The weather may have been cold outside, but inside
Memorial Presbyterian Church in Xenia the welcome and friendships were very warm. Thank you to
Pastor Kelley Shin and all the members of
Memorial Presbyterian Church for hosting the February Presbytery Meeting with such grace. The homemade food was all so delicious. As
Pastor Brad Dardaganian said as he led us in table grace, homemade chicken pot pie is almost grace in itself.
The bell and chancel choirs lifted up such wonderful music. The choir director,
Michael Weller, and music by
Jill-Ann Bryant, and Kent Shin, was so special. Thanks also to
Jennifer Conn who played music for the meeting. She has a truly awesome gift which she generously shared with us and made the meeting that much more memorable.
Sincere thanks to
Pastor Emily Haddox for bringing the Word to us with humor and grace. Thank you to
Reverend Dr. Jackie Nowak and
Reverend Steven Ingram who presided over Holy Communion with heartwarming liturgy. Thanks also to
Ron Schultz from Covington,
Bridget Hawkins from First PC in Bellefontaine, and
Dr. Janet Miller from Bath for serving communion.
We enjoyed meeting and greeting new elder commissioners and pastors, and renewing friendships with others. What an exceptional community of devout believers eager to lift each other up. Our
Stated Clerk, Larry Hollar, does so much to make every meeting proceed smoothly. It would be hard to express sufficient thanks to him as well as to
Tom Oxley, who devotes so much time and effort for each meeting.
As I look at the calendar I see that I have a mere 85 days left as your Moderator. Most people have at least one temporary job at some point in their life, and while temporary jobs sometimes have a reputation for being less than desirable, this has been the most fascinating and enjoyable job anyone could ever have, whether temporary or permanent. I have only three remaining churches to visit out of our mighty 49, and I can sincerely say that meeting and befriending such fantastic people as I have found throughout the counties of the Presbytery has been endlessly rewarding.
Whether worshipping with a church, attending a session meeting, presiding over an ordination/installation, or attending some other special event, I have invariably felt welcomed, and I have been constantly impressed by the tremendous and varied gifts of each church in our mighty Presbytery. I will have logged over 2700 miles by the end of this month. That distance equates to immeasurable happy smiles, a multitude of special moments, and many genuine and enduring friendships. Temporary jobs are not always fun and rewarding, but this one has been nothing less than awesome. This must be what it feels like to win an Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony, and Emmy in a year and then still have friends at the end.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-14).
Thank you to each person who attended the February Presbytery meeting. The gift of your time to friends, colleagues, and to God is far beyond the ability of words to describe. Yet that is what being at Presbytery brings to us all: friendship and a time to praise God.
The next meeting of Presbytery will begin at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, May 8 at
Faith Presbyterian Church. It is important for you to be there. As
Mr. Fred Rogers said, "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."