As many of you know I just spent a weekend at the 50th anniversary of the Penn Northeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. The theme of the meeting was “50 years of commas” and it was quite a celebration. I saw many friends there and met new ones. It was a good weekend – if one doesn’t mind coming home exhausted. Rev. Jane Hess from Hazleton, Rev. Steve Engelhardt from Bloomsburg, and I planned the worship service and designed the worship space for Saturday morning. PNEC Conference Minister, Rev. Allen Miller, Steve, and I had the honor of officiating at the service where many were honored for the work they have done for the conference over the past 50 years.
This Sunday our worship will be patterned after the worship that was held on Sunday morning. The young people are excited to be involved and I will use my notes that I took as Rev. Dr. Leonard Sweet spoke. He is an outstanding writer, lecturer, and lots of other things. You can “google” him to get information about him if you want. Hearing him speak was the feature of the meeting that I was really looking forward to and I was not disappointed. Thanks for the opportunity to hear him and to attend the meeting.
My only regret was that there were no lay persons from Emmanuel at the meeting. I know that it used to be an honor to be a representative for our church at these meetings. Over the years it seems that folks have gotten too busy to attend these events or to take part in conference committees. The conference does serve us in many ways. Sharon Moyer and I are going to a workshop on stewardship this coming weekend at which Rev. Kate Huey, Minister for Stewardship, Scripture & Discipleship, from our national office will be the leader. I am excited to go and hear her presentation. I pray that more of you would get involved in these enlightening offerings that are available for all of us.
I must say “thanks” to all who worked so hard at the turkey supper last week. It turned out to be very successful – both in the fellowship that was shared and in the financial aspect of the evening. And it was OOOOOOh! so good! Archie and I bought four tickets and ate turkey and dressing for three days – lunch and supper! I was ready for a hamburger after all that – no matter how good the turkey was! And I heard great things from the men we are housing this week who got the leftovers. They felt like they were having a family meal, which you can imagine would mean a lot to a homeless person.
April was a wonderful month with the awe and excitement of Palm Sunday and Easter, the sadness of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and all that goes along with the season – like the kids and Easter eggs. But what it’s really all about is JESUS IS ALIVE! We are to serve him each and every day in all that we do. And one way to do that is to make him the priority in our lives.
Four years at Emmanuel have gone by quickly for me. Archie and I truly enjoy being here with you. You have been a blessing to us and for that I say “thank you.” May God bless each and every one.