Who would have thought that by planting Asian Pear trees, several years ago in my orchard in Burlingame, Kansas that it would lead me to the becoming the pastor of Auburn Presbyterian Church? But that is what has happened! In the summer of 2012 my Asian Pear tree produced a bumper crop of fruit. Rather than letting the fruit go to waste I decided to try selling the fruit at the farmer's market in Auburn - which of course takes place at the church parking lot. In the process of setting up shop, Dean Melton informed me that the church was without a pastor and I responded by letting him know that I would be willing to "fill the pulpit" sometimes. It was February 10, 2013 before I was invited to speak and the experience turned out good for all of us.
Of course filling the pulpit was only the first step along the process to becoming pastor of the church. My denominational back ground (Southern Baptist) did not sit too well with the Presbytery. But I met with the Counsel On Ministry and after I told them the Asian Pear story - it was recommended that I serve as pastor. In June I officially became the pastor of the church.
Highlights of the year for me include: worshiping together weekly through song, praise, and scripture reading; getting to make friends at the church and in the community; preaching a series of sermons from the 23rd Psalm entitled "Stress Busters"; the Christmas Eve candlelight ceremony; and conducting a wedding ceremony and unfortunately - a funeral service.
Currently we are going through a series of sermons from the book of James entitled - "Living Life Wisely". It would be my desire for the church in this coming year - if we could apply James 1:14 to our lives. "Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." James 1:22 NASB
Let us strive to live out God's word through our lives and may those around us see Jesus through us. May 2014 be a year that we serve God faithfully.
Blessings. Pastor Tom