[Rev. David Denoon presented the Announcements on Sunday, October 21, for the Youth Sunday worship service. As he began, he said the following as testimony for why he finds pastoring this church so rewarding:]
Hi. I am Pastor Dave Denoon.
Usually, when a layperson is announcing, at this point they are asked to identify a specific ministry or activity of which they are a part here that they find particularly satisfying and then invite you all to consider participating in it with them.
That leaves too broad a range for me, and I don’t want to even seem as though I’m playing favorites, so here’s my pitch:
I find it particularly fulfilling to be the pastor of First Church because we understand, or at least we try to understand, the importance of honoring a diversity of opinions and political positions and social strategies.
There aren’t many places where that happens in our society anymore, and we don’t do it perfectly here. We have our differences (and O! the differences we have!), but our Christ informs us that we are to love one another, even our enemies, so that includes everyone in those groups and in between.
I love being part of a community that is determined to affirm people, to treasure people and the earth on which we live, and to be ready to have our hearts changed and our lives transformed. And who realize that you cannot do that, you cannot be changed, without allowing yourself to be challenged. A dear departed member of this congregation once told me, “I rarely agree with [and here he named a specific person], but I am always interested to hear what she has to say because she always gives me space to say what I’m thinking and feeling too.”
First Church is a safe place to be yourself, and evidence I’ve seen indicates that it always has been.