Summary: A sermon about growing in the knowledge and power of Christ.
“I’ve Heard About Ya’ll”
By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
This week our District Superintendent, Myrtle Francis Hatcher, called and asked me to write a tribute to Walter Goode which will be printed in the Virginia United Methodist Advocate that will come out during this years Annual Conference.
In order to find out how to go about this I called an editor of the Advocate who told me that they don’t get a lot of requests for these things…
…but that it will cost 60 cents a word and can be no longer than 200 words.
Myrtle informed me that the Peninsula District will be more than willing to pay the bill…
…so I wrote it and sent it in.
A Tribute in the Advocate is quite a high honor.
In essence, the church, or in this case the district, is saying we have a pretty good feeling that a number of folks from around this state of Virginia who will be congregating, once again, this year in the Hampton Coliseum will have heard about Walter Goode.
Many of them will have seen him, over the years, attending every session of the conference, smiling in his gracious and humble way, walking and looking at the various booths, and engaging other Virginia United Methodists in conversation.
They will know that someone is missing this year…
…someone very important…
…someone very dedicated…
…and for those who know Walter, conference will be a little haunting without him.
I know that we, here at Parkview still miss Walter’s presence in so many ways.
I miss him at Bible study.
I miss being able to walk over to the church on Sunday mornings knowing that the coffee has already been brewing for a good hour, the doors have been unlocked, the lights have been turned on, the bulletins have been laid out….
…and all I have to do is come into the office, sit down, and have a nice half hour conversation with a spiritual friend as we wait for other folks to arrive.
I learned a lot from Walter Goode during the three years that I knew him.
He told me a lot of stories, he talked to me a lot about God, about his relationship with Jesus, about what he thought God was up to in the here and now.
Walter led our Sunday morning prayer gathering at 9 a.m.
And, we still meet. Jerry has taken over the leading of it…I would encourage everyone to get up just a bit earlier to come join us for singing and prayer before the Sunday School hour begins…
…what a way to start the day!
I know that so many of you, as well, still miss Walter Goode.
It’s interesting, in the months before Walter passed away…
…I can’t exactly explain it…
…but he and I were really starting to bond.
We were really starting to become extra close.
I’m so thankful for Walter Goode and for people like him.
What would this world be like, if it were not for folks like Walter?
And the Peninsula District is thankful as well…
…and so is the conference.
Some of the folks who read Walter’s Tribute this year, may not have known him, but many will have heard about him….
…because good news travels fast!
The author of our Epistle Lesson for this morning is writing a very upbeat letter.
This is, no doubt, one of the more upbeat letters in the Bible.
Things are going well at the church in Ephesus.
Good stuff is happening.
These new Christians, these babes in Christ, have been lit aflame by the spark of faith and people are talking about it!
“ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,” we read in verses 15 and 16!
To be thought of so highly that word gets around and a letter is written giving thanks!
I bet many of us have written letters of thanks this week, as well…
…letters of thanks to our mothers/for our mothers.
What is it or was it about your mother that makes you most thankful?
Did she share her faith in Christ with you?
Was it from her lips and through her actions that you first formed the impression that God is Love?
Did you pray for her?
Did she pray for you?
Is she still praying for you?
The author of Ephesians writes a beautiful prayer for this young church that has been filled with so much faith and so much love.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”