Warm Reception at St. Paul’s
Paula and I were excited for the opportunity to travel to Meadville and were thrilled at the warm reception we received from the people there. We fell in love with everyone right away. Joel DeAngi, the interim pastor, picked us up at the airport in Pittsburgh on Friday and upon arrival at Meadville, we went to a wonderful Italian restaurant called “Chovy’s” – yum! Then we had ice cream at Hank’s Frozen Custard (owned by one of the members at St. Paul’s). We enjoyed the frozen yogurt and a wonderful 76 degree evening.
Joel’s hospitality shined throughout our time there and we were really impressed with his gifted piano playing, but we had an immediate bond of fellowship and saw the love of Christ in him. Joel’s wife Yumi is a physician and Paula and I really enjoyed her fellowship as well. They have two beautiful children.
Saturday morning, we toured the church property. It was much more beautiful than we had anticipated and the facility proved to be very neat and well cared for. We walked through just about every room and were impressed with the daycare area and how it was so well maintained. After leaving the church, we toured the city and looked at homes before stopping for lunch at the Rib and Chop House. It rained almost all day and for the matter, the rest of our time in Meadville.
Saturday evening, we met with the consistory and the pastor search committee at Joel’s house for pizza and an informal Q&A. I was struck by how warm and friendly everyone was, and how they seemed excited about the future prospects of the church.
We discussed more pointed issues of interest to both parties and I think we were both pleased with how that meeting went. The official call of the church is not to be voted on until the next congregational meeting on May 20th so we are prayerfully seeking the Lord’s will each day. For my part, I think St. Paul’s and Meadville would be an great place to preach the gospel and minister. I will update this post at a later date.