Pastor's Paragraph for July 8, 2018

JULY 8, 2018

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First words, like first impressions, are never given a second chance. That being said, let me share with you a few first impressions and allow me to set these impressions in context. 

My first impressions of CHUM started nine years ago as I sat on the back deck of the Fineview Road parsonage along with my wife, Cindy, and several pastoral couples including Tom and Marty Willard. It was in the late summer of that year and Pastor Tom was sharing his impressions of his first several months at CHUM as we enjoyed an evening picnic. I listened to him speak about the hospitality and spirit of the church. 

Nine years later those words shared by Tom have become my reality. Since the January Sunday announcement of my appointment to Camp Hill UMC the prayer filled hospitality that has been sent our direction has been a gracious gift. Please know that both Cindy and I are grateful for your expressions of welcome even before our arrival. You truly have been radical in your hospitality. 

It has been said that radical hospitality requires intentionality. It goes beyond warm welcomes and becomes a welcome where every person is treated as an honored guest. Cindy and I are thankful to be a part of a church that values that understanding. Being in ministry in a confused and hurting world calls for radical hospitality, which breathes a core understanding: people are important to God and to this church. 

We look forward to joining you in continued expressions of welcoming as we greet new people who, like Cindy and I, are finding CHUM to be their new spiritual home. I hope that you and your families join me in daily prayer as we journey together in the days, seasons and years to come. 

Be Blessed,
Pastor Gary