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This Week – Undivided Sunshine

In 2007 I was installed as the pastor of my first church. The preacher at the installation service was Rev. Dirk Lesnett, with whom I had served on a Presbytery Committee, and was (is) a good friend. After the service Dirk gave me a book called “Ministry Loves Company” by John Galloway, Jr. a Presbyterian pastor. The book is about how to survive in the first few years of a pastorate. It is a good book that I have read twice now. Galloway likens being the pastor at a church t being a guest at a family reunion. The family has been having its annual reunion for decades. The family knows how to put on a reunion. They have a plan and structure and an understanding of assignments of tasks. Aunt Bessie brings the potato salad every year (and every year no on eats it because it is awful and so is discreetly scraped into the garbage one forkful at a time). Uncle Fred is in charge of the “game”. It is a game that he played decades ago when he was a boy on the farm, when life was slow and anything that might pass the time, regardless of how boring, was worth a try. Now the game is a tradition at the reunion that all the kids must play, regardless of their screams of protest (which are unheeded by parents who were forced to play when they were kids and so have no sympathy for their kids now). Galloway’s advice is to “let it alone” (at least until you have developed sufficient good will to suggest that there might be a somewhat better way … maybe … perhaps …). That is what ministry is often like. As Rev. Graham Standish puts it, any change in what we do and how we do it should be “small and it the fall”. What is interesting is that this is not the way Jesus got started. Jesus came in like a … well the religious leaders said he came in like a “demon”. And his family thought he was nuts and was going to get himself hurt! All because Jesus changed everything! Right from the start. Jesus changed the message, the rules, the way to worship, and the criteria for church membership. Want to know how that went for Jesus? Come and hear about it on Sunday June 10 at 9:30 when Pastor Jeff preaches “Undivided” based on Mark 3: 20-35. Come and join us. We will look forward to seeing you.

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