Below are the remarks made by Rev. Dale Sewall, moderator of the Seattle Presbytery, at Woodland Park PC's 100th anniversary church service on Sunday September 11, 2011:
As Moderator of Seattle Presbytery, I have the privilege of bringing greetings to you from the Presbytery at the end of your first hundred years and the beginning of your second.
100 years is a long time. I doubt if there is anyone here who has lived the entire hundred year history of this congregation, and I am certain that there is no one who remembers the entire 100 years. Yet if there were such a person, she or he would undoubtedly say, among other things, that the years seemed to go by so quickly now that they are gone. I think this is because we were created for eternity, rather than to be creatures of passing time. 100 years is but a brief moment in eternity.
A history of 100 years will always contain both good times and bad. That would be true of any person or congregation. But as followers of Jesus, I think we would discover looking back that the best times are those times when we are passionately doing the things we know Jesus wants us to do and the Holy Spirit is directing us to do; when together we are giving our best efforts with heart and soul and mind and strength. Those are the times we lose ourselves in the mission, don’t notice the passing of time, and are as near as we will come in this world to that which is eternal.
We know what Jesus said are the most important things: to love the Lord our God with heart and soul and mind and strength; and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That was the church’s calling 100 years ago; it is the church’s calling today; it will be the church’s calling until time is no more.
As we celebrate Woodland Park Presbyterian Church’s 100 years of ministry so far, my prayer for you and for all the congregations of Seattle Presbytery is that God bless you with the ability to keep losing yourselves in this calling—to love our God totally, and our neighbors passionately while there is still both time and calling on this earth.
September 11, 2011
Moderator of Seattle Presbytery