May 19, 2017
by Pastor Mark McAdow
One of my greatest joys of being your Pastor has been the opportunities I've had to be present at some of the most significant events of your lives personally and our life together as The First Church Family. Though I have preached hundreds of sermons here, I don't expect you to remember but a few thoughts over those years--hopefully the most biblical ones! For any others, I pray for a strong case of amnesia!
But what I expect you will remember, as I will, are the times we've worshipped together, prayed for one another, cried together, shared God's Word together in small groups and Sunday School classes, served alongside each other in local missions like Whiz Kids, Friday Night Alive, Gatewood School and global missions to Las Carbaneras, Mexico; Grecia, Costa Rica and a life-changing trip to Israel! (I still will not fly Delta!)
As you know, I am a Pastor at heart. I love each of you and am thankful to the Lord for you. I've enjoyed baptizing and/or dedicating your children, preparing for marriage and officiating at weddings, singing to you on your birthday or somewhere near there, praying with you to receive Christ, baptizing children, Youth and adults, welcoming new members and celebrating the rich lives of those who have "graduated" to Heaven before us. These are the memories I will cherish the most.
We have shared so many life experiences, and that's what makes lasting friendships! One thing I trust you all will remember me saying is this, "Life is all about relationships"--our relationship with Jesus and others! We've accomplished many remarkable milestones together but those pale in comparison to the love we've shared. Though it is very difficult to say "good-bye" I am reminded that if The Lord and Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr. hadn't appointed me and Robin to First Church 10 years ago, we wouldn't have shared any of these memories and I probably wouldn't have known any of you "this side of Heaven." God is good! All the time!
This Sunday we have another opportunity to celebrate what the Lord is doing at First Church. We plan to baptize three students and receive four into membership as they complete their Confirmation studies and take our membership vows. The final one asks, "Will you be loyal to Jesus Christ as expressed through First Church and uphold it with your Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness?" It will be a great day to renew our vows to Christ and our First Church Family too! After all -we are First Church. "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." -I Cor. 12:12-13. Jesus is The Head and we are His body!
See you for our special Gospel Sunday and Confirmation this Sunday May 21st!
Yours in Christ's Love, Pastor Mark
PS -Just a reminder after June 4th: Lesly Broadbent will be your new Pastor. As such, I will no longer be coming back to First Church to officiate at weddings or funerals. I would of course welcome any news so I can pray for you, and be present as a friend and brother in Christ, when opportunity allows. After all, there is no distance in prayer. We will always be "Forever friends!" Love you!