I leave you with a quote from William Law, an Anglican priest who greatly influenced John and Charles Wesley. Law wrote: “Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.”
This Weekend’s Message
This weekend, hopefully with a much stronger voice than this past weekend, I’ll conclude our consideration of selected passages from the prophet Isaiah. You may want to read Isaiah 53 in preparation for considering “The Endless Whys” we encounter as we move through life. Why is there so much suffering in our world? I hope you’ll join me!
Have You Invited Someone?
In only a week, the musicians of Pearce will present the Christmas musical Almost There! I hope you have invited friends or coworkers to experience the awe and wonder of Christmas as Mary did so many years ago. This unique take, featuring popular Christmas anthems by Michael W. Smith, will draw your heart closer to the expectation of Christ’s coming!
Almost There will be presented on Friday, December 2, at 7pm and on Sunday, December 4, at 6pm. Both performances will be followed by a dessert reception. A free-will offering will be received during the musical, with proceeds going toward Pearce’s Compassion Fund—which assists many families in our community throughout the year.
A Breath of Fresh Air for Pearce Outdoors
For many years, Pearce has had a ministry specifically directed to reaching those who love to pursue God in the great outdoors. Through various guests, large group events, and our Sportsmen Academy, we have sought to reach others for Christ through their interest in the outdoors. Recently, we took assessment of our successes and failures and have decided that some retooling was appropriate.
For starters, we have been very gender specific. To address this, we have changed our name from Pearce Sportsmen to Pearce Outdoors.
The second thing we have taken note of is that not everyone is interested in hunting, trapping, and fishing. I know—hard to believe! But there are a great many other ways to see the Creator in the created. So with our name change we are also offering new topics of interest in our monthly seminars. Topics such as canning/freezing, bird watching, track identification, wild life rescue, fly fishing, and gardening give you a sense of the breadth of the seminars.
Our final shift is the nature of the seminars themselves. Pearce Sportsmen had become a monthly meeting of smelly outdoorsmen sitting around eating pie, drinking coffee, and telling tales while planning our next meeting. While that sounds attractive to many, we decided we wanted to gear ourselves as a group that actually does something, a group that offers something monthly. To that end, we are now meeting the second Tuesday of each month, and have a guest speaker lined up for each meeting.
We want to invite you to join us, and bring your friends. There will still be pie and coffee; but our desire as Pearce Outdoors is not to wait for events, but to offer monthly opportunities to introduce people who don’t yet know the Creator to come and see Him in the created!
The seminar line-up for the next few months is:
- December 13: Andrea Patterson, Education Director of the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory—Andrea will be joining us to help those interested in getting started in birding.
- January 10: Bob Samuelson, NYS Trapping Association—Have you ever seen tracks in the snow or mud and wondered what animal made those? Bob will teach us track identification.
- February 14: Gary Zimmerman, Wild Life Rescue Expert—Gary will be joining us with various birds of prey and rescued wild life. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these creatures up close and to hear more about what we can do to be stewards of God’s creation.
- March 14: Kyle Poag, local high school teacher, Pearce Member, and Fly Fisherman extraordinaire—Kyle will be with us teaching us the finer points of getting started and preparing for the upcoming fishing season.
- April 11: Rob Harris, Owner of Higbies—Rob will be here to discuss gardening and lawn care for the coming growing season. Jack Bryant from Preferred Seed will also be joining Rob for this presentation.
Progress at Nzige
In last week’s Dangling, I included a photo of the new classroom building under construction in Nzige, Rwanda. A few days ago, I received an update on the construction with two additional photos. I thought you’d enjoy seeing the progress on this project that will permit the Nzige school (that up until now has been a preschool) to begin offering elementary level classes.
I am thankful for a generous church that loves to share with others. My deep appreciation to the many volunteers who donated, packed, and delivered boxes of food to 1,000 families in Monroe County. Thanks, also, to the excellent leadership of Terry and Sherri Taber in overseeing this ambitious annual ministry.
The Rest of the Story
This past weekend, I related the story of my dad’s coming to personal faith in Christ during the closing months of his life. A man in my home church by the name of Dick Rogenbaum was a significant influence in my dad’s conversion.
Dick would regularly call my dad and offer to pray with him on the phone. My dad was going through an extended hospitalization and chemo; Dick’s calls were a great encouragement to him. One day Dick asked my dad, “Walt, wouldn’t you like to turn your life over to Jesus?” My dad admitted that he wanted to and, as a result, embraced the Lord.
After the service, Bev Kinde came up to me and mentioned that Dick Rogenbaum had played a significant role in her own family coming to faith in Christ. When Bev was a child in Bradford, Pennsylvania, Dick and his family picked Bev up at her nearby home and took her to church with them. “I’m sure the Rogenbaums had no idea how many of my dad’s family and children are born again Christians because of their love and faithfulness to all of them.”
I marvel that, years ago, one man could impact two of the families presently worshiping at Pearce Church so many years later.
To top it all off, I received an email on Monday from Alberta Anderson. In her note she related that as an older child she knew Dick and his family. “When I remember Dick through the eyes of a pre-teen,” Alberta wrote, “I see a happy face and someone full of life.”
So the story continues, doesn’t it? I hope each of us influence others for Christ and are remembered as someone full of life!
Thanks, Bev and Alberta, for the rest of the story!
(Here’s a photo of my dad with three of the kids in my family. I’m the calm, steady child in the center of the photo.)