I was born in the small town of Lancaster Pennsylvania. My earliest memories of church life are from the Episcopal Church in Columbia Pennsylvania, as well as the Methodist Church in Millersville Pennsylvania were several of my mother's family attended. However, I must say the most formative church experience while growing up was Donegal Presbyterian Church in Mount Joy Pennsylvania. It was very much your old school Presbyterian Church with the Dr. Rev. Bear presiding. It was a great experience to see the different types of churches as I was growing up. The stained-glass artistry of the Episcopal Church, along with its robed priests and court -like processions, the smell of frankincense filling the air. Compared to the community and folksiness of the Methodist Church. Now I found myself attending a church with no stained-glass men's suits ranging the full spectrum of Blacks and dark blues. There were no crosses in the sanctuary or any other Christian icons. However, what we did have worked pew cushions. This last sentence is an inside joke that anyone who attended Danica Presbyterian Church would understand. The experiences that I grew up with through attending Donegal Presbyterian Church shaped by theology. However, it was many years later when God called three others and me to stand behind the plow of ministry setting our heads hearts and hands firmly on the task ahead. My education is not one of degrees and documentation, but one of humbly serving my Lord with the resources that he puts before me. I would like to leave you with this one of my favorite Bible verses
1 Corinthians 13:13
"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." In other translations, this word love throughout history was translated as charity. Today the word charity often takes on a negative connotation. However, I want to think of the full implication of the word charity. Yes, he could have those negative connotations, but charity should ultimately come down to the heart of the individuals. The person who is giving to charity and the person who is receiving the charity. If you have a heart of service that is backed up by both faith and hope, the charity that is given can only be offered through love with love and by love. I firmly believe what defines Table of Grace Church is its love for the community through Jesus Christ.