From: Roger ____ firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Columbia, Canada V5H 4M2
From: Tom Hall <THall@fpcp.
Sent: Monday, April 29,
2019 8:11 PM
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
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!
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.
(Last name and email address deleted to respect the sender’s