Almost There is Almost Gone!
The Christmas season always passes too quickly for me. Every year, I tell myself to move slowly and deliberately savor the anticipation of Christ’s coming. But time is passing and Christmas is only two weeks away.
I would be remiss in my responsibilities as the lead pastor at Pearce if I didn’t express my deep appreciation to Pastor Tim, Julie Smith, Jessica Best, and a host of gifted musicians for the excellent and inspiring Christmas musical presented last weekend. More than 900 people were present between the two performances!
The musical presented the wonderful theme of Almost There! For those within the Gospel narratives, Almost There was the realization that God’s deliverance was soon to be realized in the birth of Jesus. For us today, Almost There reminds us that the return of our Lord is just around the corner.
I invite you to live expectantly and move slowly this Christmas season!
The End of an Era
Arriving at Pearce this weekend, you’ll notice a change in the landscape surrounding our facility. The two houses on either side of our parking lot driveway (on the west side of Orchard) are being demolished.
Every time one of the old houses along Orchard Street comes down, I hear stories from members of the Pearce and RWC communities regarding the memories associated with it. I’m sure that is especially true with the houses at 67 and 65 Orchard Street.
These houses, owned by the college until the past year and now under Pearce’s ownership, have been torn down for several reasons. Primarily, the board decided that keeping the houses does not fit in with our present mission as a congregation.
The board was also reluctant to take on the maintenance of additional buildings, which can place significant demands on the Operational Budget. Both of the houses would have required a significant infusion of funds to “get them in shape.” Also, their removal provides a better line of sight to our parking lot, helping visitors find a parking space, as well as enhancing our property with attractive green space.
On Wednesday morning, the crew began tearing down the back half of 65 Orchard. As the equipment pulled the chimney down, one little P4K boy watching the demolition remarked, “That’s okay, Santa can get through the opening in the back.”
When I Survey!
As of this past Tuesday, 138 of you had completed the simple online survey. To ensure the validity of the survey’s data, I need a total of 218 adults (sixteen or older) to take the survey.
My thanks to those of you who completed the survey. I appreciate your help. If you haven’t taken it, I invite you to do so! It will not only help me in my research, it will inform our church’s Official Board as they plan for the future of our community of faith.
To complete the survey, simply go to https://az1.qualtrics.com/jfe5/preview/SV_9mEp2aOUId3a0G9
In recent weeks, you’ve been informed of Pearce’s financial challenges. I want to thank you for your response to this information and your efforts to help us end 2016 fiscally strong.
This graph from our treasurer, Mike Vannest, shows our financial situation with regard to contributions to our Operational Budget. We are almost exactly even with this same time frame last year, but still behind our projected budget needs for the year. To date, we are about 3% behind our budget. Thanks for helping us close this gap over the coming three weeks.
God Is Bigger
Following last month’s Financial Forum, a Pearce family approached me via email about tithing: giving 10% of their income to the church. As we communicated back and forth, the family informed me on November 18, “Okay! We are gonna do it. I am more than scared, but am feeling like this is what we need to do. The Bible says to be a cheerful giver and I will, with God’s help, do that. We love Pearce and the staff that gives so much of their time, prayers, and love.”
Earlier this week, I received this note: “So tithing means that everything will go wrong! Kids lost their insurance for the month of December, so medicine not covered. Car needs $300 of work. Van needs new battery. But…God has it all. And I mean all…money, worry, concerns! God moves mountains and we are believing, tithing, and trusting!”
The writer went on to say, “So tithing means that Strong Hospital is covering my son’s meds for December for free! My brother sells car batteries and can get us a new one for $25. I got a bonus from my job on Friday that I wasn’t expecting.”
I celebrate this family’s discovery of God’s faithfulness to those who are obedient to Him. Don’t you?
A Compassionate Community
This past weekend, those attending Pearce’s Christmas musical contributed $3,979.95 toward our Compassion Fund. This fund exists to assist those in our church family and our community encountering difficult circumstances. There are no overhead expenses in the administration of this fund; one hundred percent of monies received is distributed to those in need.
Since 2010, this fund has distributed nearly $100,000. Offerings for this fund will also be received during this year’s Christmas Eve services. Thanks, once again, for being a generous church manifesting Christ’s love in many caring ways.