First Day Blog

FIRST DAY

First Day – November 2018

FIVE BOYS … When I was age nine our family moved 600 miles to a “borough” outside of Philadelphia. We lived there less than three years, but my experiences there forever shaped me. In my new school class were two Jewish boys appropriately named David and Jonathan. David’s dad owned

Read More

First Day – October 2018

This past Sunday I was at Springfield Maplewood Church. I cannot describe how happy I am to see and feel what is happening there. During lunch Pastor Vickie Case told me a story about when she first counseled at one of our district’s children’s camps 20-plus years ago. One of

Read More

First Day – September 2018

Beware If Your “Religion” Makes You Mean / Sept. 11, 2018 … Seventeen years ago 3,000 Americans lost their lives in attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Our nation grieved in shock. Ever since we have watched as attacks of various

Read More

First Day – August 2018

Dear friend, On a cold January 2017 evening I came into the district parsonage and went straight to the already-burning fireplace. (It’s gas … I don’t want you thinking Mona is chopping wood and building fires for “her man” to come home to.) Mona called from the kitchen, “I learned

Read More

First Day – July 2018

Somehow over the years I have been “the flower person” at our house. That is, every spring I make my trip(s) to the local garden shops to pick out this year’s annuals and then plant them. Other types of flowers have come along, too. Somewhere along the way I got

Read More

First Day – May 2018

In the 1800s, after the crops were in the ground and with both a desire for spiritual nurture and social interaction, our pioneering forefathers began to come together during summer weeks. I am told these earliest “encampments” were first in Kentucky and spread from there. Shortly after the Church of

Read More

First Day – April 2018

This April 1 is different than any I remember … It is Easter – and, of course – “April Fools’ Day.” In that district superintendents are “not needed” on Easter, I have not preached an Easter morning message since coming to that role. (However, as many of you know, since

Read More

First Day – March 2018

On this March 1 the weather is lousy … it has rained hard all morning, the wind will nearly blow you away and now the precipitation has turned to something “ice-like.” The sun, of course, is nowhere to be seen, leaving everything in a depressing gray. When I was in

Read More

First Day – February 2018

Dear friends … Today begins “Love Month.” It will reach its climax on the 14th, whereupon at the end of the day card writers and flower vendors will smile all the way to the bank for their services rendered and rewarded. Please do not interpret the previous sentence as cynicism.

Read More

First Day – December 2017

Dear friends … At age 11, I was in my final appearance in a children’s Christmas “program.” Our southwestern Pennsylvania church was heated by a coal furnace. It was economical … the coal was donated by a local mine. There was no thermostat or means to regulate the heat. Sometimes

Read More