Witnesses

From: Roger ____  xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.com
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:27 PM
To: Tom Hall <THall@fpcp.org>
Subject: Some thoughts from the Duquesne Club

Dear Pastor Hall and the people of First Presbyterian Church,

It is one thing to hear a sermon. It is quite another to encounter one without a word spoken.

In Mathew we read the words of Jesus who declares “you are my witnesses.” There is not a lot of optionality in that declaration. The choice to be made is about the quality rather than the reality of our witness.

This week your church lived up to and into its calling as witness. Your open doors provided me with a quiet refuge from the city to think and pray, I saw the safe haven on your steps that you provided for those who live on the margins, your literature unashamedly proclaimed the Gospel of the Risen One. All without speaking a word.

Thank you for serving me this week. I pray that God will grant all and each of you courage, wisdom, mercy, and grace in required portions as you continue to live lives of faithful stewardship.

He is risen indeed.

Roger _____

British Columbia, Canada V5H 4M2

________________________

From: Tom Hall <THall@fpcp.
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 8:11 PM
To: Roger
______
Subject:
RE: Some thoughts from the Duquesne Club

Dear Roger – Thank you so much for sending this along. It is very encouraging. Yes, the Risen Jesus is on the loose here. 

It is not easy to keep church doors open, for lots of reasons that you probably know. And when the doors are open, we become vulnerable. The folks who hang out on the front steps provide lots of challenges, and opportunities to be witnesses.

I’m so glad you found us on your travels. Many folks tell us that the church is a “thin place.”

Blessings on your work and travels. He is risen indeed!

Tom

____________________

From: Roger _____
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 10:49 PM
To: Tom Hall <THall@fpcp.org>
Subject: RE: Some thoughts from the Duquesne Club

Dear Pastor Tom,

The day after I sent this note I returned to your beautiful sanctuary to pray. To my right snored a man who may not have known exactly where he was, but I suspect he felt warm and safe. As I left, I met a lady who lives on the ragged edge. She spoke words not found in the lectionary. Yet she stopped at the door, bowed her head and made the sign of the cross as she entered. Perhaps in that place she heard the faint echo of a time when she sang of a Jesus who loved her or was led to that place by a faithful person of prayer whose heart is broken for her.

I get the risks of an urban church. My dad was a pastor of such a church. We had our share of drunks in the back row. They took their place with the better dressed but equally needy tax dodgers, adulterers, gossips, and greedy all assembled to hear the shockingly good news of a God who loves them in the midst of their sin.

I was reminded of the scandal of the Gospel through your church last week and will pray for the protection of those who serve in dangerous surroundings. I will pray that those who find refuge will honor it as a holy place, built for sinners, inhabited by a gracious God who calls us all to come and find rest.

Warmly,

Roger

(Last name and email address deleted to respect the sender’s privacy.)

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