Thanks for the Blessings!
On Wednesday, I had the joy of taking the Pearce pastoral team out for lunch and a stroll across the bridge at High Falls. As I head out on my three-month sabbatical, I’m aware of the blessing of having such a capable team to lead this congregation in my absence.
I’m also grateful to each of you who are a part of this community of faith. Thanks for blessing me with this gift of three months to research and write.
When Bill Smout, a long-time board member, approached me last December about taking this time away, it seemed an impossibility to me. I appreciated his suggestion, but wondered at if it was a realistic one. Now, as I write this on my last day in the office, it is soon to be a reality.
Few pastors have the opportunity that you have given me. Thank you!
Introducing the Rev. Kelly
This weekend, Pastor Jeremy will preach his first sermon as an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church. I celebrate this special moment with him. As I watched him officiate at last Sunday’s baptism of little Alexander Messoloras, I was reminded of the wonderful ways God has gifted him for pastoral leadership.
I’ve asked Pastor Jeremy if he would maintain the Dangling Conversation during my absence and he, very graciously, has agreed to do so. I’ve encouraged him not to feel compelled to write as much as I do each week. (I do get a bit wordy at times, don’t I?) So expect that this summer’s Dangling may be brief, but Pastor Jeremy has promised to keep you informed each week.
I’m glad he is picking up the conversation and that you will not be left dangling!
Books for the Journey
A wonderful group of pastors will be preaching at Pearce this summer. Beginning on June 18/19, the summer series will be a look at the book of Acts. The series is titled “Encounters Along the Way” and may help you in your own communication of God’s Story to those around you.
I’ve selected two new books for Pearce Reads that you might want to pick up. The first, Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion is by Os Guinness, one of the leading Christian apologists of our time.
The other book, The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus, is by one of my favorite writers, Dallas Willard. Willard, in this posthumous book, provides a new, and I feel a very attractive, model for how we can present the Christian faith.
Love Seeing the Progress!
This week work has begun on Parmerter roof, a project for which we have long prepared. To date, we have received a total of $143,635.50 towards the $161,200 expense of the roof. Thanks for your faithfulness in underwriting this significant project.
“Though We’ve Got to Say Goodbye for the Summer”
Brian Hyland had a hit in the summer of 1962 with a titled “Sealed with a Kiss.” I found myself whistling the tune of this rather sappy and overly dramatic song, one that laments the agony of teenage love, as I went about my routine at Pearce today. The explanation for my unconscious rendition of the song is that I’m preparing to head out on my sabbatical.
Pearce, as you know by now, has graciously granted me a three-month sabbatical this summer to work on my D. Min. dissertation. The sabbatical will begin on May 27 and extent through the end of August.
This weekend, I have chosen to reflect on my thoughts and feelings as I step aside for the first time in my pastoral vocation. I’ve titled my message “A Pastor’s Summer Prayer” as I have been thinking of Paul’s prayer for a congregation for which he had deep affection that is recorded in Philippians 1. (If you read the chapter in preparation for worship, give special attention to verses three through eleven.)
I look forward to seeing you this weekend in worship. It is very strange for me to think that after this weekend, I will not be in Pearce’s pulpit until Labor Day weekend!
Rest assured, I’ve arranged for a great line-up of gifted communicators to open God’s Word in the coming months. So, in the word of that old teen anthem, let’s “make a pledge to meet in September!”
The Generations Gather
Over the past two years, Pastor Mike has been reading studies and statistics pertaining to the value of intergenerationalism in the church. He has discovered that students who have meaningful relationships with adults of various generations are much more likely to keep their Christian faith through college and beyond; and, almost as significant, they are far more likely to plug into churches.
Immediately after last Sunday’s service, Pearce’s Golden Heirs and our teens gathered for a potluck lunch. Questions were set on each table to help start the intergenerational conversations. Pastor Mike said, “What I observed was generations talking and realizing what they had in common: fears, hopes, dreams, and even musical tastes, as well as what was different from each person’s teen years. One group of teens in particular couldn’t fathom a world without cell phones or a time when you could purchase gasoline for only 18 cents a gallon!
Food, Glorious Food!
