Pastoral Post 2.26.2016

(This post was included in this week’s First Words.)

The 2016 version of the phenomenon that is Pancake Day is in the history books. And what a day it was! This was my 7th Pancake Day, and once again I was amazed, thrilled, and inspired! I’m sure the numbers will be coming in soon, but I’ll make just a few personal observations. One, between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. the line was all the way down the hall and around the corner into the preschool commons area. The line moved along fairly quickly, and I heard no complaints. I saw a few leave, but I think most everyone waited patiently and enjoyed their pancakes. Also, kudos to the Pancake Team who made the decision for an “upgrade” of the bacon. It was really good and people noticed and appreciated it.  And now, my favorite two comments from others. One of our newer members approached me as he was leaving and said, “This was my first Pancake Day…and it is epic!” And from a lady who is not a member of our church, nor of any Methodist church, after waiting in line, excitedly taking her seat ready to dig into a stack: “I love pancake day! We’re all Methodists on pancake day!”

And that, I think says a lot! I still say if we didn’t make any money at all, it would be a great, great day of our people working together to make an important connection with our community. Thanks to the 400 or so of you who volunteered with smiles on your faces,  performing the necessary tasks, and, most importantly, providing warm hospitality for our neighbors. And how can we ever say enough thanks to the Pancake Day Team who put so much time and effort into this signature event. Thank you, everyone!

We are now well into the season of Lent. I have heard many expressions of gratitude for the opportunities to make this Pilgrimage With Paul, including the wonderful devotions we read each day, the Sunday School classes’ study of Adam Hamilton’s The Call, and the services focusing on Paul’s mission in Acts and letters.

If you haven’t joined in reading the daily scriptures and devotions, it’s not too late to get on board. There are plenty of hard copies of the booklet at the church, and a simple email will get you the online version early each morning (click here to sign up). As Lent progresses, we have two opportunities for missions giving: on March 6 we observe One Great Hour of Sharing, the offering which funds the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief so that designated gifts go 100% to the specified relief effort; and Stop Hunger Now, as we’ll be packing meals on Palm/Passion Sunday evening March 20 as an expression of love for our neighbors as Holy Week begins.

Here’s a word of thanks to Dianne Haynes, who volunteered as our TV ministry person the last 8-10 years. She sacrificed many times to make sure the services were recorded, edited, and delivered to the TV company for the following week’s broadcast (10:00 a.m. each Sunday on Charter 188). We hear very often from folks—members and non-members—who appreciate viewing our services. Thank you, Dianne, for your faithfulness to this wonderful ministry!

And one more word of thanks…this one to those who have responded to the information that we are a bit short on projections regarding our 2016 income and plans for continuing growth. Some have made extra gifts, some returned/renewed pledges, some increased pledges. Thanks for your generosity!

See you Sunday on Pilgrimage,

Sandy

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