When approached by the Elders to return to the Topeka pulpit after 10 years of retirement, Pastor Bob McFarland read the following to the congregation on his first Sabbath Day after his ten year absence.
And it came to pass that the Topeka congregation once again in 2008 went to the auto showroom to consider the automobile to meet their needs since they no longer had a car of their own. ( 10 years earlier they had taken their old car and retired it, they assumed, for good.)
For several years they enjoyed a new low-mileage, colorful, energetic, young sports car. But once again that car had driven away and was no longer around.
The congregation, knowing they were not wanting to purchase another car immediately, went to the car rental agency. There they were told of an experienced sedan which had been rented out with some success the last 10 years. This car had many miles of experience. It supposedly had been owned for 12 years by a local group that had retired it from active operation.
The Search Committee was told that during the past 10 years, the car had been going to morning and evening services—so it was serviced regularly. It had been rented out to eight congregations in Ireland. It had also been to Japan to serve in the seminary and had seen some city driving in Chicago, Kansas City, Evansville, Indiana, and Nova Scotia. It even won “Best in Show” at some gathering called Synod at Geneva College (sometimes referred to as a “horn honking” contest!)
When the committee went to the rental car show room, they saw the very same car they had returned 10 years ago! They recognized that particular peculiar car since it had remained much the same during the years. And the committee remembered that the surest way to become peculiar is to remain the same!
So arrangements were made to rent the same vehicle. It was put back into service leadership January 6, 2008. Pray for safety, unity and an enjoyable time on our trip in 2008. The older, experienced sedan is back. Come and be a part of our travels together again!
And the congregation said: “Although it is the same car, what a nice surprise—After all, we are 10 years older too!”