When Oliver sang “Food, glorious food!” in the Broadway play that bears his name, he expressed a universal longing that all of us have “three banquets a day!” I am grateful to Rochester’s Foodlink and a wonderful team of Pearce volunteers that recently helped provide fresh food to area families. Last weekend, 177 families, representing 629 people, received meat and fresh vegetables at our fifth Mobile Food Pantry.
Sue Smout, who oversees this ministry at Pearce, spoke of one woman who asked to borrow a cart to help convey her groceries home to a nearby apartment. Sue, going above and beyond her duty, offered instead to drive the woman and her groceries home. The woman mentioned to Sue that when she got up on Saturday, she told her son she needed to call Foodlink and ask where she could find a nearby food pantry. Then the woman noticed a Pearce flyer taped to the door of her apartment building, and came over to our church for food.
Sue wrote in an email, “I am always so amazed each time we do this….I continue to feel blessed every time I finish a Mobile Food Panty. I am exhausted, but feel good just the same!” Thanks, Sue!
A Verse to Live By
Following last Sunday’s wonderful service of Christian baptism, Ken Price approached me at the front of the sanctuary. “I have a gift for you,” he said, “from the tenth grade Sunday school class!” He then handed me a wooden cross with the lyrics of the old gospel song, “I love to tell the story of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.” Under the lyrics is written “Isaiah 46:4.”
I had to laugh when I got home and looked up the reference. It reads: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.”
I gladly receive this good-natured kidding from the teens and appreciate their thoughtful (?) gift. It will serve as a nice reminder in my home study of a wonderful congregation with a good sense of humor!
Baptisms This Weekend
Pearce, like any community of faith, has a host of wonderful traditions. We present Bibles to our first and sixth graders each June; and we always raise our Christmas Eve candles high as we sing the fourth and final verse of Joy to the World! Another one of our traditions takes place each spring, as we invite those who desire to declare their faith to do so by receiving the sacrament of Christian baptism. For many years, this May baptismal service has been a high point in the Pearce Church year.
This coming Sunday, fifteen individuals will publicly declare their faith in Jesus Christ. The evening before, a couple will bring their young daughter for infant baptism. I invite you to join us for this special weekend as we witness these commitments.
Men at Work
We anticipate that Elmer W. Davis Roofing will tackle the installation of the new roof on Parmerter Chapel this coming Monday. As you know, we have been preparing for this project for quite awhile. I recall a day, three or four years ago, when Bob Antes, our Facilities Director, presented me with a shingle from the roof that readily crumbled in my hand.
For the past year and half, we have been raising funds to cover the $161,200 cost. Although we have not fully funded the roof, the contractor is beginning the installation this coming week in order to ensure the completion of the project before our summer Vacation Bible School. (We want to have our grounds ready for the many children who attend this annual event.)
To date, we have received $138,456.50, leaving a little less than $23,000 needed. I encourage you to help us raise this outstanding amount in the coming weeks. Wouldn’t it be great to have this project fully funded before its completion?
Pastor Jeremy’s Ordination
A high moment in the life of a pastor is the day of their ordination. The bishop lays his or her hands on the pastor and intones, “The Lord pour out the Holy Spirit for the office and work of an elder in the Free Methodist Church.” I know it is a moment I’ve never forgotten and doubt that I ever will, even though my own ordination took place 35 years ago!
I asked Pastor Jeremy this morning: “What are you feeling as you anticipate your ordination?” He responded, “I am looking forward to being ordained because it is such a wonderful milestone in what has been an incredible journey of life and ministry. During the course of the ordination process, I have been surrounded by amazing men and women of God who have loved me, invested in my leadership, and helped me to grow in Christ. Being ordained represents, for me, the compassionate care and leadership so many have poured into my life and their affirmation of the calling I began to sense many years ago. For this reason, I am forever grateful for my church family and look forward to being ordained so that I can continue to serve them for the glory of God.”
I invite you to witness this special moment in Pastor Jeremy’s life. He will be ordained, along with other candidates, at a special time of worship on Thursday, May 26, at 7pm at the Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia.
We’ll also acknowledge Pastor Jeremy’s ordination at a reception in Pearce’s Atrium, following the Sunday morning worship service on May 29.
