Thursday, August 27, 2009

59th Anniversary

The other evening my sister Karen, Joanne and I went out to eat with my parents to celebrate their 59th Wedding Anniversary. These photos were taken before they were married at Revere Beach, Massachusetts.
Congratulations Betty and Charlie Johnson, Mom and Dad, Grammy and Grampy, from your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. May God continue to bless you both. Thanks for everything, always.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brian's Play

Brian's play was "All American" by Mel Brooks. It centers around an immigrant professor who uses football to teach students engineering and gets caught up in the fame and popularity until he realizes being a coach is interfering with his true goal of being a good teacher. The play ends with him gaining American citizenship, winning the hand of the Dean in marriage and returning to the classroom. Brian played one of the football players and sang the solo "It's Fun to Think". One of his lines made reference to the fact he was not the missing link, thus the picture of the cave man.

Brian has been in several productions and continues to be a blessing to us at Providence UMC with his reading and singing. Keep it up Brian!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pulpit Swap (part two)

Well, Larry made it through all three services. When I finished at Court Street UMC I turned on my cell phone to find two messages. The first was Larry telling me that he couldn't find the second church. (So much for a GPS) The second message was Larry telling me to disregard the first message, he had found the church.

That second church is Providence UMC. I had called Tammy that morning and asked her to catch a couple of pictures of Larry for the blog. She also wrote me a little note that I'm adding here.

Larry told us the parable of the pencil, so if you are not familiar with it this is a short version.
1. It must be held in someone's hand to be useful.
2. Must be prepared to suffer pain.(sharpened)
3. It has an eraser. (God's grace)
4. The most important part is inside.
5. Must keep on writing.(made for a purpose)
So this is how the Christian life is like a pencil.
We enjoyed hearing him speak, but it was like trying to capture a bouncing ball on a photo. So as he was leaving I got him to stand still for a picture. Tammy

Larry told me on Monday that it reminded him of his first assignment of a three church charge in Amelia. He said he enjoyed himself, but he didn't think he'd want to be doing that 130 mile circuit every Sunday. I told him that it was amazing how much shorter the ride seemed after 3 years.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pulpit Swap

Our District Superintendent, Rev. Larry Davies, has been covering the preaching duties at Court Street UMC. It is an over 100 year old church in downtown Lynchburg. The problem was that his duties there kept him from visiting all the other churches in the Lynchburg District. So, he started swapping pulpits with the district pastors. He would preach at the pastor's congregations on a particular Sunday and they would preach at Court Street. Yesterday was my Sunday.
Court Street UMC has a beautiful sanctuary. For a person like me who loves the look of wood, I went into overload. They have an incredible pipe organ that vibrates the floor. When we were singing the Doxology, I could feel the vibrations from my feet all the way up through the pulpit. Joanne said I had a big grin on my face while we were singing. When we sang the hymns all I could hear was the organ. I caught myself several times not singing and just listening to the organ music. The organist, George Clark, is excellent and I told him so several times.
I had several guests that came to hear me. I was really happy that my parents joined us and that my mother was able to make it. We also were happy to see friends from our Fairview UMC days, Alyce Blanks and Amy Rice. Court Street UMC gives all their guests a coffee mug and we all left with one. Except Joanne, she was so busy making sure I got my Bibles, notebook, and robe before we left that she left her mug sitting there. (She made me go back on Monday to get it)
It felt very strange to be at only one church on Sunday. The people at Court Street UMC were wonderful. They made us feel welcome and set me at ease, being at a different church. C. Doug Pillow, the retired former pastor of the church, sat down with me and talked me through their order of service. I noticed in the bulletin that they had a children's message, so I asked to make sure someone would be available to do that. It turned out that the person wasn't there, so I got to do the children's message. It was all fun.
Joanne and I had a wonderful morning visiting and ministering with Court Street UMC. I trust Larry had as much fun as we did as he visited our three churches on the Mount Airy Charge.