Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas

Advent is coming to an end. That means that Christmas is just around the corner. During Advent we worship, pray, and wait on Jesus to come, then on Christmas we gather around a manger and a stable and give thanks. When my children were little girls, we would eat supper together at night and we would light the Advent candle each week. We even had an Advent Calendar and each child would read, when they could read, and draw something on each day of the calendar as we marked the movement of the season toward that glorious Christmas Day. It seemed like forever when we started, but then the time would draw short, and their excitement was my excitement. And, on Christmas Eve, we would gather at the church and worship and light candles and sing our hearts out because that for which we have waited has finally come. I remember one year at the new church we had started down in Charleston, SC. We were still in rented space and people just kept coming and the noise was at a high peak. Children were everywhere and we had a great celebration. This year, as every year, we will come together. Families who aren’t normally together much during the year will gather this night and sing and worship together. Sometimes there is tension in the family and this season has a way of melting the hardest heart. Intellectuals come to please somebody but stand aloof of the rest of us. As we weep and get caught up in the joy of it, they stand above the rest of us in thought because all of this just defies logic. It doesn’t fit any of the officially sanctioned categories of the world. It is a story about a God who comes to us in a baby. Sometimes someone will get converted while worshiping on Christmas. Everything is as it always has been. It’s the same story. We worship in the same ways. Even the “contemporary” churches resort to tradition with a candle lighting service. And, someone mixed in the crowd suddenly gets it. It all becomes clear and they believe for the first time. Something (God) gets hold of them and they suddenly know that it’s all true. All of it. Angels, shepherds, wise men, a star, an evil empire, and a baby, Jesus of Nazareth, is born outside where hardly anyone notices. It’s all true. Underneath the ordinariness of it, there is this vibrant and wonderful living powerful God who is moving, ever moving, to claim people for his kingdom. So, this year, maybe like no other, pray that someone who is worshiping in your family or maybe one of your friends will be moved to see and hear as if for the first time and to proclaim: “It’s all true.” I know it’s hard for us self-sufficient Americans to come to this time of year. We can handle life on our own; we don’t really need God. Of course, if you read the morning paper or listen to the 24 hour news stations, you have to admit that when we have been in control, we’ve pretty much made a mess of this world. Christmas reminds us that we need someone to come from outside of us, a Savior. We need someone to come save us from our own selfish nightmares and make things right forever. God won’t force it; God wants you to be a part of it. So, get ready. On a night much like any other night, a star will shine and we will gather in worship, and this God of love, will move again. I tell you: “It’s all true. All of it.” Blessings! Dave Nichols

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Money and Faith

In my last installment, I wrote about the church and budgets and some of the realities of my experience with churches and money. It’s on my mind because every year at this time we work together at Bethel on renewing our common commitments to uphold the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. We ask each other to consider getting better in each of these areas. And, almost all of us know that the five weeks of emphasis will end with a card being used to pledge to each of these commitments. Though church attendance is no longer a given, since there are so many soccer and other challenges that go on while worship is going on, by far the most challenging of the commitments to think about is our gifts, or money. In my first appointment (church), I had three churches. One of the churches was a church in a small town which had split some years earlier over race. The Southern Methodist Church formed and took about half of the members of my church, a United Methodist Congregation. So, my church had struggled over the years to keep afloat, though by many standards they did quite well. On a good Sunday, we would have 50 in worship. On a bad day, we had around 35 or so. In addition to all this, a man in the community, who was not a member of the church, died one day and left a sum of $150,000 or so to this church. No one knew why; he just did. It was a huge gift for such a small church. So, they spent some time wrangling over what to do with the money. Whey they didn’t have this money, they wrangled over other stuff, I guess. (Let me say, I did love these folks). Finally, after some time they formed a fund and invested the money and decided that they would only spend the interest. So, what would the interest be spent on? Well, that wasn’t entirely clear though the intention was that we would do something missionally with it. They build a building for fellowship and program at a district camp. That was a good thing. Many used this for their church’s ministries. But this was the late seventies and run-away inflation. Some years we got as much as 10% interest. I couldn’t get them to give it all away, but I tried. One year I felt like Santa Claus giving out $1,000 checks to charities and colleges and other service groups. It was great, but we couldn’t give it away fast enough. So, the money accumulated. I worked hard to get them to give more away, but the more we talked about it, the more we argued about it. Finally, one night in a Board meeting, I lost my temper (I was very young), and said I’d like to make a motion. I made a motion that we give every cent, including the principal, away. And, you can guess, the motion was not seconded, and it died from lack of support. But, I had made my point. Money is a gift of God, yes, but sometimes money blinds us to our real responsibilities. Sure, I wish that every person who professes faith in Jesus Christ would pledge and give 10% of their income to the church. We would have more money for mission than we would know what to do with. I like to have that problem every now and then. But, more than that, I want a church where we have enough faith to trust God to give us what we need and supply our need, even if we didn’t have a cent in the bank. I wonder what God would do if we could trust him like that. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Church and Budgets

