A Word from the Pastor
How We Spent Our Dash
Socrates wrote, “The unexamined life is not worth
living.” This implies that one reflects on the past to
learn from it and to avoid repeating it. This is much
different than what I suggested in my article last
month to avoid trying to live life through the rearview mirror.
Looking back to learn from the past is worlds apart
from trying to live in the past. Again, coming to the
end of my time as your pastor, I want to reflect just
You may have heard or read the poem, “The Dash,”
by Linda Ellis. (See Page 7) Although it refers to the
dash on a tombstone, between the beginning year of
one’s life and the ending year of one’s life, I want to
look at the dash between the beginning year of my
ministry and the ending year of my ministry here at
First. The dash is the time between the beginning
and the end and deserves our reflection.
If you go to the library on the second floor of the
Foote Education Building at First, you will see
the photographs of each of the pastors of First.
Underneath each photograph the are two dates and
one dash. Soon my photograph will have a second
date. . . it will look like this: 2005-2019. Fourteen
years or five thousand one hundred fifty-one days.
To reflect on this personally, it is astounding. When
the Shettlers arrived in 2005, both my parents were
alive. They joined the Church Triumphant, Dad in
2012, and Mom in 2017. We came as empty nesters
and without grandchildren. Now we seek to keep up
with five grandchildren under the age of twelve: Mac
12, Larkin 12, Parker 11, Anna Read 9, and Ellie 6.
God has been good to us personally through these
fourteen years. Soli Deo Gloria.
Expectantly for your future and ours,