Getting Up There!
I snapped this photo of Mendal Dick as he installed a new light fixture on the west side of Pearce’s facility. As I see him up on that high ladder, working hard and at personal risk, I am mindful of the many men and women who, day in and day out, help serve this congregation and our community. Thanks, Mendal, and thanks to all of you for being so generous with your time and talents!
The Ministry of Morning Moms
Pearce’s Morning Moms just finished another year of ministry. Each Friday morning, from September through April, mothers of young children gathered to encourage and support each other. Pastor Megan Hoose sent me some comments that moms recently made to her concerning this vital ministry.
Michelle wrote: “Morning Moms is such a blessing to me! A great place to share in the joy of God’s blessings and to join together as His children in prayer for our greatest needs! It has helped me focus more on God and His word, encouraging me for the task God has given me—to raise His children—and assurance I am never alone! Never have I been in such a group, with so many women in different stages of family and life—I am so thankful for this group”
Lois commented: “I’m an elder mom but am embraced by this group of beautiful spirited women. No cliques here! They care and share for each other to a degree I have never witnessed before. They call me their teacher, but so often I am the one who is taught. I thank God for this ministry every week.”
A mom by the name of Jessica wrote: “God uses this group to turn islands into a village. The support, encouragement, and prayer I have received are countless and have been my lifeline.”
Thanks, Pastor Megan, and your entire team, for creating this caring environment!
Linked with Love
I want to thank all of those who made our Linked with Love celebration this past weekend such a memorable time! From the wonderful International Child Care Ministries Banquet on Saturday to the meaningful times of worship, it was an unforgettable weekend. If you see Kim Brittin or Jim Heeks, be sure to express special appreciation for all their work on the banquet, and don’t forget to let Pastor Tim and his team know of your thanks for a weekend of marvelous music.
We were privileged to have so many special guests for the weekend. Pictured above at the ICCM sponsorship table are (left to right): Bishop Samuel of Rwanda, Jen Finley (ICCM Church Relations Director), Debbie McClarin (ICCM volunteer), Rev. Megan Hoose (ICCM Ambassador), and Dr. Linda Adams, (ICCM Director).
An additional twelve children were selected for sponsorship. This brings our total number of sponsored children close to one hundred and twenty.
After arriving home on Sunday following worship at Pearce, I discovered an email from Ephaste, the Rwandan director of International Child Care Ministries. He sent along these photos of the new playground equipment that has recently been installed on the Nzige school grounds. The purchase of this equipment was made possible by our Vacation Bible School kids last summer, who raised the funds to provide a great place where the Nzige children can play.
One More Nzige Note
This past Sunday’s Exit Offering will help the Nzige community purchase the necessary building supplies for the new primary classroom building. A generous total of $3,078.46 was given to help finance this new addition to the school. I think that is an incredible amount and want to express my deep appreciation to the entire Pearce family for the many ways you continue to bless the Nzige school, church, and community!
Parmerter Chapel Is a Special Place
Parmerter Chapel has proven to be a place filled with significance for Tim & Kellie Dorr. A few years ago, the couple met while attending the Saturday worship service. Last year, they were married in a beautiful ceremony in Parmerter. This past Saturday, they brought their firstborn, Lydia, to dedicate to the Lord in the evening’s worship service. Congratulations to this family!
Let the Roof Construction Begin!
For nearly the past year and a half, we’ve been talking about our “Raise the Roof” project, with a goal to fund the $161,000 installation of a new roof on Parmerter Chapel. Well, the time has come for action! Construction on Parmerter’s roof will begin sometime next week, weather permitting. The installation of the roof is estimated to be at least a two-week project.
During this project, you’ll notice that the west side playground will not be used. Also, the Orchard Street parking strip (near the playground) will be unavailable, as it will serve as a staging area for equipment and materials. A temporary fence will prevent anyone from entering dangerous areas throughout the construction.
At this point, a total of $136,502.50 has been contributed to this important project. We anticipate giving to continue in the coming weeks until the entire cost of the new roof has been covered. Thanks to all who have helped us with this significant maintenance item!
