Greetings to you!
We have arrived. And you have given us a very warm welcome. Thank you! You have done a great job in preparing the place for our arrival.
On the first day, I hit the ground running in order to moderate Session that evening. You will find me asking questions about where to find things. I fumble to know which key turns which lock. I am scrambling to learn names quickly. We’re glad to be here.
Let me begin by telling you a bit about us. We grew up in Ukiah, just south of the northern California redwoods. I was part of a large Catholic family, number seven of eight children (six boys, two girls). My father was a doctor and mother was a nurse. I am the only minister among my siblings, though many are quite active in the churches they attend. Diana’s father taught high school classes and her mother worked at the local drug store. She and her sister were the only children in her family. Diana is an RN, and recently completed her BSN degree. Diana and I met in fifth grade, it was nine years ago that we married. We’ve blended our families: Matt, Hannah and Sarah from my side; Brittany and Stephanie from Diana’s side. They range in age from 23 to 28. We are very proud of the young adults into which they have matured. Our home is in Sherwood.
My last call was to the Newberg First congregation for twenty years. Strangely enough, I preached in your pulpit while I was candidating for them. It is good to be back. We have worshipped one Sunday together as I write this. I love the pipe organ and the music Debra makes with it. I mentioned after the lively Postlude was played that “we will need to add some seat belts to the organ bench” to keep her on the bench. I meant it!
My days in Woodburn will be Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday. When you want to see me, please call or email me for an appointment.
In the upcoming newsletter articles, I will be challenging us to re-think church. The days of “if you build it, they will come” are over. These are the days where the Presbyterian Church is the most elderly denomination in the nation. All denominations are shrinking in membership – people just aren’t attending church. Churches are shrinking down to their core. And the churches that will survive are rediscovering why God has placed them where they are. That will be our mission as well – to rediscover why we are the First Presbyterian Church in Woodburn, Oregon.
We are here. We are going to have some fun!
God bless you!
Pastor Peter J. Blank
Joke for the day:
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, ‘My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.’ The second boy says, ‘That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100.’ The third boy says, ‘I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!’
March Newsletter PDF: March 2015 for web