Pastor Notes: Building Relationships

Dear St. Andrews-Covenant family:

This Sunday is bowtie Sunday for me!

It started in Colorado where I served my second interim position. Wearing a bowtie became a regular thing on the third Sunday of each month. But I confess that I didn’t know how to tie it (and still don’t) so my wife ties it for me. She learned through YouTube instructions.

When we left the Colorado church to start my interim position at SACPC, all of the people on that last Sunday wore bowties: men, women, youth, and children. We shared a good laugh together.

For me, the word of the day is “together.”

The ministry focus theme for this month is this: Build and Nurture Relationships. How can we fulfill that focus in our lives and in our church? Last Sunday gave us great opportunities to speak and share and eat and play together. I overheard two men say, “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while. Let’s catch up.” One worshipped in Brown Hall and other worshipped in the sanctuary. I saw two women in their 80s approach the snow cone truck with caution, not knowing what to do. I smiled as I noticed a young person explain how to get the ice first and then pour the flavor over the frozen treat. “Oh, boy!” they said and thanked the person. Then I played corn hole with two students and a guy about my age; we laughed as four young boys ran up and down the ramp and grass area, through our game, and back again. We figured it was just part of the game. The day was just pure fun.

We have experienced some trials together, haven’t we? It was nice to spend time building relationships last Sunday.

On Wednesday, POPS began. We had a full house for dinner. Jackie Norton, our new cook, blessed us with a great meal. Lots of noise and laughter! Gary Smith had a full class for Faith of the U.S. Presidents in the small dining room and I had 16 in the church library for my class, Philosophy for Christians. But there is always room for more. Halfway through my class, I had everyone stand up and greet each other; I always like to have people get to know each other. The youth had a new beginning in the Hub, starting with a band. I think Wednesdays can be a time to build and nurture relationships.

I miss the refugee families, but they moved on. I am grateful for all of you who intentionally sought to know and help them and become their friends. A year ago someone gave me a cowboy hat (you will see Jim Brumit wear it for his treasurer reports), and after Brown Hall worship, I gathered with them for some pictures, and we passed the hat around.

Relationships are important: short-term or long-term. Jesus says, “Love one another” (John 14:34). Are you willing to love each other? Are you willing to nurture some relationships that currently include hurt or bitterness or deep disappointment? Are you willing to take steps to build some new relationships?

With the unfailing love of God!