I have been at being a pastor for some time now; when I say that I feel old. And yet, I do have some experience at this church “business”. I have served many different churches: rural, suburban, urban; small, large, in-between. And, they all have their gifts and their problems. The church is, after all, made up of people just like me. As I heard someone say years ago, if I went to a perfect church, it would no longer be perfect. Every church that I have served, and I would say it’s true of others as well, has had anxiety about money. Maybe that’s because every person I know has some anxiety about money. Some people are really good at managing and handling money. They work hard. They save. They give. They do everything right when it comes to money. And, they are very impatient when others don’t seem to understand the importance of this. With these friends, it is a matter of integrity and honesty. You manage what you make and you are a good steward of the gifts that you have. Others, who are also friends, don’t do so well with money management. They, too, work hard and do their best, but circumstances have made it difficult to give and save as much as they would like to. They always seem to be behind. They get it done but not without some wrangling. The third group is in the middle. They appreciate and live by principles on both sides of money. Now, in our culture anxiety about money may have to do with the notion that the amount of money that you have in our culture means how important you are. But, more than that, I think that most of us are anxious about it because there never seems to be enough of it. In my experience, the churches who have enough money are not growing or changing or doing anything enough. Our job is not to make the church in to a bank. In fact, if we end up with money in the bank at the end of the year, it’s probably not a Christian thing. I know that we have to have some money left over to begin the year. But, what if we didn’t? Would we truly live on faith then? Where would the money come from? Or, would we have to close down. A couple of churches that I served built much-needed buildings and therefore went into debt. I knew that when we started living in the new space and the mortgage started coming due every month that the anxiety level would increase. Boy did it! No one can fully anticipate what is going to happen and how much it’s going to cost to take care of it all. Older churches are faced with the increasing costs of maintaining buildings that have often gone without repair over the years. Staff costs increasingly more. And, you can’t do church, not these days, without adequate facilities and adequate staff. Both are resources that are invaluable- priceless. So a group of diverse people, some of whom know each other well, many of whom do not know each other, join together because they are followers of Jesus Christ. And, they put together every year a budget/goal for mission and ministry and set out to give the money and resources to make it happen. We have just come through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Many were displaced, lost their jobs, or had to move to find another job. All were scared and are still scared that one day they will wake up and not have a job. We felt and feel that anxiety in church. But still, every year, in faith, we trust God and each other and we set another goal. We live within what is given, but we keep our goal high. If we lower our goals we lower our vision. It’s miraculous, when you consider it, that we are able to do the kind of church that we do and that we are able to continue, by God’s Grace, to make disciples of Jesus Christ. We are accountable for what we receive and give; but we are bound to the will of God in Jesus Christ for us. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Beginning of Freedom