Linked with Love Anniversary
This weekend, our community of faith celebrates our first anniversary of partnering with the school in Nzige, Rwanda. Over the past year, families at Pearce have committed to sponsoring more than 100 children in Nzige, and two teams have visited the village to build relationships between our two communities. I feel that our partnership, known as Linked with Love, is off to a wonderful start and I look forward to watching this relationship grow and develop in the coming years.
To help us celebrate, we have two very special guests with us.
Bishop Samuel Kayinamura is spending this week with us, having arrived from Rwanda this past Monday evening. (Above is a photo from this past Tuesday evening, when the bishop gathered with the members of Pearce’s Great Commission Leadership Team, the group that oversees the Linked with Love partnership.)
This is the bishop’s third visit to the United States. He previously visited North Chili as an honorary delegate to the 2011 General Conference of the Free Methodist Church which we, along with RWC, hosted that summer. Bishop Samuel oversees a thriving and growing ministry of more than 170 churches in his homeland. He has served as bishop since 2004.
Dr. Linda Adams is no stranger to Pearce, having joined us on numerous occasions to preach from our pulpit. As the director of International Child Care Ministries (ICCM), Linda tirelessly travels to help ICCM care for more than 20,000 children in over 30 countries around the globe.
Linda proposed Pearce’s Linked with Love partnership in the fall of 2014. Bishop Samuel has been an enthusiastic supporter of it from the early stages of development. I am grateful to both of these gifted leaders for their dedication to Christ and His Kingdom, and their service to Pearce Church and the children of Nzige.
Sponsoring a Child
Not all of the children in Nzige have been sponsored! Although we celebrate that more than 100 children from the village have been “adopted” by Pearce families over the past year, we’d love to touch even more of these young people with Christ’s love. This weekend, an additional 47 sponsorship packets will be available at a table in the narthex behind Pearce’s sanctuary. If you haven’t yet sponsored a child, why not consider stopping at the table and learning more about how you can impact a young child’s life?
If you aren’t able to be at Pearce this weekend, a limited number of sponsorship packets are kept on hand in the church office. Contact Kim Brittin at 594-9488 for more information.
Pearce Board Retreat
This past weekend, members of the Pearce Official Board and their spouses gathered for a time of retreat at Houghton College. The weekend provided an opportunity for the board to discuss, in depth, items that often get pushed aside by the demands of monthly agendas. Chairman Jim Morton led the sessions, encouraging the board to consider where God is leading our congregation in the coming years.
The board did discuss at length the future of two properties that are coming under our church’s ownership this summer. The two houses on either side of the Orchard Street entrance to our parking lot, which have been used as office space by RWC, will be torn down this fall to provide for future development of additional parking and green space for our congregation.
The board considered proposals to keep the house on the south side of the parking lot entrance, the “bungalow,” as a venue for ministry, such as an expanded food bank. The decision was made to tear down the house, largely because of the strategic location of the property for green space and parking uses, the availability of other Pearce-owned properties for possible ministry venues, and the financial investment necessary to maintain the property.
The Running of the “Garage Sale-ers”
Tomorrow morning, I’ll take my place in the Family Life Center to observe as the countdown is given for this year’s Mission Garage Sale. As the doors are swung open wide, an eager “mob” of intense garage sale devotees will race into the gym to examine the countless tables laden with items. It is a memorable sight for me! It doesn’t quite rank up there in the same category as the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, but it is impressive.
The hours of this year’s sale are Friday from 9am-7pm and Saturday from 9am-noon. I encourage you to be supportive of this major source of funding for ministry around the world!
Official Board Retreat
This weekend, members of Pearce’s Official Board will gather for a time of retreat on the campus of Houghton College. The purpose of this retreat is to provide an opportunity for our leaders to prayerfully consider the mission and vision of our community of faith. The board last gathered for such a time in October 2014.
The retreat will begin on Friday evening and continue through Sunday morning. I appreciate your prayers as we consider God’s direction for our church.
Pastor Jeremy will be in the pulpit this weekend. His message is entitled “Contagious Joy” and is based on 1 Peter 1:3-12.
On Tuesday, I received an update from Ephaste Niyigena, the International Child Care Ministries director for Rwanda. He included this photo of the children who are graduating from the preschool in Nzige and who will be attending the local public primary school.
