Can I Ask for Your Help?
Let me just admit right up front that I am one of those who usually ignores invitations to complete a survey. If someone with a clipboard is standing in the center of a mall aisle, I steer well clear. So, I understand that I may be asking quite a lot of you; but I’m going to do it anyway. After all, it’s almost Christmas and I hope I’m catching you in a good mood!
Here it goes! Please take a few minutes to complete a survey about Pearce. If you consider Pearce your church home and you are sixteen or older, I’d appreciate you taking time to complete an online survey on your computer or smart phone. (If you don’t have access to the survey online, contact Kim Brittin in the Pearce office for access to a hard copy.)
The survey is part of the research I’m conducting for my dissertation at Northeastern Seminary. The data gathered will be of significant assistance in my work. It will also be helpful to Pearce’s Official Board in planning for the future of our church.
Don’t worry. We won’t know whether or not you complete the survey; the survey software does not track the device used. (I hope that helps you breathe easier!)
To complete the survey go to the following link: https://qaz1.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9mEp2aOUId3a0G9
It won’t take that long, so I hope you’ll donate a few minutes of your time.
The survey will only be available until December 16, so please complete it before then. And, please take it only once – no stuffing the ballot box!
By the way, thanks to those of you who have been praying for me as I’ve worked on my dissertation. Last week, I passed my proposal defense; and, with some edits and additions, my first four of a total six chapters are complete. The members of my dissertation committee are Dr. Doug Cullum, Dr. Nelson Grimm, and Bishop David Kendall. My thanks to them for their guidance and encouragement!
Word of Witness to Light in Dark Days
Following last Saturday’s worship service, Dom Nasso approached me to share a word of personal witness. I had spoken in my sermon of God’s faithfulness in days of darkness. Dom briefly shared his own experience of God’s light breaking into his life. I asked him to put his story into words and, as a result, I now get to share it with you.
In Pastor Wally’s sermon last Saturday, he spoke about why things happen in our lives that we don’t understand. Why? What’s the reason for such tragic events in the world? Here is one of my explanations as to why such things happen.
In 1967 my daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was only 10 years old. The tumor was located on the left side of her brain near her brain stem, so they couldn’t operate. She passed away in June of 1968 and we buried her on her 11th birthday. I asked God “Why?” when she was only 10 years old.
That Christmas I had such a void in my life; so I called Pastor Cutler, who was the Pastor at Pearce at the time. He came over to my house and shared the Lord with me. I was a little hesitant on making a commitment, and gave him some excuses. But he asked me the question, “What do you have to lose?” So that Christmas week, I received Jesus into my life. It was through the death of my daughter that I came to know Christ as my Savior.
As I look back, I started to see why. I’m not saying that is the reason she died, but God did use it in my life to draw me to Him. Over the years, God has used me in a Hospital Ministry, a Prison Ministry, calling in people’s homes and sharing the love of God, and in many other ways. Years ago, I was part of the visitation team here at Pearce that went out on Thursday nights to minister to people in their homes. I remember one night Claire Fyke and I went to visit my friend, Roy, whom I had been sharing with, and we led him to the Lord.
I feel that particular “Why?” in my life has been answered. Because of that “Why?” I am a changed person, and one day I will see my little girl in Heaven.
Christianity without Content
This weekend we begin a new sermon series at Pearce entitled Love Came Down. I hope the title evokes thoughts of Bethlehem and Jesus coming to earth. But I am not exploring the nativity narratives in Luke or Matthew’s gospel this year. Rather, I’m taking time to consider the significance of Jesus’ birth in light of John’s first letter. This week we’ll look at the opening verses of 1 John where John argues for an apostolic faith – a faith with content! I invite you to become familiar with I John 1:1-4 in preparation for this weekend.
Usually, Communion is served the first weekend of each month at Pearce. That is not the case this December. Communion will be served as part of the Service of Hope that is being held on Sunday evening, December 18, at 6pm.
A Special Guest
Rev. Pam Braman, along with her husband, Marshal, will be visiting Pearce this coming Sunday. This past May, Pam was elected the superintendent of the Genesis Conference of the Free Methodist Church. If you aren’t familiar with our denomination, Pam’s role is to provide oversight of the Free Methodist churches in Western New York.
I’ve asked them to join me in the Common Grounds Café before the Sunday service. I invite you to stop by and introduce yourself to them.
I hope you are planning to attend one of two performances this weekend of Almost There: A Christmas Musical. This musical will feature an orchestra, the Pearce Choir, and actors and soloists from the Pearce and Roberts Wesleyan communities. Almost There provides an innovative take on the Christmas story by utilizing video as a story-telling component. Your entire family will enjoy this evening.
A free-will offering will be taken at each performance to benefit Pearce’s Compassion Fund. This special fund provides emergency assistance to those in need in our own community.
Friday’s performance begins at 7pm and Sunday’s is at 6pm. Invite your friends and neighbors for a wonderful evening!