See You Soon

see you soonWell folks, as the saying goes, “You can stick a fork in me; I’m almost done.”

We have moved nearly everything into the new home and will be out of the manse soon.  We’re praying that Social Security and the PC(USA) Board of Pensions will make good on their promises.  September 1st is steamrolling its way forward, and soon I will be a retired pastor.  It all still seems a bit surreal, but I have to admit there are things I’m looking forward to.  I am also certain that, as much as I feel your love, there are some in the church thinking, “Maybe after 19 years we can take our chances on somebody new.  New can be good.”

I guess the thing I want to impress on all of us is this - I’m not your first pastor and I won’t be your last pastor.  Pastors come and go (eventually).  The true constant presence here at FPC is Jesus Christ.  He has stayed and He remains, even to encourage you as you welcome and minister with a new pastor.

Read more: See You Soon

Lon's Lessons

Here's "Lon's Lesson" for today, 08.28.20.  Since Lon will begin his retirement next week, this will be his final video lesson.  In Matthew 5, Jesus calls for His disciples to be "salt and light" to the world, and for His Church to be like a town set on a hill, freely visible to all.  FPC has been a part of that town for nearly 200 years and will continue to be so if we always seek and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 

A Letter from Lon

young lonDear Friends in Christ,

I knew one day this letter would be written; I just never knew what the circumstances might be.  After nineteen years of ministering with the church family we’ve come to love here in Madisonville, God has impressed on Pat’s and my hearts that it is time to retire.  He has allowed for so many good and meaningful memories - I have truly been blessed to serve with you as pastor.  The reality is that in a few short weeks, I will be 68 years old, and God has convinced me of some things over the past several months.

At First Presbyterian Church, we provide many opportunities for personal spiritual growth, outreach, and evangelism.  For those who are active in the church, I feel very good about where we are.  And yet, there are many more beyond our building we could be and should be reaching.  In order to follow Christ’s mandate to “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation”  (Mark 16:15), I firmly believe it’s time for fresher ideas and perspectives to rise up, building on what has been done to date.

Retirement is not an easy decision for me to make.  In all my years of ministry, I have had very few days I did not want to “get up and go to work in the morning.”  Although the decision has not been easy for Pat or me, our feeling that God is leading us through the process has made it simpler to understand.

Read more: A Letter from Lon

"Grace" Is a Sight Word

God's grace is not only the glue that binds our relationship with Him, it is the matrix that holds our entire lives together as Christians.

 

Grace and Peace

Let's emulate the apostle Paul and greet all those we meet this week with the "grace and peace" of our Lord Christ Jesus.

 

But, God.....

Even when times seem the hardest or the darkest, we can always trust God's plan for each of our lives.

 

Sharing Talent and Talents

A talent was a unit of currency used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.  In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, Jesus explains that we are to share His gifts to us, both skills and money, to further His Kingdom.