Paul on Paul
One of the many blessings of Pearce is its abundance of gifted teachers of God’s Word. Dr. Paul Livermore is one of those teachers. Paul has graciously agreed to participate in our fall sermon series, “The Fabric of Christian Community.” His message this weekend is based on Romans 12:9-21 and is titled “Behaving as a Christian Should Is a Learned Skill.”
When I was a seminarian at Asbury, someone referred to Dr. Robert Traina, a gifted Bible professor, with this comment, “He’s forgotten more than I’ll ever know!” I feel that way about Dr. Livermore. I encourage you to come and join us this weekend and learn more about Christian community and the life of discipleship.
My Election Quandary
Last evening, my wife mentioned to me that she felt like we were living in the time of the Old Testament prophets. She had been reading Ezekiel and, with a sigh, expressed her frustration at the behavior of the major party candidates in this year’s presidential election. I share her exasperation. Perhaps you do as well.
I offer, in light of these times, a few brief thoughts:
- Let’s remind ourselves where our true citizenship lies. We are people of another Kingdom and we need to keep our eyes on the city whose architect and builder is God. I don’t say that lightly, nor to evade our responsibility to be salt and light in this troubling hour. But we need to keep in perspective the big picture and the reality that God remains on his throne. The words of Isaiah have run through my mind often recently: “Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket….Before [God] all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing” (Isaiah 40:15-17). Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
- We must be gracious to those who advocate for a candidate of whom we do not approve. I remind you that Pearce is not a congregation of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. We are made up of a diversity of political affiliations and convictions. We must show respect to those with whom we may disagree.
- Keep reading valued, wise, and informed voices on this subject. Permit me to suggest our own Bishop Kendall’s recent blog “Political Questions—Does Character Really Matter?” You can find this at fmcusa.org/davidkendall/2016/09/20/political-questions-does-character-really-matter/
Pearce’s treasurer, Mike Vannest, sent me this graph which provides a financial snapshot at this point in the year. With nearly 79% of the year behind us, we are under projections in our three main areas of giving: Operations (which provides for the day-to-day operations of the church), Building (which is our payment on the debt incurred in the building of the 2001 expansion) and Missions. These percentages translate into the following gaps: $55,000 in Operations; $15,000 in Building; and $4,000 in Missions. I encourage you to consider helping us stay financially strong through your faithful and generous support of Pearce Church.
International Child Moments
It was a pleasure to have Nancy, Anupam, and Ravi join me for Children’s Moments this past Sunday. These three graduate students from India are presently working on their MBA degrees at Immanuel University in Hydrabad, India. They are staying in our mission house for several days as part of their tour of Free Methodist colleges and universities in the United States. We ask God’s blessing on them as they experience a global context to their studies.
Don’t forget, this Sunday, October 16, last summer’s Nzige team will be sharing about their experience spending several days at the school in Rwanda. Come hear them at 9am in Room 134 of Pearce’s education wing.
Also, we still have packets for child sponsorship in the Pearce office. If you are interested in helping to change the life of a child in Nzige, contact Kim Brittin at 594-9488 to obtain a packet.
This weekend, Pearce will join with other churches to observe “Children’s Sabbath:” a national observance of churches across America. The purpose of this observance is to remind us of our moral responsibility to care, protect, and advocate for children.
I asked Lydia Monroe, our Pearce 4 Kids director, to write about the importance of government subsidies in helping make child care accessible to families who might not otherwise have the means. Here’s what she wrote:
Pearce Church began providing care for children in our community through Pearce 4 Kids in 1987. This was in response to a tangible need in our community.
We strive for the highest standard of excellence in our staff and our classrooms. But day care is not inexpensive. Day care centers are required to be licensed by the state of NY, which imposes many regulatory laws upon us. Having 250 children in and out of the building each week puts wear and tear on carpets, toys, and equipment. P4K is responsible to cover these costs as well as everyday things like lights, toilet paper, custodial support, and food service.
All day cares have these financial demands, along with the rising cost of minimum wage. So day care is not cheap. I often hear news stories with the headline, “Soaring Child Care Costs Squeeze Families!”
This is why having day care subsidies is imperative for some families. Whether it’s due to a short-term family crisis or a long-term financial struggle, families often need help with the cost of child care.
While it is not mandated that day care centers serve families on state subsidies, we at P4K feel it is our responsibility and privilege to do so. Our hope is that we can provide care for all children and their families, showing them the love of Jesus as we care for their children.
Thanks for joining with Lydia in advocating for government policies that help nurture our children. Find out more about how you can advocate by stopping by the table in the atrium at Pearce this weekend.