Always Winter and Never Christmas!
I think I love winter, in part, because of Christmas. How delightful to gather on a cold winter’s evening in anticipation of Christmas morning and the remembrance of Jesus’ birth!
Remember the words of the faun to Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Describing his land to her, the faun says that in Narnia it is “always winter and never Christmas!” How tragic! A land of ice and snow without the warmth of Christmas. Later, in that same novel, Father Christmas appears on the scene as an early sign of Aslan’s coming back and the restoration of the land of Narnia.
I hope you’ll gather with me this Saturday evening at Pearce to celebrate the coming of Jesus at the outset of our winter solstice. Our traditional candlelight services this year are at 5 and 7pm. We will also gather for worship on Christmas morning at 10:30am.
If I don’t see you this weekend, let me extend to you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
Pearce’s Tribal Elder
In last week’s Dangling, I highlighted the upcoming birthdays of two of Pearce’s tribal elders: Howard Myer and Arden Travis. Both of these men are turning 97 in the next few days.
There was an error in my notes on Howard that I discovered due to a gracious email from Howard’s daughter, Lois Charlson. She wrote: “Just a little correction, my dad has been attending Pearce since 1961 when we moved here.” Thanks for helping me get my facts straight, Lois!
I also received an email from Bertie Dick. She wrote: “I thought you might want to know that George Osborne turned 98 on Thursday, December 15.” This weekend, George’s son, Tim, provided the following update on his dad:
George and Eileen, his wife of 66 years, have attended Pearce Memorial Church since 1978. They both were founding members of Orrin Bowman’s small group Bible study and attended until it disbanded a couple of years ago. Although George lately has not been able to attend Sunday morning services on a regular basis, he still makes it to the Wednesday night Savory Suppers weekly and is looking forward to the Christmas Eve candlelight service.
By the way, when Tim sent this he noted: “I kept it to just dad’s Pearce highlights, like the article about the other two younger men.” I love it when Howard and Arden, both at 97, are referred to as “younger men!”
How marvelous to have these men as part of the Pearce family. Now here’s my question: “Is George the oldest member of our church?” I am interested in knowing! (I imagine George is, too!)
Pearce Through Brian’s Eyes!
Brian Kovach is a sophomore at RWC who enjoys hanging out in Common Grounds Café on weekdays. During a conversation several weeks ago, I discovered that Brian is a media major at the college. I mentioned to him, “If you ever want to do a video project, I’d love to have you do something for Pearce.” Brian, not long afterward, approached me about putting together a video to fulfill an assignment for his digital video class. I eagerly encouraged him to get to work!
This past Monday, Brian came to my office with the fruit of his labor. I invite you to click here and check out his great “welcome” video.
Thanks, Brian, for the hours you invested in this assignment! Well done!
Clear Blue Global Water
I am so often “blown out of the water” by Pearce’s generosity. That was the case this past weekend with your response to this year’s Advent Conspiracy. Our offering to assist in providing clean water for the Fulani people in Nigeria received $8,530 for this pressing need!
When I communicated this news to Pastor Brenda Young at the Akron, Ohio Free Methodist Church and one of the leaders at Clear Blue Global Water, she replied: “Oh my goodness! That is unbelievable! Yes–it will pretty much pay for one whole well.”
Thanks, Pearce family!
Thanks for Helping Us Close the Gap
As you have heard in recent weeks, Pearce has faced a gap between budgeted contributions and actual contributions this year—particularly in our operational and building fund categories. (The building fund at Pearce is actually a debt reduction fund to cover the payments on the debt incurred in 2001 with the building of the Family Life Center and educational wing.)
Well, I want to commend the many who have responded in these closing weeks of this year. We are closing our operational gap, having received $1,171,270 towards a budget-to-date of $1,181,765. If we have a solid offering this Sunday, we may actually make our budget for this year. That would be wonderful!
We have received building contributions of $201,575 toward a budget-to-date of $218,244. When we fall short in this category of giving, our operational budget makes up the shortfall. This, of course, puts even more demand on the operational budget.
You’ll note that one graph also shows a shortfall in mission giving. This may not reflect less giving toward missions; in fact, my guess is that this has been a banner year for mission giving at Pearce. Most of our local and global mission giving is outside of the mission budget. For example, in this year’s Exit Offerings alone, this congregation has given more than $22,000.
I’ve said this a hundred times and I’ll say it again, “Pearce is a generous church!” Thank you!
Left Dangling Until Next Year
Don’t look for the next edition of the Dangling Conversation until next year. I’ll pick up the conversation with you on Thursday, January 4, 2017. Until then, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!