Archives for November 2013
Text: Luke 21:5-19
Working with Mahan Siler, the former pastor of Pullen, was one of the greatest gifts of my ministry. For those of you who knew Mahan, I don’t need to say anymore about why that is so. You know the kind of pastor he was. For those of you who came after Mahan’s tenure at Pullen, here’s how I would describe him: he has the folksy charm of Andy Griffith, the physical appearance of Steve Martin, the heart of Mother Teresa, the wisdom of the Dali Lama, and the presence of…well of Mahan. As a pastor, he had the ability to challenge and to comfort all at the same time. He extended grace and acceptance to all of us as he cared for and nurtured our spiritual lives. There is no one that I have learned more from or whom I respect more as a minister than Mahan Siler.
And yet, there were times, just a few, when he would drive me absolutely crazy. One of those times that was fairly consistent was when he would say to me, and he said it often, “Nancy, it’s important as leaders that we have a non-anxious presence. You’ve got to stay non-anxious.” I can remember thinking, “What does that even mean?” Life is full of anxiety. Like when you get that phone call from the doctor saying that your test came back positive and you need to come back in for another procedure. Or you learn that your job is in jeopardy of being cut as the company you work for contemplates downsizing. Or you come home on the coldest night of the year to find that you have no heat and the repair person tells you that it can’t be fixed, that you need a whole new system; and the bank account is already in trouble. Or how about the anxiety you experience when you feel like you don’t fit in at school or can find a group of peers that will accept you for who you are. There is a lot of life that produces great anxiety. When you see your children hurting and struggling and there’s nothing you can do. Or when you set a goal of 300 pledging units by December 1 and on November 17 you only have 210. Anxiety is a part of the human experience. And so many times, I wanted to look at Mahan and say, “Now would be a good time for you to be a little anxious.”
The Coordinating Council warmly invites everyone to attend the Congregational Meeting scheduled for Sunday, November 24 at 2:00 PM in Finlator Hall. All are welcome to attend; all Pullen members are allowed and welcome to vote. Childcare will be provided. The following items are being brought forward for congregational consideration.
- Motion #1: After careful examination by an Ordination Council composed of Pullen and Alliance of Baptists members, the Deacons of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church moves that Pullen ordain David Anderson to the ministry. David’s ordination will also be recognized and endorsed by The Alliance of Baptists.
- Motion #2: The Technology Committee moves the amendment of the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church’s Bylaws as follows:
- Amend the duties of the Church Administrator on lines 304 and 305 to state “Works cooperatively with Coordinating Council, Buildings and Grounds Committee, Finance Committee, TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE and all staff.”
- Amend the list of representatives to the Coordinating Council beginning at line 469 under “Article III/General Provisions/Composition” to include “Technology Committee.”
- Amend the list of Standing Committees and Coordinators beginning at line 513 under “Article III/General Provisions/Composition” to include “Technology” with “6” members.
- Amend the list of committees assigned to the Church Administrator at lines 558-559 under “Article III/General Provisions/Ex-Officio Memberships” to include “Technology Committee.”
- Amend the list of committees with a two-year tenure at lines 596-598 under “Article III/General Provisions/Tenure” to include “Technology.”
- Amend the list of standing committees and coordinators beginning at line 753 by inserting the following before line 875: “Technology shall care for, maintain, and plan for the technology needs of the church.”
- Motion #3: The Nominating Committee moves the adoption of the 2014 slate of council/committee members and officers. (NOTE: Copies of the full slate of members and officers on whom to be voted will be distributed at the meeting.)
- Discussion: The Deacon Council will present a report on the status of the five-year Vision Plan of the church.
Other items may be brought forward for discussion only.
We look forward to seeing everybody on Sunday, November 24 at 2:00 PM.
Chris Kelly & Tom Winton
Co-Chairs of Coordinating Council
Text: Haggai 1:15b-2:9
Do you ever long for the “good old days?” I do. I don’t know what your good old days look like but I think of mine often. My seminary days—those were the good old days. I couldn’t wait to get up each morning and go to class. Professors like Bob Poerschke, Elizabeth Barnes, Alan Neely, Dick Hester and Sam Ballentine opened my mind to new and exciting ideas about God and the Bible. I was learning things that seemed to transform my life moment by moment. Every day was like standing on the mountaintop watching the most beautiful sunrise ever. I would walk across campus and creation’s colors were so vivid and alive. Until then, I had never noticed how green the trees and grass were. How blue the sky was. How vast and exquisite the universe is. Those were the days when my mind and eyes and heart were opened to a new and different world. Some days now, I long for those good old days—to feel that alive and that present in the moment.
But those are not the only good old days I often think about. There were others. Like those days when, after hitting a softball, I could run the bases without gasping for air. Or that period in my life when I could remember everything without having to write it down or have a buzzer go off to remind me. Some days now, I long for those “good old days” when life seemed less complicated, when it felt like there were answers to the hard questions—and I actually felt like I knew some of the answers, when my worries were different. Yes, those good old days—my first church, my third church, Pullen in 1992. It is so easy to look back and long for what was.