We finished the sermon series last Sunday on Beginnings in the Old Testament. We ended on the triumphant note of the Exodus. “The Beginning of Freedom…” I talked about freedom as being bound to the right one, and the right things. And, in my haste, I made a mistake about Nelson Mandela. I told his story as the first Black President of South Africa. And, I said he was the first African-American President. I guess I was thinking about our own President. In one way, I know that was absolutely wrong. He is a Black African and a great man who suffered 27 years in prison and came out of prison a seasoned and mature leader who became President. On the other hand, when I think of freedom, I think of our own country and how proud we all are of the freedom that we live and espouse. So, it was quite natural for me to make the mistake of calling him African-American. I guess it’s a pride thing for me. I know we didn’t come up with the idea of freedom, but we have been a people who, for better or worse, have lived into the notion and vision of freedom. Moses was called by God to lead his people to freedom. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the bondage of slavery…” And, I am going to use Moses, says God. The week before I said that slavery was forever to be a memory in Israel’s history, but it was overcome by the memory of freedom and Exodus. For us Christians, the ultimate Exodus is Easter. So, on Easter, we read the story of the dancing Israelites coming out of Egypt. Now, last Sunday, we read and talked about the Ten Commandments as the seal of the Covenant of God with Israel. The law was and is for freedom. There is no such thing as absolute freedom; to be free is to be bound to the right One, the true and living God. The law is a gift and points us to God as the giver of all life and grace. True freedom is living out the relationship with God and with each other that we were created for. Mandela says that when he was put in prison he was concerned with his own freedom. Then, over time, he reached a point where he became concerned with the freedom of others, black and white. Mandela said that both the oppressor and the oppressed have to be set free. The oppressor needs to be set free from hatred and fear; the oppressed needs to be set free from slavery. Mandela said that all must be free. In our own world, we keep watching to see what will happen in Egypt. There is in their struggle a very real wish to be free. No government has a right to harm their own people. But, what will emerge? Right now, it’s a struggle for power. Often we see that in our own country. The quest for true freedom deteriorates into a wish to keep power for my own group, rather than a wish for the good of all people. As Christians, we know that freedom is a gift of God, and the wish for freedom is planted in every heart. We also know that we cannot be truly free if we are trying to live out our lives apart from the God who made us and gave us life in the first place. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beginnings in the Bible

We are working our way through a series of sermons on Beginnings in the Old Testament. We started with The Beginning of Creation- Genesis 1. With his word, God brings creation out of the nothingness of chaos. He says: “Light” and there is light. And, to crown creation off, God makes a man and woman and makes them in his own image. He breathes into them the breath of life. Over and over again, God looks at all that he has made and says: “It is good.” Then, when it is all done, God says: “It is very good.” The next week, we looked at Genesis 3 and The Beginning of Sin and Forgiveness. Human beings were given everything they needed in the Garden of Eden and told they could eat anything they wanted except for the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. The serpent tempted Eve and she ate; Eve gave it to Adam and he ate. God comes walking in the cool of the day and cries out: “Where are you? What have you done? Who told you that you were naked?” In Bill Cosby’s rendition of this story, God whistles and says: “Alright, everybody out of the pool.” And, even though disobedient, God still promises to protect human beings. He will bless them and they will multiply. It’s our story. We don’t want to be a part of creation; we want to be creation. Last Sunday, we looked at Genesis 12 and Abram and Sarai. God called Abram at 75 years old and promised to make him and Sarai a great nation. Their names became Abraham and Sarah and they went out not knowing where they were to go. Faith for all of us is going out not knowing. We want it all to be nailed down for sure, but God calls us to trust him with our lives- not a part of our lives, but the whole of our lives- and when we do it’s called salvation. God was asking them and God is asking us three questions for faith’s sake. God asks: “Will you trust me with your life? Will you entrust yourself to a part of my family? And, will you go out and be involved in the world as a blessing to others?” In the sermon, I asked: “When did you begin to trust God with your life?” Many of us started trusting God years ago with our lives. It doesn’t mean that we sat down and said: “OK God do your thing.” No, God called us to move out, to take action with our own lives, all the while trusting in God’s guidance and leading. Trust is that many times we thought God wasn’t doing a good job and took our lives back. Or, maybe we never really trusted God and set out on our journey to figure things out for ourselves. Often, we try to figure things out for ourselves and then try to get God to get on board with our plans and our direction. That’s the reverse order. God, who created us, calls us to set out but to trust him all the way with every part of our lives. Often, it’s in retrospect, in looking back that we can see God’s guiding hand. Even when we thought we were on our own, God was laying claim to our lives. What an amazing thing, when God took Abraham by the hand and led him out under the night time sky and said: “Look up! I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky. And, Abraham believed. People often ask me: “How do I know the will of God for my life?” In my experience, we know God’s will for our lives, but we have trouble trusting it. Alright! Today start trusting God all over again, or may start trusting God for the first time with your life. Leave where you are and go. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spartanburg MOBILE MEALS

