Two June Brides
As I was preparing for worship this past Sunday morning, I realized that two new brides were participating in the service. These women, from two very diverse generations, are both recent June brides. Emily Bartz Hutchinson, who gifted us with her flute playing in worship, was married on June 4. Neva Pfouts Donnell, who read one of the Scripture passages, was wed on June 29. I couldn’t resist having these two lovely ladies make a quick dash outside to snap this photo of them!
Dixie Cup or Washtub Christian?
Wasn’t it a blessing to have Bishop Richard Snyder with us this past weekend at Pearce? In his message, he challenged us to live lives of generosity. So how are you doing today? Are you a Dixie cup or a washtub Christian? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the podcast of last weekend’s message on our website.)
Getting to Know the Haskins!
This past Monday evening, Mary and I enjoyed hosting Pastor Roger and Ellen Haskins in our home. Although I have known Pastor Roger for a long time, it was wonderful to catch up with each other and celebrate God’s faithfulness.
In last weekend’s bulletin, I mentioned that the Haskins had a son, also named Roger. I failed to include the fact that they have two other children as well. I asked Pastor Roger to introduce all of us (and me!) to all his kids. Here’s what he sent me:
Our oldest child, Kelly, and her husband, David, live outside of Boston with their two children. Our middle child and first son, Roger III, and his wife, Jennifer, live in Fairport with their three children. Our youngest son, Will, lives in Hong Kong and has two sons.
I ask for you to pray for Will and our beloved daughter-in-law, Heleina, as they are now separated and moving toward divorce. Please join us in lifting their marriage and family to our God of unfailing love.
Reading with Patrick
Earlier this week, I finished a book that caught my eye on the “new arrivals” table at the Pittsford Barnes and Noble. After turning the last page, I sat and savored the sense of having just finished a powerful story that illuminated my mind and touched my heart. I recommend it without reservation to you. (It’s the best book I’ve read thus far this year!)
By Michelle Kuo, the book is Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship. In a recent New York Times interview, Kuo summarized her book with these words:
It’s an intimate story about the failure of the education and criminal justice systems and the legacy of slavery; about how literature is for everyone, how books connect people, and the hope that with enough openness and generosity we can do the hard work of knowing each other and ourselves.
Earlier this year, we held a series of seminars at Pearce on “Loving My Neighbor of a Different Race.” This book reminded me of things I learned in those seminars and that, sadly, we continue to live in a racially divided country. It also affirmed the role of gifted teachers in our lives and the towering influence for good that a single person can have in the life of another.
This time next week, I’ll be in the village of Nzige spending precious hours with a wonderful community of brothers and sisters in Christ who have become dear to us at Pearce through our Linked with Love partnership. Pastor Jeremy will be accompanying me on this visit, a trip that traces its genesis to Bishop Samuel’s invitation to me during his visit to our church in May 2016. At that time, he invited me to the 75th anniversary celebration of the Free Methodist Church’s ministry in Rwanda, an invitation I did not want to refuse!
Pastor Jeremy and I will marvel at God’s faithfulness and goodness as we join with the Rwandan church to thank God for his work in that country. The celebration will take place in Kibogora, the site of the start of the Free Methodist work, on Sunday, August 13. We’ll do our best to represent our congregation. In the days prior to the celebration, we’ll have the opportunity to spend time in Nzige, seeing the nearly completed primary classroom building and visiting with the people of the community.
I appreciate your prayers as we travel, returning via Toronto on August 17.
This week our office team is bidding farewell to Elissa Finger, our communication specialist. I asked her to write about her time at Pearce and her future plans. Here are her remarks:
I started at Pearce, taking a job as office secretary, in January of 2013. My youngest had just started kindergarten and the position, with its part-time hours and fantastic coworkers, was perfect for getting “back to work.” Then, last year, I moved to the communication team – getting a chance to put my English degree to good use.
I love the people I work with, but when a door opened for me to work as an elementary school classroom aide at Gates-Chili, I knew it was the right opportunity and timing for a change. I look forward to a work schedule that allows me to be home with my kids when they are not at school, and a chance to support education in my community.
I’m excited for what lies ahead for me and for Pearce right now: we both have much to look forward to, much to do, and many future blessings to embrace!
Our thanks to Elissa for her years of service to the Pearce family!
What Would Jesus Say to Baby Boomers?
Last weekend, Bishop Snyder kicked-off our series “What Would Jesus Say to My Generation?” with a powerful message, encouraging us to be people of satisfaction and generosity. Although Bishop Snyder was primarily addressing his generation, the “Silent Generation,” it was clear that his message was relevant for all of us.
Originally, I had planned for Dr. Doug Cullum to be with us this coming weekend. But due to the recent loss of his home as the result a fire, I’ve given Doug a pass to “not be on duty” this weekend. I visited with Doug and his wife, Joyce, on Monday, toured their ruined home, and realized that they have plenty on their plate right now. I’m sure the Cullum family appreciates your prayers as they move through these challenging weeks.
Since I am a certified baby-boomer, I feel qualified to tackle this weekend’s theme “What Would Jesus Say to Baby Boomers?” I hope you’ll join us at either our Saturday evening or Sunday morning worship service.
Just for Fun!
I couldn’t resist including these photos in this week’s Dangling:
The first photo was taken in September 2011 at our pastoral team retreat at the Abbey of the Genesee. We’ve been going to the Abbey at regular intervals as a team for rest, renewal, and conversation.
The second photo was taken last week at my final time at the Abbey as a member of the Pearce pastoral team. Our days together have been memorable and I have treasured each of them!