The children were recently presented with bags of school supplies to aid them in their education at the primary school. As your sponsored child graduates from the Nzige preschool, they will continue to receive support while they attend the public school.
According to Lydia Monroe, the nearest primary school is a four-mile-walk through steep and difficult terrain. The parents of the children in Nzige are presently working to construct additional classrooms in their village that will permit them to begin offering primary grades at the site of the existing preschool and eliminate the children’s need to walk so far. (We’ll be receiving an Exit Offering on April 30 and May 1 to assist the parents in purchasing construction materials.)
Packets with names of children will be available for sponsorship during our Nzige Weekend, being held on April 30 and May 1. Dr. Linda Adams, ICCM’s global director, will be with us along with Bishop Samuel Kayinamura of Rwanda. You won’t want to miss our worship services and the opportunity to hear from these gifted and dynamic leaders.
Reception for the Bishop
Speaking of Bishop Samuel, I want to invite you to an informal reception on Thursday, April 28, at 7pm in the Friendship Center. Bishop Samuel will be sharing his personal story, a wonderful testimony to God’s provision and protection on his life. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about Rwanda and our “Linked with Love” partnership.
Celebrating 50 Years of Child Sponsorship
A special evening celebrating 50 years of International Child Care Ministries will be held at Pearce in the Family Life Center on Saturday, April 30. This “Jubilee Banquet” will begin at 6pm. Tickets for the event cost $15 per adult and $6 per child aged 6-12. (Tickets for children age 5 and under are free!) Tickets are required and are available to reserve here or by contacting the Pearce office at 594-9488.
Welcome to the Spencers
This past Sunday morning, I had the joy of welcoming Phil and Fay Spencer into membership at Pearce. Fay wrote me on Monday: “As the newest members of Pearce Church, we wanted to take a minute and say what an awesome church we attend! Worship yesterday was so God-inspired and wonderful, it just confirmed our decision to become members.”
Next month, you’ll notice an improvement to our Common Grounds Café. A contractor will be installing windows and a door on the south side of the café, allowing the café to be completely closed off from the atrium.
The reason for this project is two-fold. First, as the use of our café as a venue for special gatherings has grown, we’ve become aware of the need to eliminate the ambient noise from the atrium as much as possible. Secondly, this improvement will allow the room to be locked when the café is not open, increasing security and eliminating the chance of any unauthorized use of that space.
I appreciate the ministry of the café and the wonderful ways in which Sheryl Hunt, manager of Common Grounds, and her staff provide an environment of grace for so many each week.
Keys Not to the Kingdom
Honna Curtis, Pearce’s administrator, has recently tackled making an inventory of the keys to our building. As part of this inventory, Honna is requesting those possessing keys to Pearce locks, and who no longer have need of them, to return any keys to her. This will help insure a safe environment for the many who regularly enter our facility each week.
Thanks for Your Financial Support
How are we doing financially at Pearce? All in all, we are doing well and keeping the bills paid and the lights on. However, we are slightly behind in all three main budget areas: Operations, Building Fund, and Missions.
The table below, provided by our treasurer Mike Vannest, helps illustrate our need. Thanks for helping us meet our budget and remain financially strong.
A Personal Sighting
This weekend, I’ll conclude our examination of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus by taking a look at a fascinating passage in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Christians. In a powerful section on belief in the bodily resurrection, he mentioned, seemingly almost as an aside, that Jesus made several appearances in the days following that first Easter. He noted that Jesus even appeared to a crowd of 500 believers on one occasion. Then he instructed his scribe to write, and at this point I imagine his voice is trembling with the thought of it all, “…and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”
You may want to read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 in preparation for services this Saturday and Sunday. I’ll try very hard to be in good health this time!
A Special Welcome to Josh Sarchet!
Last Saturday evening, Josh Sarchet was welcomed into membership at Pearce. Rev. Nelson Grimm did the honors of receiving this gifted young man who has blessed our congregation with his musical gifts. You may have noted the joy on his face this past Easter morning when he led our bell choir at a special point in the services. During the week, Josh is a music teacher at Rochester Prep Elementary School. A special welcome to Josh!