I want to say a good word for MOBILE MEALS. It is a ministry of which most of us are somewhat aware. It exists behind the scenes, never calling attention to itself, but it does a wonderful service to the community. Each day a visitor/volunteer rides around and delivers hot meals to people who need them. In addition to the meals, love is served. A connection is made that is real. A few weeks ago I was privileged to be invited to Spartanburg’s Mobile Meals Board meeting as they organized for another year. I was invited because one of my members- Kim Jolley- is now serving as the Chair of the Board. I was asked to eat lunch with them and then to offer a prayer of blessing and dedication for the new and returning officers. Stories abounded about the good work that they do every day. The Chaplain of the group offered a story about a woman he had met. He read scripture and told the story and cried. We heard the financial report. I got the feeling that it was more upbeat that it had been in the last few years. Like all non-profit groups, they have suffered many losses from the recession. They receive some money in grants, but most of their income is from churches, groups, and individuals who give generously. Jane McQueen is the director of the program and does a wonderful job of bringing together people from all walks of like and faiths to provide this ministry of love. A meal is one thing, and is much needed- a hot meal at that. Many would have to go without were it not for Mobile Meals. More than that, volunteers give a human (and dare if say it?) and a divine touch. Love is the greatest need of all. Food is the vehicle. I am proud of Kim Jolley, who is just one of the many Bethel people who give themselves in service in Spartanburg. I am grateful for the work of Mobile Meals and recommend it, if you’re looking for somewhere to volunteer your time or give a worthy donation. So many times, we are overwhelmed by the great needs in our world and community. There is just so much to do; there are so many needy people. And, since we can’t do everything, we settle for doing nothing. What if all of us decided that we could do something, even a little, to make a difference in the lives of some? Meals on Wheels is just one example of a group of people who are determined to give and share with others who have needs. The next time you sit down to a hot meal remember that there are others who do not have that luxury, and Meals on Wheels reaches out to many of them. In some neighborhood, maybe your own, there is a man looking out the window and waiting for a visit from someone who cares. He is waiting on a hot meal, surely, but more than that, he is waiting on a person. Someone is waiting for you to reach out in love and service. Someone is expecting you. Someone is looking out their window wondering when you’re going to be there. Thanks God for Mobile Meals and for all of you who give in the name of Christ every day. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

METHODISTS AND ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Annual Conference was June 9-12 in Florence, SC. People associated with the United Methodist Church know that we are organized into conferences. The local church is a local conference, then come district conferences. We are in the Spartanburg District. Next is the Annual Conference which is presided over by a bishop. We are in the SC Conference or the Columbia Area. Finally, the General Conference comes along which meets every four years to write our Book of Discipline. The General Conference is made up of clergy and lay representatives from every Annual Conference in the world. Annual Conference does a number of things. The main actions are to set a budget for the next year, and to elect new officers for the next year. These are presented on the first day and then acted upon on the last day. Other business includes reports from our institutions- colleges (Spartanburg Methodist College and Wofford; Columbia College and Claflin), our Retirement homes (Greenwood, Orangeburg, and Florence), and our other ministries and agencies throughout the state. This is more a celebration than anything as we show our support of these fine institutions. We also do a lot of worshiping. You’d expect that from United Methodists. It goes all the way back to the earliest days of Methodism, back to the organizing conference of Dec. 24, 1784 in Baltimore, MD. We begin every conference with the Wesley hymn. Every conference in every place begins their meetings with the hymn: “And are we yet alive, and see each other’s face; glory and thanks to Jesus give for his almighty grace”. Every day we had a Bible study early in the morning. Those who wanted to get up early shared in a 7:30 Holy Communion Service. In addition, we had a service of worship in which we honored those clergy who were retiring. Another service for those clergy and family members who had died during the year. We had a conference-wide service of Holy Communion and we had our ordination service. The only way that a person may service in the United Methodist Church is to go through an extensive process of education and examination. Some are Local pastors who serve in the local area of their church under appointment of the bishop. Deacons are pastors who specialize in some area of service. They are ordained to Word and service. Elders are pastors who are ordained to Word, order, sacrament, and service. All of these pastors have gone through extensive examination by the Board of Ordained Ministry. The bishop ordains them, that means that he lays his hands on them as do other pastors and gives them the authority to do the work of ministry in the church. This ordination connection goes all the way back to our own John Wesley, and through him in the Anglican Church all the way back to the beginning of the church. We do not take this lightly. We wear the stole around our necks as a sign that we are wearing the yoke of Christ. Jesus says: “Take my yoke upon you…” And, the whole week ends with a worship service in which the pastors and churches are sent forth into the world for another year of service. Pastors are officially appointed to churches for another year. The word “conference” has been used in Methodist understanding since the beginning meaning more than just a meeting. It means a meeting of the church and with Christ to celebrate, pray, worship and go forth. This year, we welcomed our new Bishop, Jonathon Holston. He did a wonderful job of leading us into this next year. Always pray for the United Methodist that we may be faithful to Christ, always. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Asking, Seeking, Knocking for God's Will

