The Wisdom of the Generations
Following this past Sunday’s worship service, Sam Hunt pulled me aside with a request. Opening the cover of a new leather journal, he asked, “Pastor Wally, would you be the first to write in my Book of Wisdom?”
Sam went on to tell me that he considers Pearce a place where there are many people from whom he could learn. So he put together a list of questions on the journal’s endpaper. Questions like: “What is one thing you wish you were told earlier in life?” and “What’s your answer to ‘What’s the meaning of life?’”
“I’m going to have people write their answers in my journal,” Sam explained, “and I’d like you to be the first!” Needless to say, I feel quite honored to inaugurate this project for Sam. I’m not sure how wise I am, but I’ll give it my best shot. Don’t be surprised if Sam approaches you for additional wisdom!
The Fabric of Christian Community
This week, I’ll begin a six-week series of messages from Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. This series, focusing on Romans 12 and 13, is titled “The Fabric of Christian Community.” My hope is these messages will make us aware of both the privileges and challenges of living in community with other Christians.
This week’s message, “Woven with Diversity,” takes Romans 12:1-2 as its text. As you consider those verses and their implications for a local congregation, I invite you to consider these questions:
“What are my expectations for community at Pearce?”
“How have my past church experiences impacted me?”
“What am I asking God to do at Pearce Church?”
“What does God need to do in my life today?”
As a part of this weekend’s worship, we’ll be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Rev. Louis Colon, pastor of Heart & Soul Community Church, will be co-officiating at the Communion table. This weekend’s Exit Offering will help enable Heart & Soul to purchase a portable baptistery for use in their worship services.
A Classic Book on Christian Community
For this month’s “Pearce Reads,” I’ve chosen one of my favorite books on Christian community—Life Together, a classic by German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. First published in 1938, it was written while Bonhoeffer taught in an underground seminary in Nazi Germany. This powerful book will challenge you and encourage you to live with others as Christ desires us to live! Copies are available for a $10 donation on the book rack in Pearce’s lobby.
One of the book’s many gems is this quote: “The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them.”
Dedication of Elaina
This Saturday evening, Jon and Emily Lapp will be dedicating their daughter, Elaina, to the Lord. The Lapps are new to Pearce, having enrolled Elaina’s older sister, Adelyn, at P4K at the start of this school year. We welcome the Lapps and celebrate the gift of 10-month-old Elaina.
Debating the Debate
If you watched this past week’s Presidential debate, you may find yourself still wondering, “Who am I going to vote for this year?” The October issue of Christianity Today has a nice series of articles on the election that you may find helpful. Ron Sider writes “Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton,” James Dobson on “Why I’m Voting for Donald Trump,” and, finally, Sho Baraka on “Why I’m Voting for Neither Candidate.” Each of those writing his opinion is a deeply committed Christian. Their articles remind us that there is a wide range of opinion within the evangelical community as to who can best lead our nation. So I hope you are gracious to those of differing political opinions! Copies of these articles are available at the atrium Welcome Kiosk, or you can find them online at christianitytoday.com.
Getting My Facts Straight
This past weekend, I gave some statistics regarding slavery in the United States. Referring to an entry in B. T. Roberts’ journal, I said, “In 1856, there were 347,325 slaves out of a population of 3,204,313.” I was wrong! I should have said, “In 1856 there were 347,325 slave holders in the U.S. and 3,204,313 slaves.” Checking the census data for 1850, there were 23,191,876 residents in the U.S. Thanks to Brian Lavell for catching my error and helping set the record straight!