Post from the Pastor 3-15-2017

A Pastoral Post from John Kloepfer for the Third Week of Lent – 3/15/17

Greetings from a warm church on a cold day!

We’re now seriously into the Lenten season and Lent us normally a time of giving up, letting go and reflecting on one’s life.  Often the motif for Lent is the desert or wilderness, and you probably know that being in the desert is conducive to being still, listening, watching, wondering and reflecting.  Losing Chuck as pastor – in spite of knowing he was going to be retiring – in itself creates a dryness and a sense of emptiness; for it is a real loss to this congregation.

Liturgically, however, Lent is a rich time, when the lectionary includes more great passages and stories from the Bible than we can possibly absorb.  So if you’re still looking for ways to use Lent to grow spiritually, just go to our denomination’s website (www.pcusa.org) and near the top, in small print, you’ll see a link called “Follow the Lectionary.”  Click on this and you’ll find the lectionary for every day of the year, with all the Bible passages.  As a Lenten discipline, just read them each day – or at least one per day.  I promise it will enrich your life.

As of today, I’ve been your Interim Pastor for one month, which is not much time.  I’m still meeting members for the first time and I’m certainly still struggling to learn your names.  But, it’s enough time for some early impressions, and I’ll give you a few I’ve had:

  1. This congregation is a very committed group of people. Every day I’m impressed at the level of

commitment our members have to the church as a whole and to groups and programs of the church

they are involved in.  Those on the boards and with other responsibilities take them very seriously

and make sacrifices week in and week out to see that every facet of this church is taken care of.

  1. This is an extremely supportive church. I’ve been struck over and again at how you support one another. Not many churches have so many people who are so dedicated to not only the programs and ministry of the church, but to the care and support of every member.  This goes not only for your Deacons, but for others also.  I can’t begin to count the times I’m asked how a particular member is doing or whether I noticed that so-and-so was not in church on Sunday.  This level of care is highly commendable.
  2. WHPC is one of the most mission-oriented congregations I’ve ever seen. I’ve never known a church to have a Minute for Mission as part of every single Sunday worship, for example.  Most churches have them for the denominational offerings like One Great Hour of Sharing and an occasional one when a visiting missionary is available.  But this church programs it into its regular worship format.  It’s a wonderful thing, but takes energy, dedication and a willingness to be exposed to an amazing variety of needs and opportunities for mission.

There’s never a dull moment here.  This Sunday, for example, we will be ordaining Cathy Holliday as a Deacon during worship and after worship celebrating John Comba’s 101st birthday and starting the Adult Bible Study on “Loaves, Fishes and Leftovers” run by Rev. Jeanne Baum.  Monday night will be Maureen Haven’s last visit this year as well as the Session meeting that was postponed from last Tuesday.  Tuesday the Presbytery meets in Amagansett and that night the Trustees will meet.  Then on Wednesday the Church Staff will meet again, since they are going to meet twice each month to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Let us pray:  Lord of Love, we are grateful that we were spared this week’s snow storm, and we pray for all those anywhere for whom it created a hardship.  Be with all in our church who have special needs at this time, and strengthen us all as together we seek to do your will in this place and around the world.  Amen.

We are well off in God, the Almighty, in God’s holiness, always.