We learned in November of last year that our church’s Financial Secretary of many years would be retiring on Feb. 15 of this year. We talked about getting started and then Thanksgiving and Christmas hit. On top of this, I was sick much of December, thinking it was flu or something akin to it. Turned out to be a serious incarcerated hernia which was surgically repaired as some of you remember. So, I lost the month of January in recovery. Knowing that our deadline was coming to find someone to be our new Financial Secretary, I came back too early, really, to start interviews with the persons who had applied for the job. I interviewed four people and narrowed it down to two. We offered the job to one and she turned us down for another job. We offered it to the other and she started to work for us. She made it three days and quit. Mercy! Someone had to get us through payroll. Bob Parrott, a member of the church, stepped in and learned the system and started getting things together immediately. The night I learned that we would be without someone, I got on the phone and started calling some of my fellow pastors. One asked his Financial Secretary and she recommended the person that we have now. I asked her to come in the next day for an interview. She has worked out beautifully. Now, we are interviewing for Youth Pastor. We narrowed our search to a few, whom we interviewed face-to-face. Two withdrew, one before we could interview him. Another withdrew after the interview. We are still interviewing. OK Lord. We’re waiting, praying and listening. We are in the midst of a process of discerning God’s will for us. Everyone is praying. In the meantime, the Youth Ministry continues under the able leadership of our adult parents and youth leaders. So, we are not panicky. Why would we be? We have the foundation of a great Youth Ministry that has been in place for years. We have great adult and youth leadership. And, we are assured that if we seek we will find. Jesus said that. Jesus tell us to ask, seek, and knock. Sometimes we just don’t ask. We mean to ask but we get to thinking that we don’t need any help, much less God’s, so, we plow ahead. I have learned over the years that if we ask, seek and knock, that God will move- not that God is not moving before we ask, but if we ask, as Jesus invites us to, then God moves in mysterious ways to communicate his will and to guide us Sometimes God’s answer to our seeking is surprising. God’s answer is certainly better than ours and always in his time, not ours. We are learning that God has chosen all of us to do ministry. God has chosen some of us to do specialized ministries. People of all kinds are chosen to serve in God’s kingdom. In the United Methodist Church, we believe that people of all ages, nations, and races are in God’s kingdom. All believers of every shape and size and origin are a part of God’s reign. So, with confidence we continue to ask, seek and knock. Jesus told us to. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Monday, March 25, 2013

