The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-13
Rebekah has been preaching since she entered Columbia Theological Seminary as an MDiv candidate back in 1978. She was one of less than a handful of women, and God has blessed her ministry in ways few had either the faith or the courage to imagine.
That spring I went to an Ocala National Forest campground to hear Rebekah’s first sermon, and I knew immediately she would be a preacher with a powerful and authentic voice.
We have always felt loved and appreciated wherever Rebekah has served, and we are frequently touched deeply by people’s encouragement and generosity. In consequence, we tend to breathe sighs of relief when ideas such as “Pastor Appreciation” days slip by under the radar… but this year the good people at WFPC just couldn’t help themselves and the seriously cool banner pictured above has spent the past couple of weeks gracing the highway outside our campus.
We Appreciate You!
Regardless, the sentiment has been a timely shot in the arm in this difficult 2020 moment, where it is so easy to get caught up in our own angst to the extent we forget how over the top stressful ministry can be, especially when a pastor’s responsibilities involve upwards of 1,000 members and attendees (“adherents”).
So I’d like to offer a huge “thank you” to our amazing church for the huge sign and most of all the love. And also for the authentic witness of so many beautiful spirits committed to literally being the presence of Jesus in this community during this time.
If we take a look at our church mission statement – “Rooted in Christ. Growing together in faith. Reaching out to others” – then it is clear that, pandemic or not, absolutely nothing has changed in terms of who we are, why we exist, and what we are doing.
This weekend is “Commitment Sunday”, when financial pledges are turned in to support the ministry initiatives of 2021. If anything, WFPC should continue to grow and – by the grace of God – so will our impact on this community.
I will see you in church – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.