MEET THE PASTOR
The Rev. Dr. Donald M. Rising joined us as Temporary Pastor on November 15th and will be with us for several months while the search process continues.
Monthly Message From the Study of Donegal Presbyterian Church
Happy Birthday, Church! On May 15th, we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the church. Pentecost is described in Acts chapter 2 as the time the Holy Spirit came upon people. This amazing event included the sound of a strong wind, tongues of fire, and the extraordinary experience that people spoke in different languages so that those from different regions could understand the message. Congregations, including Donegal Presbyterian, traditionally encourage members to wear red on the day of Pentecost to symbolize the tongues of flame and to celebrate our birthday.
To some, this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift of energy and excitement. And many of our churches today could surely use some of that! To others, the gift of the Holy Spirit was a gift of power, strengthening and enabling those present to go forth and live like Jesus. After all, Jesus did say to the disciples, "When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you shall receive power." (Acts 1:8)
Presbyterian minister Tom Long notes that maybe another gift of the Holy Spirit was the gift of the Word, the gift of something to say, a Word to speak in the brokenness and tragedy of the world that is unlike any other word.Did you notice what happened to the church when the Spirit was given?
It stood up and it spoke. It moved from silence to language. It talked and the whole world heard the good news in its own languages. Perhaps that gift was a Word to speak, that life is stronger than death, that hope is deeper than despair, that every tear will be dried, and that in the power of Christ's resurrection, death and pain will be no more. That Word is our gift to speak, too.
This Pentecost is especially meaningful to you at Donegal. Pentecost is a time of renewal and re-commitment. And it is especially timely as you prepare to welcome Matt as your new pastor. The Spirit is blowing among you, leading you into a new chapter of ministry under his leadership. Together, you will discover what it means to serve Christ in this time and place.
I continue to pray for all of you, especially at this time of transition. I pray for renewed energy as the excitement about Matt’s arrival surrounds and invigorates you. I pray for power, giving you boldness to serve God and one another as you rekindle the gifts within you and dust off those talents each of you has. And I pray that you hear, read, study, proclaim, and live out the Word - to speak that Word the world desperately needs to hear.
Please read the Rev. Dr. Donald M. Rising's letter to the congregation upon joining us for a new phase of our ministry.