A Bevy of Bishops
I’ve always delighted in those collective nouns such as a coalition of cheetahs or a zeal of zebras. Well, this year Pearce is privileged to welcome a bevy of bishops. Now, I mean no disrespect by using that term. It just has a way of rolling off one’s tongue. But it also expresses a wonderful reality that is occurring this year at Pearce. We are hosting three bishops at various times in the next five months.
First, we have the privilege of hosting Bishop Samuel Kayinamura of Rwanda. I enjoyed meeting this wonderful and gifted leader during Pearce’s exploratory visit to Rwanda in January of 2015. Bishop Samuel is traveling to North Chili to participate in our “Linked with Love” partnership celebration on the weekend of April 30 & May 1. I’ve asked him to preside over our time of Communion in worship services that weekend. He will also be sharing his story at a special reception on Thursday, April 28, at 7pm in the Friendship Center.
Then, on the weekend of July 16 & 17, Bishop David Kendall will be our guest preacher. Bishop Kendall was elected to this position of service in 2005. He oversees Free Methodist ministries in the heartland of America and those on the continent of Africa. He is a gifted communicator and has keen insight into the Scriptures.
Finally, on our fall “Kick-off Weekend,” Bishop David Roller will return to Pearce to help us gather and celebrate coming back together after a busy summer. Bishop Roller has graciously preached at Pearce on several occasions over the nine years he has served as our bishop. He is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever heard and, as a result, wonderfully communicates the narrative of the Bible.
How blessed we are as a congregation to have this “bevy of bishops” flocking to our community of faith. I hope you take the opportunity to hear each of these godly leaders.
When You Need a Friend!
I would be remiss if I failed to express deep appreciation to those who came to my aid in my time of need this past weekend. Friday night, I came down with an unfortunate stomach bug that kept me down and out for a couple of days. (As I write this on Tuesday, I am 80% back to normal. I heard that cackle from those of you who have never considered me “normal!”)
Saturday morning, as Mary stood over me while I shivered on the couch under an afghan, she informed me that it was clear I wasn’t going to be in any condition to preach that evening. “Who should I call?” she asked. I ran through a list of potential rescuers and replied, “Call Wayne McCown!”
Well, as those of you who attended last weekend’s worship services at Pearce are well aware, Wayne put on his superhero cape and came to my aid. He was even so gracious as to continue with the weekend’s planned text and theme. What a guy!
Then there were others who helped out as well. Nelson Grimm assisted with the Saturday worship leading tasks that had been assigned to me. Scott & Beth Bellinger took charge of the Sunday evening Bible study in my stead. My wife made several contacts on my behalf and tolerated my moaning and groaning throughout the weekend. (Am I making this sound dramatic?)
All this to say, thank you to a wonderful group of people!
This week’s Dangling is abbreviated due to Spring cleaning! Although the week’s weather did not feel spring-like, the Pearce pastors and office support staff collaborated this Tuesday on cleaning out closets and various nooks and crannies in our facility. (Hence the photo of Kim Brittin, assistant to our administrator, and Jess Alcorn, our bookkeeper, cleaning out one of the “cages” in the lower level of the education wing.)
This Spring cleaning, which pre-empted my usual time to devote to tasks such as the week’s Dangling, has become an annual tradition for us, providing an opportunity not only to attend to cluttered areas of our facility, but also to see if there are items that we can pass on for inclusion in our Annual Mission Garage Sale. (I encourage you to begin identifying items in your own home to bring to Pearce the week of April 18. This year’s sale will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23.)
In light of this week’s schedule, permit me to briefly highlight a few items! (I’ll resume my typicial long-winded Dangling next week!)
First, this weekend we’ll continue our “We Were There” series of sermons on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Check out John 20:24-31 in preparation.
Secondly, Dr. Tim Dwyer begins a three-week series on “Human Sexuality” next Wednesday, April 13, at 6:30pm in Room 82 of Pearce’s education wing. You’ll appreciate hearing Tim share his insights and perspectives.
Thirdly, I want to commend all of you for your support of the campaign to raise $160,000 to install a new roof this June on Parmerter Chapel. Last weekend was amazing, as we received more than $5,000, bringing our total to $130,865. The end of this campaign is beginning to appear on the horizon! Thanks for your continued generosity!
