Staying Present

Canonsburgup   -  

“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” – Luke 2:7


Dear Friends,

What an exciting weekend – whether you were up at Pine Springs Camp for our Winter Retreat or here on Sunday with a full house of worshippers – what a great time!  And of course, we’ve got another great Sunday coming, celebrating our Scouts in the morning and our renovated sanctuary in the afternoon!

There’s a ton of planning that goes into big events like these, and I want to thank so many people for their hard work in making these events happen – from our staff to our volunteer leaders, from Pine Springs staff to guest minister Dan Merry – and all the guests who’ll be back this Sunday – thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I don’t know about you, but all the planning necessary for things like these take so much effort and energy that they usually take me away from being present… right now.  I definitely get excited about the future, planning and preparing for things, and then overlook what’s right in front of me.  God often has to smack me upside the head to get my attention.  Funny that while we were away, our retreat was titled “Listening to God.”  It’s an area of growth for me.

And then today happens.

I’m eyeballs deep in preparation for Sunday, knocked off kilter with the passing of a dear Deacon, member of our church, and friend, Cris Hamilton.  Kenton and I are walking into the sanctuary from Pike Street, gearing up for our episode of God Church? with Al, when a gentleman introduces himself.  Turns out, in 1976, he and his wife were married here by Rev. Skuce, and a Priest from St. Patrick’s.  He’s Catholic and his wife, Doris, was Presbyterian.  He was grateful for Vatican II and the open-armed welcome of this church and Rev. Skuce… and his eyes got a little moist… because less than two years ago, Doris passed from cancer.

I took him into the sanctuary, mentioned our renovations, and once again, his eyes got moist.  He hadn’t been back since his wedding.  He proceeded to tell me about meeting Doris while in college at a dance, their courtship, their marriage, their sons, about his relationship with Christ and the way God was at work in drawing them together and ever since.

Our conversation lasted awhile.  It put our “Got Church” broadcast a little later than planned.  But… Will was right there, in need of an ear and person to share with.  I’m glad that I could be that for him, to listen, to encourage, to be present.

There’s lots of exciting things upcoming, in the life of our church, our community, our families and individually… but no amount of planning should get in the way of what, and who God has placed in front of us right now.

I pray that you keep your eyes and ears open to be present, to listen to God and those around you today.

Welcoming You to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don