Each time someone sees me these days there is a look of surprise and – sometimes – wonderment. ” You still have your beard. I thought the Bicentennial is over…” is what is said in words or in looks. The reality is, beard…still on.
There are some advantages I have discovered in having a beard. I can find my way around the woods much better. I am able to chop wood, and for that matter, skin a possum, much faster. When I rub my beard, amazing thoughts seem to flow even more freely. Also, I know who hasn’t been to church in a while by their reaction. Shock? Then it’s been a long time. Don’t even recognize me, then it’s been way too long.
OK, the truth is twofold: my wife says I can keep it…for a while. Second, I can’t wait to see the looks on my extended family’s faces when I show up for the Christmas holidays with my beard. Melany’s family, being southern, will be gentile and polite ( I think). My family, being Pennsylvanian, will…let me know exactly what they think and then some. The look on their faces will help make my Christmas.
So, beard…still on…for a while.
Meanwhile, this Sunday is Dedication Sunday. You should have gotten a letter with a card enclosed that enables you to make an Estimate of Giving for the coming year. This is a way of praising God and enabling mission and ministry through Bethany Presbyterian Church. We are incredibly blessed with a dedicated, gifted and faithful staff, an incredible and well cared for facility, an amazing array of ministries for all ages, and a vibrant “shipping department”, that is, mission both near and far. We ARE blessed to be a blessing. Our commitment to giving in the coming year enables the blessing to continue. Bring your card with you this Sunday as we present them to the Lord. The results will assist your leaders envisioning and planning for the new year. (Cards will be provided for those who need them on Sunday.)
The sermon? “Becoming an Acts 29 Church”. You may look up Acts 29 in preparation for the service.
One more note. I had a wonderful conversation with The Rev. Clyde Brown, a former Bethany Pastor now in his nineties. He is doing well after a fall and a bout with pneumonia. He sends his very best to you and us all. Clyde had planned to be with us for our bicentennial weekend.
See you on Sunday for our dedication of our estimate of giving cards. And…beard on! For a while.
Blessings John H