As I prepared to offer my reflection on the announcement of Pastor Dennis McCleary as our new pastoral leader here at Bethany, I was simply grateful for the appointment of a man of God who truly loves people. "PD" will be blessed by you and will be a blessing to you. Some of the other things I shared on Sunday March 24:
In the prior week, after the announcement that we were being moved by the bishop, I ran into Karen at the hospital, doing her job. She gave me a hug and said, "I'm praying for a better one" (a better pastor). I love big prayers! And I recall what a past superintendent of the York District, Rev. Roger Mentzer, once said: "I'd be proud to call Dennis my pastor."
Do not underestimate the power of hospitality. Social scientists tell us that people decide whether or not they would like to come back to a church within 5 minutes - long before they heard the preacher preach or had a chance to be introduced. It's the people of Bethany that drive the growth and energy we experience together. Dana, one of the newer folks to the Celebrations service, says that she decided to attend worship here because when she came to one of Marsha's recitals, a man stood at the door on a rainy night to hold it open and offer an umbrella. Hospitality! And, that is how your church Council began their relationship with Dennis and Jean McCleary - with a full breakfast served up out of our church kitchen.
Continue to welcome Pastor Dennis and Jean in this spirit, and continue to welcome every guest God sends us in this way ... and God will continue to bless.