The Joy of Serving Others
Early on Saturday morning, August 13, the Family Life Center was bustling with energy as Pearce Church hosted another successful Mobile Food Pantry. Volunteers hustled to neatly lay out the food on large tables—from bread and bacon to vegetables and juice—as the Foodlink truck driver brought in full skids of food to help our community.
I hope that someday you will take the opportunity to volunteer at one of these quarterly events. It is great to be a part of the excitement and enthusiasm in the air, while hearing voices all around in rich conversation and laughter. With the incredible leadership of Sue Smout, and faithful volunteers, these events are turning into communal moments and times of fellowship with many in our community. At the end of the day, this ministry is about far more than food—it is about relationships.
This last Mobile Food Pantry served 186 households (that number represents almost 700 people in our neighborhood). That is the highest turnout we have had yet, and this ministry continues to grow! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store; and I continue to be in awe of how He leads Pearce to be part of a positive impact in the lives of our friends in the Rochester area.
The Women’s Retreat
While many volunteers assisted at the Mobile Food Pantry on Saturday, 26 women from Pearce began to gather at Lighthouse Christian Camp for an enriching women’s retreat. When I asked Pastor Kathy how the day went, she said:
“Despite the high humidity, we had a great time! Colleen Dick started off the day with a wonderful meditation and teaching called “Awaken My Soul”. In the afternoon, Gina Spears spoke, inviting everyone into private conversations with God using challenging questions. Space was also created for the ladies to spend time in meaningful reflection, time to journal, fellowship, a lovely lunch, and a group walk. Our day ended with Colleen giving opportunities for the women to share what they were taking away from the day.”
Colleen Dick also highlighted that, “The women’s retreat was a wonderful time of refreshing, reflecting, and recalibrating. The cry of our hearts was for God to “Awaken our Souls” (Psalm 108:1). He responded to our cry with challenging and life-transforming questions that are found within His Word. I believe that many of the women walked away feeling loved by God and inspired to go deeper with Him.”
Praise the Lord for the many ways He works in our lives!
Reflection on the Algonquin Trip
At the beginning of August Pastor Mike led several of his teens into the wilderness of Algonquin for a time of retreat and spiritual formation. I asked Pastor Mike if he would offer a few highlights of that week of renewal. Here is what he shared:
“One of the highlights of the Pearce Teen year is our annual trip to the Algonquin Wilderness and this summer’s trip was no exception. This year, we took 19 people to spend a week on the water and in the Word. It was an unusual trip in that we had no teen girls, however Karen Hopkins and Duane Eich led our graduates on their final “official” trip. This group had a special treat in that Karen provided gourmet food for them all week. I think they were actually disappointed to have to come out and go to Dairy Queen at the end of the week. The other two groups also had excellent weeks, they just didn’t eat quite as fancy. In nine trips to Algonquin, I have never experienced such fantastic weather. It was sunny and hot the entire week. We spent a lot of time swimming, jumping off rocks, and basking in the warmth. The weather was a gift and reminder for all of us. While we were there to canoe and experience God’s great creation, we were truly there to grow closer to our Lord. The weather, the stars, and the warm water were all reminders of what it is to fully surrender to our creator God and to fully experience His love and grace. My hope is that as the students journey through their year, this trip will act as a touch-point for them. That they will remember the thrill of taking the risk and jumping off the cliff each time God asks them to take a risk. That when they are discouraged, they will remember the warmth of God’s sun as they lay on the rocks overlooking the lakes, or the enormous star-filled skies. My hope is that when our students wrestle with sin this year, they feel the grace and forgiveness of God washing over them like the warm waters of the lakes. It was truly a God-filled and God-blessed week. Thanks for all your prayers!”