Rev. Martin E. Ives, M. Div. has been a pastor for more than 50 years, serving in both small and large churches in the states of New York and Washington. He served as Associate Pastor here at FPC from 1964-1986. During his years of ministry, he served as a Presbytery moderator, treasurer and delegate to regional and national jurisdictions. He served as a reservist in the US Navy Chaplain Corps. Ives is a recipient of The Distinguished Pastor Award, presented by Whitworth College of Spokane. He has just published a new book this year titled I Read the Bible, I’m Changed. Here is a description:
I Read the Bible, I’m Changed is an encouragement to read the Bible front cover to the back cover. While skimming its pages, readers will recognize the Bible’s literary grammatical style, along with its history, poetry, accuracy of advance pronouncements of events, and God’s frequent interventions into the history of mankind. Avoiding denominational pronouncements, the Bible’s main continuous and progressive subject comes through-that what one comes to believe is of ultimate importance. This book comes with the prayer that many will claim the gift of eternal life with God by means of Jesus Christ, and that one’s lifestyle will change in the process. May each reader be alert to the Bible’s claim that the Holy Spirit’s effect on an individual’s life is more important than remembering a bundle of information, and to the evidence that God deals with each person a little differently. If the Bible is a new book to you, then you are invited to read with the intent, “What does the Bible have to say?” Read and be changed.
We are blessed to have Rev. Ives as our Associate Pastor Emeritus. A copy of his new book is available in the Church Library for check-out, or you can purchase a copy for yourself. Rev. Ives has published two previous books: What’s Next, Lord? and Jesus’ Seven Words, Our One Word.
You can access Pastor Eric’s special sermon outlining our Solemn Assembly on May 19 and the “Year of Jubilee” here.
“Hospitality involves welcoming, creating space, listening, paying attention, and providing. Meals slow things down. Some of us don’t like that. We like to get things done. But meals force you to be people oriented instead of task oriented.” I read this recently from Tim Chester’s book, “A Meal With Jesus.” In fact, I read these words shortly before I boarded the Paris Metro to head to Jim Haines’ house for our first Supper club. And it was my hope that this unique experience of a Supper Club would help me to live into this reality.
And as we approached Jim’s door, we heard him calling to us from inside the house, “Come on in!” Tara and I were swept into Jim’s small home, along with about 60-70 other folks, and Jim immediately started making introductions, and telling us to put our coats away in the coat room, and to go ahead and introduce ourselves to the other folks already in there! We stood around his crowded kitchen munching on salads and bread, and meeting people from Australia, England, and even some folks from closer to home–including one lady from Kent, Washington! And even though Jim’s home was small, and it was hard to maneuver around all of the people, we had a great time making some new friends, discussing religious topics, and sharing stories about our lives. It was truly an inspiring way to bring lots of different people from around the world together all on one night.
But that was not our only experience like that…the receptionist at our hotel also arranged for an impromptu dinner party with 3 American guest, him (Nicolas), and Tara and myself. He had made dinner reservations for this family and himself, but at the last minute, 2 people in the party cancelled. So, Nicholas chased down the family and asked if we could join as well! And again, he brought together people from around the world, to one of Nicolas’ favorite family restaurants (a couscous restaurant), and we laughed, told stories, and learned a lot about each other.
While Tara was on the Camino, some Spanish bicyclists gave her the advice “Never eat alone.” It’s not that it’s terrible to eat alone, but the advice was more about always finding someone to eat with, to share your life with…and if you are alone, then make a new friend with someone sitting next to you! I love this idea, and the heart for always connecting people to one another and to God.
I have finally made it to Santiago, and received my Compestella. It was a wonderful Pilgrimage, full of silence, prayer, laughter, deep conversations, and many new friends. And as Tara and I sat in the Cathedral this afternoon for the Pilgrim Mass, we heard them mention an American who began their pilgrimage in Sarria–which was referring to me! The entire service was in Spanish, but after we received the Lord’s Supper, I was praying back in my seat, and thinking about the mystery of communion, and how that was so very much like the mystery of the service I had just sat through. And I pondered how big and great and mysterious our God truly is; and what a blessing it is to be a part of His family…no matter what language I spoke.
We weren’t supposed to focus on the idea of hospitality until the second part of our study leave, but I was blown away by the acts of hospitality I observed while on the Camino! There were quite a few little snack stands set up along the trail where there was free water and snacks set up just for the pilgrims, to help encourange and support those making the Camino. ”Buen Camino” (“Good Way or Walk”) was a common greeting along the path. And there was one mile marker we passed where a local woman had cut some fresh flowers and arranged them on top of the marker just to brighten the path for the Periginos (Pilgrims). And Tara and I have met quite a few new friends; friends we are intentionally meeting up with again here in Santiago before we all head back home. Hospitality has actually been a huge part of our experience here on the Camino! And I am looking forward to learning the next thing God has to teach me along The Way! Thank you for your continued prayers!
I have made it to Spain, finally! The trip was long, and involved multiple planes, buses, and taxis; but I finally made it to Sarria, Spain where I met up with my traveling companion, Tara. We’ve spent some time orienting ourselves to the town, savoring good home-made meals, and are planning on visiting some of the religious sights here in town this afternoon! I am hopeful and nervous, all at the same time, about the beginning of my journey, which starts tomorrow morning. And yet, even as I’m in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language, my thoughts and prayers are with the people back home–especially as we are watching the news coverage of the bombing in Boston. As I continue to pray for all of you, I hope you will continue to pray for me as well; and I look forward to keeping you all posted on my travels!
Taproot Theatre Co. will bring the gospel of Mark vibrantly to life for the stage in this new play to be performed at FPC Tacoma on Sunday, April 21 at 9:45 am. Relive the story of Jesus as Mark shares his account of the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus with all the urgency, passion and humor revealed in his gospel. Meant for adults, youth, and kids. (Stone Hall)