Lydia Monroe, our P4K director, showed me a photo book she put together of our “Linked with Love” partnership. The book will be used with P4K children, to help them better understand this partnership. I love the wonderful ways in which God is using this partnership to bless children, not only in Rwanda, but here in North Chili!
An finally, in last Sunday’s “Children’s Moments,” I got into a discussion about breakfast. You may recall, the sermon text for the day was John 21. In this passage, Jesus prepares a breakfast on the beach for his disciples.
I asked the kids what they had eaten for breakfast that morning before coming to Pearce. One of those responding was Rachel Kuhlkin. She told me she had eaten “Krave” for her breakfast. I was totally clueless as to what “Krave” is. All I could think of was something like “scrapple,” a popular Pennsylvania Dutch food. (Krave does have a bit of a German sound to it, doesn’t it?)
I asked Rachel to describe Krave, which she proceeded to do as a type of “hard chocolate on the outside with soft chocolate on the inside.” (I’m not doing justice to her description!) I continued to be mystified and couldn’t quite wrap my head around Krave.
Well, yesterday, I found a bag containing Krave in my mailbox at church. It was from my young friend, Rachel, with a note:
Dear Pastor Wally,
Here, now you can taste some Krave. There’s two kinds in there you can eat it dry or with milk. Hope you like it.
From Rachel Kuhlkin
I now know what Krave is. It’s actually quite good! Thanks to Rachel for providing me with a new insight into breakfast. The things I learn during children’s moments!
This Weekend at Pearce
Last weekend, I began a new sermon series on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. I’ve chosen this
four-week series because I feel it is critical we realize that the cornerstone of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus, is a historical event. The Biblical writers make a point of documenting the many eyewitnesses who encountered Jesus after his resurrection from the grave.
This weekend, I’ll look at the closing chapter of John’s gospel, where Jesus encountered members of his inner circle near the shores of Lake Galilee. You might want to read and reflect on John 21:1-14 in preparation. Communion will also be served in both the Saturday and Sunday worship services.
I’ve asked Dr. Tim Dwyer to present a three-week seminar at Pearce on the subject of “Dealing with Human Sexuality.” This seminar will explore three significant topics. On April 13, Tim will help us understand the relationship between Biblical authority and human sexuality. The following week, April 20, he’ll help us consider the issue of homosexuality and how to blend both truth and grace into discussions. Finally, on April 27, Tim will highlight gender relations and gender confusion. Each seminar will begin at 6:30pm in room 82 in Pearce’s education wing.
Tim is a familiar face to many of us at Pearce. Since 2003, Tim has served as Professor of Christian Scriptures at Roberts and throughout that time he has been a guest in the pulpit of our church. (In fact, Tim is scheduled to preach during my sabbatical on June 4 and 5!) I appreciate him taking time out of a demanding teaching schedule to help us think through these issues.
Are you among the 149 families that have signed up for their photo for Pearce’s upcoming photo directory? If not, here’s what I want you to do. Go to www.pearcechurch.org and click on the link located near the bottom of the page.
It’s easy to schedule your appointment online. I should know, as I just made an appointment for Mary and myself while I was working on this Dangling. Now 150 families are signed up!
Nzige Team Selected
I’m pleased to announce that the members of Pearce’s VISA (Volunteers In Service Abroad) team have been selected for this summer’s ministry in Rwanda. Carol Stevenson, the team’s leader, will be accompanied by Kim LaCelle, Sue Smout, and Ruth Stewart. Each of these individuals have extensive experience in education.
Both Carol and Kim have long taught in public school districts in our area. Carol presently teaches elementary grades in the Rush-Henrietta School District. Kim has served as a science teacher for nearly two decades and previously worked at the Life Sciences Learning Center at the University of Rochester, leading teacher training for grant-funded projects. Sue Smout has taught at P4K for 16 years. (You may recall that last year Rochester’s News 10 NBC presented Sue with a “Golden Apple” award for excellence in instruction.) Ruth Stewart has 20 years of experience in home schooling, and has also taught at both the high school and college level.
