Pastor’s Paragraph for August 23, 2020

Pastor's Paragraph for August 23, 2020

AUGUST 23, 2020

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My paternal grandparents lived in Harrisburg (the city when my dad was growing up and suburbs when I was growing up). Their house in the suburbs had long steps leading to their front door and a back porch that ran the length of the dining room/kitchen. As kids, I remember sitting on the back porch blowing bubbles into the backyard, my grandparents sitting in the shade to keep an eye on my brothers and me as we played in the backyard, and the clothesline on the back porch where my grandmother would hang a sheet to keep the sunshine off of me when I would play in the kiddie pool that she’d put on the porch on hot summer afternoons.  

On the other hand, the front steps were a place where I would watch my grandparents, especially my grandfather, sit and talk with the neighbors who would stop by for a chat in the evenings. Frequently, my grandfather would sit on the front porch steps to talk about baseball, weather, and daily life happenings with the neighbors.  

My parents live in Delaware in a community of mostly retired folks. It isn’t uncommon to catch people in their neighborhood in their golf carts pulled to the side of the road to talk with one another. In this season of COVID and exercising extra precautions, however, it is more common now to see the neighbors in this community standing on their front porches and catching up with one another across their yards.  

Our back porches are often private oases where we go to be alone or with our families and close friends. But something special happens when we can visit with one another on our front porches. Neighbors get to catch up with each other, hear how the family is doing, share funny stories, and offer words of support and help.  

As the newest pastor to this faith community, I would love some front porch visits with you. I will be scheduling some opportunities for those and will plan for some of our front porch visits to be in person in the church and online. I am certainly open to scheduling a visit to your front porch if that would be the best way to be able to visit with one another. My hope is that these front porch visits will provide an opportunity for us to better get to know one another and so that I can hear you. Along with the ULC, I have received and read through letters that some of you have written, and we do thank you for sharing your love, hopes, and concerns for Camp Hill UMC.

I look forward to hearing from you as you share your stories, how you experience God’s love and grace, how you live out loving our neighbors, and your hopes for our faith community. There will be links on the church website to register for a front porch visit, or you will be able to call the church office, so that we can help you register for one of the visits.  

I look forward to seeing you on the front porch.

As Paul wrote in Philippians 1:3-6, I echo

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

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Rev. Dr. Kathleen Kind
Pastor