Sangre de Cristo Journal

Following Christ at 9,000 ft

Thoughts about what lies ahead

As I contemplate the next three months, my last semester here at Sangre de Cristo Seminary, and the prospects of a new and exciting ministry in Meadville, PA, I have resumed the process I started some time ago of looking at where I am now. What I mean by that is this: I am appraising areas where I need to improve for the sake of the kingdom of God and the ministry that lies ahead. My whole purpose for returning to seminary  was that I recognized the need to better equip myself for the Lord’s work. I could have stayed where I was, pastoring in a city that needed and still needs the gospel, but I realized by finishing my seminary degree I would be doing a greater good in the grand scheme of things. I have no regrets, and know beyond a doubt if faced with the decision again, I would not change a thing.

These are some of the areas I am working to improve myself: First of all, I am working harder at Scripture memory. In Philippians 3:7-15, the apostle Paul has just listed his accomplishments in life providing a synopsis of his resume which would be very impressive to most people. But in this passage he expresses an attitude that all of those things are meaningless compared to the knowledge of Christ. I want to know Christ better…and the only way I know how to do that is to know His word better.

Secondly, I am trying to get back in good physical condition. While I have been blessed with good health, I am also aware that I am not getting any younger. Paul described the kingdom work with words like “struggle” and “fight,” and even relating it to “boxing” or “running a race.” A group of people have expressed a certain degree of confidence and hope in me to shepherd them and minister the gospel in their community. To borrow the Army slogan, I want to “be all that I can be” for the sake of Christ first and also for them. That will mean that I will need all the stamina and strength I can muster, and so I have been working at physical conditioning and eating better…in short, being more disciplined for Christ and His kingdom.

Thirdly, I am constantly researching my ministry field, trying to learn more about the community and its resources, strengths, weaknesses, and needs. I read the local newspaper and look at local websites for any information that may help me prepare for ministry. I look forward to getting to know the congregation and sharing in their lives, hopes, joys and sorrows.St.PaulsSanctuary I also look forward to meeting the various pastors and hope to build lasting relationships with them in the spread of the gospel, and I look forward to their fellowship. I am prayerfully seeking the Lord for wisdom and vision for St. Paul’s and while I know that will become more apparent when we arrive in Meadville, the Lord can start preparing me for what lies ahead. I have placed the picture of St. Paul’s sanctuary on my desktop at work and my laptop at home to continually remind me to pray for God’s people there. I know they have been praying for us and have the same desire to see God work in a wonderful way in their church and community. Lord willing, our first Sunday there will be September 9th.

We are trusting that the Lord will direct us to a two or three bedroom house we can rent and be comfortable in. So if you are in Meadville and know anyone with a house to rent that will allow us to have our golden retriever, Angel, please let us know!

May 29, 2012 - Posted by | Christian Service, holiness, Kingdom of God, Meadville, Meadville, PA, preaching, the knowledge of Christ, the love of Christ, the love of God | , , ,


  1. Pastor McAfee,

    I am continually impressed and gratified as I read your most recent message that focuses on your pastoral and personal goals. Your message gives me ever increasing hope and anticipation for St. Paul’s and its congregation as well as your entry into the community. The next couple of months i would assume will be filled with many objectives in preparation for your move. We can appreciate all of the tasks that are before you. We moved back to meadville after being away for over forty years. The pace of life is much slower, relaxed and friendly. Finding the right house to build a home is important. Question; Do you have anyone here in Meadville that is assisting you in your search for acceptable housing? Meadville provides a wide range of housing options and neighborhood environments.

    (Born and raised in Meadville, moved from area after college, returned after 45 years),

    Comment by Jim H | June 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Jim,

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. We don’t have an agent or anything like that. We were hoping Joel could help us a little in finding a place. We’re not looking to buy anything for at least a year if we do decide to buy. Our preference right now is to find a two or three bedroom 2 bath home that we can rent and one that will allow pets. Ideally, it would be a house close to the church. We would even consider fixing something up. If you hear of anything, please let us know. I’ve been watching the Tribune and Meadville Online for postings. We’ve got a little time to work with, but by mid-July I’ll probably start getting a little nervous if nothing is in the works. We’ve spoken with the Hunters Ridge people, but there is no guarantee they’ll have anything.

      Blessings in the Lord,


      Comment by Rev. David P. McAfee | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  2. David and Paula,

    I do have a few contacts in rental real estate. I did have a real estate license for awhile so can maybe use some of that experience and connections. I can explore there knowledge of any possible three bed room two bath rentals. I will not be too intrusive but will make some inquiries. I am sure Joel will be of assistance. I have the time and it will give me something to do that might be of benefit.


    Comment by Jim H | June 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Great! That will work for us!

      Comment by Rev. David P. McAfee | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  3. Not muck luck so far. One two bedroom, one bath second floor apartment near Conneaut Lake.

    Jim H.

    Comment by Jim H | June 5, 2012 | Reply

    • That’s OK, we’ve still got plenty of time. I saw on Meadville Online a posting of a house and tried to contact the person, but he hasn’t returned my email yet.

      Comment by Rev. David P. McAfee | June 5, 2012 | Reply

  4. Know nothing about this rental property. 648 Cullum Street (corner of Cullum and Miller Ave.) 3 bedroom, 2 bath. Posted telephone number – (814) 795-6068.

    Jim H.

    Comment by Jim H | June 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks Jim,

      I’ll call the owner and see what I can find out. I received an email from another owner about 16 Walnut Street. It’s a little larger than what we’re looking for but once he sends us pictures, we may change our minds. Hope you had a great day of worship!


      Comment by Rev. David P. McAfee | June 10, 2012 | Reply

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