Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

October 20, 2022

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

October 20, 2022
In June of 1992, Gloria Davey and a few friends were walking in the English countryside. When they stopped for a rest, they discovered this ruined church (from the bombings of World War I). When she entered Gloria found it laid out as a Satanic temple with a pagan alter and anti-Christian symbols. When she told her husband Bob, a church leader at another nearby church, he was horrified at what he saw. That moment, the recently retired Bob made a decision that would dominate his life for the next 22 years. He would restore St Mary’s Church.

He said, “You couldn’t see the tower, and there was no roof, windows or floor — nothing, really. But I felt it was my duty to save it. This annoyed me intensely. I’ve been a Christian all my life and wasn’t putting up with this on my watch.” He walked inside—the door was long gone—and that afternoon started clearing out 60 years’ worth of rubbish. For 22 years he was at the site early every day “except on days of family christenings and weddings,” says Bob, who has four children, six grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
He added, “I haven’t had a holiday in 22 years, but I haven’t wanted one. Who wants to retire? My advice to others: don’t play golf or buy a Spanish villa when you retire. Find yourself a ruined church to save!” Bob hasn’t just saved the church. He also uncovered a unique set of wall paintings, the earliest in Britain and some of the finest in Europe.

It was a costly job in more than one way.  Bob paid out thousands of pounds from his own pocket---plus he faced stiff resistance. The satanists sent him a message: “If you continue to come here, we’ll kill you.” Bob said he wasn’t frightened. “I’ll come in an electric trolley if I have to.” And until his death in 2021 at the age of 91, that’s exactly what Bob Davey did.
As you can see, today St. Mary’s is a flourishing church thanks to this one remarkable man. Until his death Bob was also a warden at the church, welcoming visitors from across the world including Prince Charles and Princess Margaret.

I love Bob’s attitude. As Christians we may retire from our careers---but we never retire from the Lord’s work. If anything, our church needs our gifts---our experience-formed wisdom MORE when we grow old. Plus, as Bob learned, working in the church gave him purpose and joy. Who want to retire to a beach in Florida or a cabin in the mountains?! It’s much more rewarding to role up the sleeves on our wrinkled arms and work in the Lord’s church.

I can’t help but think of an old hymn:
O land of rest, for thee I sigh! When will the moment come when I shall lay my armor by and dwell in peace at home?
We’ll work till Jesus comes. We’ll work till Jesus comes. We’ll work till Jesus comes. And we’ll be gathered home.

Keep the SON in your eyes!
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