Each of the three educators applied, underwent an interview, and were selected out of a total of six applicants. Interviews were conducted by Carol, as the team’s leader; Lydia Monroe, Pearce’s P4K director, and Becky Draper, the chair of Pearce’s Great Commission Leadership Team (GCLT). One of the primary reasons the members of this summer’s team were selected is that each of them have experience in training other teachers, the primary focus of the August trip.
This team is scheduled to provide training for the Nzige school faculty August 1 through 5, a week during which the students are enjoying summer vacation.
A second team is now being anticipated for February 2017. To find out more about this 2017 VISA team, contact Lydia Monroe. This team will have the opportunity to observe teachers in action, as well as model creative teaching techniques.
Saturday’s Delightful Moment
Easter Eve was a special moment at Pearce as two families brought their children to be presented before the Lord.
Chris and Lauren Grimm brought their daughter, Avery, for baptism. Chris and Kelly Brody brought their daughter, Grace, for dedication.
The relatives of these two infants pushed the Saturday service to a new high attendance of 113. Including the Good Friday Service, nearly 1,400 people attended one of the four worship services held at Pearce last weekend.
This Weekend at Pearce
I hope your plans for this weekend include attendance at one of Pearce’s four worship services.
Tomorrow evening (Friday) at 7pm, our Good Friday “Tenebrae” Service will be held in the Sanctuary. This service provides a time of sober reflection as we recall the death of Jesus on the cross. Pastor Harold Scott will provide a homily and Communion will be served.
Saturday evening, we’ll gather for our 5pm service. A highlight of this service will be the presentation before the Lord of two young daughters by the Brody and Grimm families.
Two opportunities for worship will be held on Easter morning, at 9 and 10:30am. Pastor Tim and his team have prepared beautiful music for these services. I’ll begin a new series of messages that examine the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. This weekend, we’ll look at Luke’s account of an encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).
If you are a regular attender at Pearce, I encourage you to help us alleviate parking problems that may occur Sunday morning in the brief interval between the two worship services. You can do that by parking farther away from the church, allowing visitors to enjoy the prime spots. (The forecast for Sunday is cloudy and relatively warm.) You may also want to join the pastoral team and park on the lawn of Pearce’s Orchard Street property in order to free up space.
During this past weekend’s sermon, I read an excerpt from Corrie Ten Boom’s classic book The Hiding Place. The book became an immediate best-seller upon its publication in 1971, and was made into a movie four years later.
Following last Sunday’s service, Mary and I talked about the book and its impact on us. “You should encourage a new generation of readers to pick up The Hiding Place.” She’s right; I should!
Piece by Piece
When we kicked-off our campaign to raise funds to replace the Parmerter Chapel roof at the outset of 2015, our graphic designer, Jess Brannan, designed a poster for placement in Pearce’s lobby. Featured on the poster is a whimsical rendering of Parmerter Chapel.
As funds have been raised, portions of the roof have been added to the poster. This has highlighted, with only a quick glance, our progress towards our $160,000 goal.
I was quite pleased this past Monday to witness Jess’s addition of another portion of the poster’s roof. This means we now have a total of $121,841 on hand and are less than $40,000 away from our goal!
I am deeply grateful to the many who have given sacrificially to enable us to have a new roof installed this coming June. Let’s keep making progress so that we can accomplish this need without borrowing any funds.
Real Pastors Climb Mountains
Do you ever wonder what real pastors do in their spare time? This past weekend, Pastor John Tassone and his youngest son climbed one of the peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. On Saturday, the two made their way up Mount Madison, which is the fifth highest peak in the Presidential Range with a summit of 5,367 feet above sea level.
On the morning of their assent, the temperature was a cool minus four degrees Fahrenheit, with wind gusts of 30 miles per hour.
To keep up with Pastor John, I’ve determined to ascend to the top of Cobb Hill (elevation 633 feet) sometime this summer when the temperatures are more comfortable!
I recently received word that parents of the Nzige students have begun construction on a new classroom building to accommodate this growing school. This building will permit the school to begin providing instruction for primary students. Until now, the school has focused on preschool education. This new structure will provide an additional three classrooms. Commenting on this project, Dr. Linda Adams, director of International Child Care Ministries said, “They are people of great faith!”