The Pastor's Pen

I thank my God every time I remember you in my prayers. Philippians 1:3

 

When I first met Pastor Dave, he was in the air. Up on a ladder, that is. It was the spring of 1988 or 1989 after we had bought the Cushman’s house at 321 E. River Rd., but before we had come east from Oklahoma.

Dave was up there, one of the crew putting a new roof on the Gale’s house. Wanting to introduce myself, I stopped, got out of the car, walked over, and shook hands with Don Gale. At that point I knew nobody. Suddenly we heard a loud shout from the roof – a four letter word, which I shall not repeat. Dave had whacked his thumb with a hammer. As he came down, shaking his injured hand, Don said, “Oh, let me introduce our pastor, Dave Wood”. Talk about first impressions.

What I took away from this initial humorous encounter at the Gale’s was this thought:’ If He’s the pastor, I can hardly wait to hear him preach. And I’d like to get to know him better”. There you have it.

Some time later, after we had moved, a delegation from this congregation, visited us at 321 E. River Rd. to ask if I would consider being their associate minister, to which I responded with an enthusiastic “yes”! There you have it again.

As is the case in marriage, there are no textbooks to teach you. We had to co-create our own way of working together. We did this, I believe, with a mix of frank discussions, mutual respect and trust, recognizing and honoring one another’s gifts, and celebrating the fact that our differences were not about fundamentals.  But every step along the way was well lubricated by Dave’s graciousness and patience. The best example of this is the number of small group studies we have co-led over the years. As they say in AA “it works if you work it – and you’re worth it. “ We were and did. As Solomon writes, “As iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another.”

I received a Masters Degree in 1962 from Yale Divinity School. The theme was What Is The Main Characteristic of an Effective Minister? After plowing through a mountain of resource in those pre-computer days, I boiled it down to one fundamental response – PERSONAL INTEGRITY. Without this, all of our spiritual gifts are of little value.

So, I thank you, Pastor Dave, for being yourself for all of us, and for me over all these years – consistent, faithful, accepting of all. And that is why I repeat, “I thank my God every time I remember you in my prayers” 

Amen
Pastor Randy