Picking Up the Conversation
It’s good to be back! I would be amiss if I didn’t thank the pastoral team, the entire Pearce staff, and the congregation for holding the fort in my absence during the past three months while I was on sabbatical. What a great job all of you did!
Also, my thanks to the many guest preachers who graciously gave of their time and shared their Spirit-led insights in God’s Word.
Special thanks to Pastor Jeremy for picking up this weekly conversation and keeping it from dangling too long!
Third Time is a Charm
Actually, every time this year has been a charm for our church! I’m referring to the number of times we’ve been privileged as a congregation to host one of the bishops of our denomination. Bishop Samuel, the overseer of the Free Methodist Church in Rwanda was with us in early May. In July, Bishop David Kendall preached in our weekend services. Now, as we start a new church year, we are privileged to have Bishop David Roller in Pearce’s pulpit this weekend (September 10 & 11).
Bishop Roller is charged with the responsibility to oversee Free Methodist congregations in the eastern United States, as well as in the United Kingdom and Latin America. He and his wife, Yvonne, have been guests at our church on several occasions over the years he has served as bishop. (He was elected in 2007.)
(By the way, Pearce has been blessed by many a bishop’s visit over the years. Last week, I came across this sign pictured above in Parmerter Chapel’s attic advertising Bishop Ellis’ visit in 1975.)
The theme for our “kick-off” this fall is “Our Roots Run Deep!” and we have selected a verse from Paul’s letter to the Colossians as our focus: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
I hope you’ll join us this coming Saturday or Sunday. If you join us on Sunday, be sure to stay after the 10:30am worship service for a reception.
On Top of the Roof!
Upon my return from sabbatical, I was grateful to receive word that the new roof on Parmerter has been fully funded. Thank you for your generosity in funding this $161,000 project! (In the photo above, Bob Antes, our director of facilities, is seen checking out the new roof.)
Over the past four years, we have contracted with the Elmer Davis Company, a local roofing contractor, for three significant and ambitious projects. In June of 2012, Elmer Davis restored the bell tower atop Parmerter at a cost of $41,500; in May of 2014 they put a new roof on our sanctuary ($173,000 project); and now, this past summer, they installed a new roof on Parmerter Chapel at a cost of $161,200.
This means that over the past four years, you have funded three significant projects totaling $375,700. As all of this giving was beyond that needed to fund our operational expenses, I want to express my deep appreciation for your generosity.
Any funds that come in for the roof project, in excess of what is needed to foot the bill, will be applied to help us cover a shortfall in our mortgage payments on our 2001 addition. Although we have kept current on our payments, we have had to dip into operational funds to cover any shortfall. Thanks, too, for those of you who regularly support our “building fund” and assist us in chipping away at the indebtedness on our facility.
A Beautiful Witness
Last spring, many of our congregation attended an excellent series of lectures on Islam, presented by staff from the Lilias Trotter Center at Houghton College. We’ve invited them to return to Pearce next Wednesday, September 14, to present a screening of Many Beautiful Things, a film on the life of Lilias Trotter. Trotter made the bold decision to journey to French Algeria in the late 1800s to pioneer missions to the Muslim community. This movie will be shown in the Friendship Center at 6:30pm.