HOLY WEEK1111

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. Jesus enters Jerusalem. It’s a loud and glorious day in Jesus’ life. James Cleland called it the “happiest” day in Jesus’ life. You can imagine that to be so. Riding on a donkey, he is welcomed with open arms by those who wave palms. They welcome him in love and grace. It’s the beginning of Holy Week. We call it Holy Week because it’s Jesus’ last week on earth. A lot happens in this week. The events of this week are pregnant with meaning. A woman will wash Jesus’ feet with oil and clean them with her hair. Jesus will visit the temple to “cleanse “ it. Jesus will say: “My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers and thieves.” The Pharisees and others will move to end the Jesus’ movement by getting rid of Jesus. Passover will come on Thursday, and Jesus and his disciples will gather for the Passover Seder. A lamb will have been roasting all day long to prepare for the meal. Jesus will come to table at Passover as the head of his little family of friends. The youngest son, as in any Jewish family, will ask: “Why is this night different from all other nights?” And, they will tell and re-tell the story of how God, with a mighty arm, brought Israel out of Egypt. Then the Passover meal takes a turn as Jesus passes bread and says: “This is my body…” He blesses and passes a chalice and says: “This is my blood…” Next, in the most dramatic move of all, Jesus takes a towel and a basin of water and washes the disciples’ feet. It’s more than Peter can take; Peter tries to stop Jesus. But, Jesus insists saying: “If I don’t wash your feet, you can have no part in me…” And Peter says; “Lord, not my feet only, but my head and my hands too…” In a while after this, Judas will betray Jesus and the disciples will adjourn to the Mount of Olives for prayer. Soldiers will come to arrest Jesus and take him into custody. A mock trial follows. Jesus will be beaten and spat upon. And, after a long walk through the streets of Jerusalem carrying his cross, Jesus is crucified at noon on Friday. Now, what makes this holy is that it’s Jesus last week, surely, but more than that, we learn that somehow God will use the suffering of Jesus to redeem our own suffering. Because Jesus suffers with us, we do not suffer without hope. So, after a day of celebration on Palm Sunday, we enter this Holy Week, believing that the God who acted in Jesus is still acting in Jesus to redeem the world. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and he still is. Anyone who gets a good look at Jesus this week will not be able to turn away unchanged. Did ever such love and sorrow meet, or love flow mingled down? What wondrous love is this! The events of this week show us just how far God will go to have us, to save us. It’s worth a thought or two between now and Easter. Blessings! Dave Nichols

Monday, February 4, 2013

Getting Well...Wow!

Well. The last time I wrote my church newsletter column I had been sick for about two weeks or so with what I thought was the flu. I did have a terrible cold and cough during Christmas and beyond, but something else was going on, obviously. On January 9, I gave the talk for the UMW’s City-wide prayer breakfast. I had very little voice but I went on. I have always believed that you just keep going, in faith. I went upstairs to my office to work that morning and by mid-day I was doubled over with pain in my abdomen. I had been to my family physician the day before and he said I did not have the flu but he gave me something for my cough and cold. This day after that, Tuesday, I came home and laid down thinking the pain would pass, but it didn’t. Late that afternoon I called my family physician and he told me to go to the emergency room- not something one wants to hear. I waited still and then around 9pm that Tuesday night, Mary took me to the emergency room, where they went to work. In addition to the pain in my abdomen, a knot had come up. The pain got worse. A CT scan later, and they determined that I had an incarcerated hernia. What? Never heard of it. Well, it meant that someone my hernia had drawn my bladder and bowels and intestines into it. So, everything shut down. We spent the night, Jan. 9, in the emergency room. The hospital was full with people with flu. The next morning the surgeon came to see me and messed with my abdomen a bit. He was able to move things about a bit and relieve some of the pressure. He said that we needed to do emergency surgery- again not something one wants to hear. I would be worked in the surgical schedule. Finally, a room came available about 4pm and I was moved there. Then, about 5pm or so on that Wednesday I was moved to the holding area awaiting surgery. Around 6pm, the surgeon came in and asked: “Good to go?” I said: “Good to go.” Prayer. Kisses. And, that’s all I remember. I woke up in my room after 9pm that night. I saw people floating by, and slept. Wow! 5 inch incision and drugs and pain, and God’s love, got me through. Had the hernia been there a while? No way to tell, they say. I didn’t have pain until that day. I saw the surgeon on Jan. 16, one week later. He says I’m healing nicely, but no driving for a while. I will see him on Jan. 30 and he will give me further instructions. Thankfully, everything is working and I am recovering slowly. Beside my chair is a stack of wonderful cards from all of you. I have eaten soup, and stew that you brought. Thanks so much for all your support through all of this. Thanks so much to the staff who have kept things going well at Bethel. David Smith and Chad Deetz have led you in worship in my absence. Thanks so much to all the staff who serve faithfully and well. I am trying to follow the surgeon’s instructions and wait and pray my way to a complete recovery. I will see you soon. Keep us all in your prayers. See you in Church- soon! Dave Nichols

Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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