Pastor’s Paragraph for August 18, 2019

Pastor's Paragraph for August 18, 2019

AUGUST 18, 2019


Nothing has affected who I am and what I am about more than my family of origin. That little cocoon of humanity that lived at 1635 Park Street on the hill section of Harrisburg certainly “marked me for life,” and I am happy and proud for the “markings” that made me a Grove. My two brothers and three sisters often admit with me that we were lucky siblings. We had parents and relatives who cared about us and made life a wonderful experience.

A commentator in The Wesley Study Bible said this about the human family: Family chronicles…trace our roots and shoots, our tribes and our allegiances. We research them and hang them in our living room. But do we see the purposefulness of God that ties parent to child over the centuries? Our surname is precious. Our given name is more precious still (p. 493).

We all know full well that our human families can make or break us. They can teach us “the purposefulness of God” as we live from day-to-day, or, the futility of life as we ignore God’s presence in all of the important decisions we make. All of us can go back to our “family chronicles” and tell those stories with pain or joy. And they certainly remind us as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents that we can have a powerful effect upon those who trace their “roots and shoots” to us. 

1 Peter 2:17 gives us even more guidance when it comes to family. Peter says, “Love the family of believers.” That one sentence spells out the importance of our extended family called the Church, or, the Body of Christ. There is no group beyond our biological family that has had a greater impact upon me than the Body of Christ. My Christian roots go deep into Park Street Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church on the hill section of Harrisburg. My wife, Shirley, would say the same about State Street EUB Church, also on the hill section of Harrisburg, where we were married. I am happy to say that our four daughters and their families also have a church connection close to where they live.

The “family of believers” has strengthened the Grove family through many crises. We would have been lost without that extended family. We do indeed “Love the family of believers,” and we encourage everyone connected to Camp Hill UMC to find that experience here in this Body of Christ. It will become the most important connection you will ever make. 


Rev. Dr. Jack Grove
Minister of New Members