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Pastor's Corner

Our Pastor...................

                                                                                    Rev. Keith Dunn

                                      Listen to a short welcome from our pastor:   Click Here
Listen to a recent Sermon by Pastor Keith  "Finish The Task"   Click Here
                             Listen to one of Pastor Keith's Children's Sermons:   Click Here

         Our Mission Statement................

           To Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and bring people into a saving
           relationship with him.

           To Nurture the spiritual growth of the congregation and:

           To Serve as Christ would in meeting the spiritual and physical needs
           of our community and world.

                                                                    Pastor's Page
Dear Friends,

     Greetings in the name of Jesus! Many years ago, I was involved in planning a Good Friday Service for the local ministerial association.  Their community did not have a "Cross Walk" like we do here in Johnstown, but they had a three hour service hosted by on of the local churches.  The worship was divided into seven segments with a pastor giving a brief sermon during each.  Our committee had chosen the scriptures to be read, wrote the liturgy to be used and the hymns, which would be sung during the service.

   Everything was going well in worship until we got to the end of the service.  The preacher in the last segment decided to change the closing hymn. We would no longer be singing about the death of Jesus.  We would instead be using "Thine Be The Glory Risen Conquering Son", which is an Easter hymn.  Following the service, the host pastor confronted his colleague about the change because it was theologically inappropriate.

    The next meeting of the ministerial association was interesting.  The pastor, who decided to change the hymn defended his actions.  Those of us on the planning team were upset that our work was disregarded.  Others agreed with the host pastor, who felt that change to an Easter hymn on Good Friday was liturgically incorrect.

   When I remember this event, I think that it reflects our society's problem with death.  Even the church, we sometimes feel the need to move quickly from the cross to the empty tomb because we do not like to deal with death.  We have such an aversion to death that we allow it to limit our understanding of Christ's death on the cross.  As protestants, we are proud of the fact that our crosses like Christ's tomb are empty.   It concerns me that we are so occupied with Easter that we diminish the importance of the crucifixion of Jesus.

   As we continue our journey through Lent, we turn towards God in faith.  This will leas us to contemplate the ways that we must sacrifice our own desires to the will of God.  In addition, it will soon be Holy Week  We will hear of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  We will recount His Last Supper.  We will remember the betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion of Jesus.

   While all of this will be done with the anticipation of Easter morning, we mus pause for a moment to consider Christ's suffering.  It makes us uncomfortable because watching others endure pain always moves us to compassion.  His passion is difficult to think about because we know he did not deserve it.  He gave up His live in order that we might fully know God's love.  Before we move to quickly to the "Alleluias" of Easter, let us take advantage of the opportunities presented by our church to pause and reflect on the death of Christ's so that we may know Him more completely.

                                                                                                                   Pastor Keith


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