Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, February 20, 2020
A Place to Connect

Pastor Irv’s Corner - July 2014



Wow, it’s hard to believe that it was nine years ago this month that Brenda and I met all of you.  You may recall the delightful gatherings held here at the church at the time.  Early in July the Pulpit Search Committee hosted a “crackers and cheese reception so that we could all meet.  Later in the evening, we met again for a delicious potluck.  I led worship the next morning and then you all voted.  I recall that Homer and Audrey walked us down to the far reaches of the building (Parish Hall) so you all could talk about whether you would accept the recommendation of the Search Committee.  I believe that given the thirteen member committee was unanimous, you all felt the recommendation was the making of the Holy Spirit.   In some ways it seems only yesterday.  You welcomed us with open arms and hugs.  We feel blessed in sharing in the Lord’s work with you.  For each of us, the years have been very full ones.  Do you remember the renovations of the parsonage; they began before we moved in, and continued till our first Christmas annual open house.  It is sad, that we have lost two of the three-person parsonage committee that I met with regarding the house, Iris Sawin and Arlene Morrell as well as Don Dupes who worked at demo, and Roger and Ruth Harrington who painted and cleaned for hours.   It was a crazy first few months as we settled into the house and joined the fellowship of a new church.  It has been an incredible journey of great love, soul searching and an adjustment to the new path as God’s children.

I am sure each of you have events that you recall as significant moments in your journey.  Some sad ones: family issues, the loss of a loved one, or perhaps the breakup of a family.  Yet other events are marked as happy ones: the birth of children, birthday and anniversary celebrations, or family reunions.  These events become part of the history of our life’s journey, and we must be attentive if we are to know their true affect in our lives.  We must be in tune listening, watching, touching and sensing life’s blessings – absorbing  the wonder, love and joy within our hearts, for this helps strengthen our faith.  We must ask ourselves, what does our faith call us to do in the passage of our short time here on earth?  I believe it is our Christian faith and beliefs that enable us to evaluate and interpret life in its complexity and wonder.   It is how we live our life that tells the story of our relationship with God.  What is life about if it isn’t focused on our relationship with God as known through the message of Christ?

One basic understanding is that there is always hope.  Christian’s can approach life’s greatest struggles with hope.  God promises to walk with us and to be with us through thick and thin.  Yet, we know that trials are before us in this world and we must meet them head on.  Our hope leads us to confidence that God is steadfast in his promise to love, strengthen, and encourage us in our time of need.  God is with us every day offering us guidance and support.

 A second perceptive of the Christian faith is that God continues to reveal his purpose in our lives as we mature in faith.  Along with our growth as God’s children come additional responsibilities to engage in God’s plan for his creation.  This means we are contributing to our church and world with our talents and blessings of treasure.  We all have purpose; for some teaching, others preaching, care giving, and singing.  Whatever your purpose or assignment is, be strong advocates of the Good News that God loves us and is committed to his promises.

In all things, God is with us.  God provides for our needs that sustain us.  God is not only our creator and redeemer, but also our sustainer.  This is evident in the physical world – the earth that provides our food, water and air – which is necessary for human existence.  God provides us opportunities for emotional and spiritual nourishment too through friendships that provide love, joy, and support.  And of course Scripture, which reveals God’s truths, promises, and love, that are unwavering and eternal.

It is a great blessing to be here to write this article.   I appreciate this opportunity to serve Christ with you.  For sure, we are able to approach God in fulfilling our purpose because we know that God is going to provide the nourishment, the support, encouragement and love necessary to accomplish the goals set before us.  It is with this hope that we can lead joyous and satisfying lives that honor and glorify our Creator.  As the months unfold step back and reflect on the great blessings you have received through your relationship with God.  It is totally awesome.
In Christ, Pastor Irv



Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325


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