment. “Take authority to minister the Word of God. Faithfully proclaim His Word, declare His forgiveness, celebrate the sacraments, shepherd His people.” Some people have asked me since then if I feel any different. At times, that question has been accompanied by a chuckle, suggesting that those asking do not expect that there would be a change. I have to admit, I was not expecting one either, or to feel different. Yet surprisingly, it was a moment that deeply impacted me and I do, in fact, feel different. It’s not the, “I just had a latte from Starbucks for the first time” feeling or the road to Damascus experience that happened to Paul the Apostle. Instead, I feel that I encountered the Holy Spirit in a new way—a different way than I have up to this point and I feel refreshed and renewed by His presence. I can see now why some faith traditions view ordination or Holy Orders, as some call it, as a sacrament. As Free Methodists, we do not view it as a sacrament, but I have learned that it is a moment and experience of rich and wonderful grace!
A Heartfelt Thank You!
I want to thank everyone who came out to support me at Northgate FMC for the ordination service, and those who wanted to be there but could not! I was overwhelmed and blessed by how many of my Pearce family were sitting in the congregation and the kind words of congratulations expressed to Michele and me. After the service, Rick Kinde handed me a wooden plaque he made into a sign that says, “ELDER: Jeremy Kelly” on it! We both had a good chuckle as it only took him a couple of minutes to make in his wood shop. I was grateful because it would have taken me three months to make it, and Pastor Wally would have wondered what I did during his sabbatical. Michele and I have greatly appreciated the cards, gifts, and the lovely reception we received following this past Sunday’s service. I have already begun to use the beautiful Johnston & Murphy portfolio presented to me by Terry Taber on behalf of the congregation. It is perfect! Thank you!
Pastoral Care from a Caring Pastor
As most of you are aware by now, Pastor Wally has begun his first full week of sabbatical for the summer. I understand he is off to a great start! As I take on many of Pastor Wally’s responsibilities, I do so with full confidence in our team and with the joy of having many wonderful people ministering with us. For instance, I am very pleased that during the summer, Rev. Dave Carden has generously agreed to come alongside of our pastoral team to help provide for the care needs of the church. Pastor Dave has served the Lord in ministry for many years, and served at Pearce as the Pastor of Discipleship, Gift-based Ministry, and Outreach before retiring. Pastor Dave is a delightful and compassionate man with a warm pastoral heart that I highly respect. We will be meeting every Monday morning to discuss who needs a pastoral touch for the week, in addition to what the rest of our team is doing. So do not be surprised if you receive a call or a visit from Pastor Dave. He comes in peace and I trust his ministry will be of a great encouragement and blessing to you!