A Durn Fool
Greetings from your pastor! I hope this finds you all doing reasonably well and enjoying these sunny days we've been having. One of the things going on at the church right now is planning for our congregation's 175th anniversary celebration this coming October. The actual church "birthday" is in November, but we'll be celebrating with a Heritage Sunday on October 21st. A planning committee is working with your church staff to make this a special and fun Sunday for all. You'll be hearing more about this Heritage celebration as the date gets closer.
One of the pleasures I've had in the early stages of our Heritage planning is to browse through a scrapbook lent to the church by Mrs. Mary Ligon. It contains a number of interesting photos and articles about the more recent decades of Hebron's history. Among those items is a copy of an article published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch upon the retirement of Dr. Ben Lacy Rose as stated supply pastor of the congregation. I laughed out loud when I read this quote from Dr. Rose: "If you have a pastor who is not a durn fool, and who can preach, the church will grow." I am sorry I never had the chance to know this man, who still lives so large in this congregation's memory. He must have been quite a fellow.
So, one of my new goals as your pastor is to always avoid being "a durn fool," as well as doing my best to be a good preacher. Maybe this should even be part of our ordination vows in the Presbyterian Church! As we're pledging to serve our churches with "energy, intelligence, imagination and love," perhaps we should include, "and do my best to avoid being a durn fool in the process." I don't know what Dr. Rose had in mind when he thought about "a durn fool," so I'll just have to imagine. One thing's for sure; I'm having that quote printed out and framed for my office.
Our legacy as people of faith is so important, and yet, there's a lot of it that's out of our control. I think if we could come back for a little while from God's heavenly glory, once we've crossed over, we might be surprised to learn what has "stuck" in the memories of those who've heard our words and experienced our actions. We imagine while we're living that it will be the big things we've done, or the intentional words and actions we've designed to make an imprint. But so often, it's a casual comment or an unplanned action that ends up being the main thing someone remembers about us. I think that if we thought about this too much, it would make us crazy! So we have to just put our days and our words in the hands of the Lord, and ask for God to guard our words and guide our actions. We do this so that we can leave a lasting, positive legacy, and avoid being "a durn fool" in the process.
I expect we'll remember Dr. Rose often as we're approaching the 175th anniversary of Hebron Presbyterian Church. But we'll also be thinking about others who have faithfully served the Lord through this congregation. The Rev. Walter Mann has agreed to return to Hebron as our guest preacher on October 21st. Others who've been part of this church will be invited back to enjoy the day with us, as we celebrate in worship and renew our bonds of fellowship over lunch. I hope you'll mark this day on your calendar right now, so you'll be here to share in the celebration.
A few reminders:
This Sunday, June 17th - It's Father's Day, so don't forget to honor your father this Sunday. The Scripture passage for Sunday's message will be 1st Samuel 15:34-16:13, and the sermon title is, "As the Lord Sees." This passage tells us how a shepherd boy was anointed to be the King of Israel. We'll have some special music this Sunday, as Julia Kistler and Grace Kistler join Markus Compton in blessing us with their musical gifts during worship.
Vacation Bible School is just around the corner, June 25th-29th. There are still a few needs for items and volunteers, so please let Lori Alford know if you are willing to help out during VBS or bring something to donate. You may still register a child for VBS at www.hebronpresbyterian.com.
Youth Mission Trip - Plans are nearly complete for our youth mission trip to Kentucky, July 15th-20th. The last I heard, a few additional funds might be helpful, so please let Lori Alford know if you are willing to give this trip a little financial boost. Our youth are selling Hebron Church 175th anniversary car stickers, with proceeds to go toward the mission trip. Our thanks to Bill Northern for having the car stickers designed and printed and for donating them for our youth to sell.