Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tim, October, 2011

posted Oct 3, 2011, 6:27 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Oct 3, 2011, 6:30 AM ]
    This month is the culmination of our yearlong celebration of 150 faithful years of ministry in Leola.  According to my calculations that’s 7,800 Sunday worship services! Thousands of people have worshiped and served at our church.  We pause to give thanks to God for their faithful witness.  Today we continue building on the solid foundation left by those who have gone before us and now reside in glory. 
    Over the years the church has seen much change. Leola UMC was founded in 1861, which is the year the Civil War began.  Other wars followed: two World Wars, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq.  In the early days people walked to church or came on horseback. There was no electricity in homes or businesses when our church was founded. So many other changes have affected our church during our long history. 
    I was intrigued by Bill White’s depiction of when our present church was built over one hundred years ago.  Bill said that the trolley would slow down so the riders could get a good look at our church as the stones were being laid.  What a sight it must have been!  There was not a more magnificent building anywhere in the surrounding area.  Our forefathers and mothers must have felt a great sense of satisfaction at the completion of the church. This past August, as Hurricane Irene struck on Sunday morning, someone called asking if we were having worship.  When I said that we were on our regular Sunday schedule, the person commented that the church is a fortress that could certainly withstand the wind and the rain.
    In the Old Testament King Solomon presided over the dedication of the newly completed temple.  People believed that God deserved a permanent structure. What a glorious day it must have been as people gathered for the dedication!  Solomon in his wisdom prayed for the people who had come from all over the known world to worship.  At the completion of the king’s prayer, we are told that “a cloud filled the house of the LORD…for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” (I. Kings 8:10-11).  The people knew without question that God dwelled in the temple. That is truly my prayer for our church, that the glory of God fills our church as we worship every Sunday.
    Let us continue to celebrate our rich heritage and to build on the foundation of those who have gone before us.  We will continue our ministry of “Sharing the love of Jesus Christ every day” with all whom we meet in Leola and surrounding communities. As we continue building up our church and sharing the love of Jesus with friends and neighbors, I wonder how people will view us at future anniversaries.
    I remain thrilled to be part of Leola United Methodist Church.

See you in church, where we will build on the foundation of those who have gone before us with the goal of reaching new people in the name of Christ.

Your Pastor,
Tim Smith