Our Pastor - Reverend Alan Darby
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AlanDarby

Pastor Alan S. Darby

Alan S. Darby is a South Jersey native, born in Ocean City and raised in Haddon Heights. He is a graduate of Westminster College (New Wilmington, Pa) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After seminary Alan served as campus ministries staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and has served UM churches in Sharptown, Collingswood, Elmer, and Sicklerville. He and his wife, Beverly, have 3 grown children: Chris, Andy, and Bethany. Chris (and Jill) have 1 daughter, Andi Jane (4 1/2). Personal interests include music, sports, reading and spending time with grandkids. Alan's passions for the church include dynamic worship, nurturing Bible Studies in small groups, developing leadership (especially with youth and young adults), effective evangelism, world missions, and vital service of Christ and His church through Spirit-gifted ministry.

 
Pastors Pen - January 2016
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Pastor's Pen
January 2016
by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

I’m sure you have heard the expression, “put first things first”. As we approach a New Year, we are thinking about “first things” for the “First of the year”. A New Year is a great time to reflect on the arrangement of our “priorities”… a good time to look back and examine what we’ve done, look forward and plan for what we should do in the days to come. A New Year is a great time for a fresh start to absolve ourselves (by God’s grace) of things we haven’t done rightly and resolve ourselves (by the power of God’s Spirit) to do rightly with things to come. What are things that we should intentionally place “first” in our lives?

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Pastors Pen - November 2015
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Pastor's Pen
November 2015
by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Yesterday morning I was in the midst of our small group, Wednesday Morning Men’s Breakfast Bible Study discussing Jesus’ command to “Seek for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added unto you.” In our conversation we were impressed with the truth of Jesus’ priority on “righteousness.” It was good to be reminded of the Lord’s desire for obedience, holiness, and the right living in our daily lives. It seems, these days, we talk a lot about what God can do for us and the good feelings His blessings produce in us, but can be neglectful of responsibility for righteous living in obedience to His will. We worry about so many things in this world, and need to be reminded of the primacy of seeking Him and His righteousness.

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Pastors Pen - September 2015
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Pastor's Pen
September 2015
by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

I’ve been considering the cost of a Bible. When you go into a Christian bookstore or shop online at Christian Book Distributors there is a vast array of types and translations of Bibles to choose from. It can be an overwhelming dilemma. It has not always been so however. I am reading a wonderful biography about William Tyndale by Steven Lawson. It is a powerful account of how Tyndale was called and used by God to translate the Scriptures from the original Greek and Hebrew texts for the first time into English. He lived in a time when it was actually illegal to translate, print, or even own a Bible. Only priests were allowed to read and interpret Scripture and then only from the Latin Vulgate. This was because the state church at that time did not believe that the common people were capable of understanding and interpreting the Bible correctly. In the early sixteenth century, at the time of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther had translated the Bible for the Germans and John Calvin had done so for French speaking people but nothing for the English. At the cost of his life, William Tyndale made it possible for English-speaking people to have access to reading and believing God’s Word for the first time in their familiar tongue. In October 1536 Tyndale was finally captured, extradited back to England from hiding in Germany, tried, convicted, and executed. It was a high cost to pay for the Scriptures but it enabled the power of the Holy Spirit to speak through God’s word to bring faith to thousands and spark revival and reformation in England.

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Pastors Pen - June 2015
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Pastor's Pen
June 2015

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Recently I was reading a passage from Colossians 3 that really struck me and I thought I’d share some thoughts with you.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

When I was young, my father used to tell me, “Allan, you’ve got a one-track mind!” The point was that when I got my mind focused on something, like a new ball glove or new soccer ball, that was all I could think about. And so I persisted in pestering my dad until I got it. You could call it a “mindset”, a “single-minded focus”, perhaps even an obsession, but it was an effective way of obtaining certain goals or things.

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Pastors Pen - March 2015
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Pastor's Pen
March 2015

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

During this Lenten season we are engaged in a church wide study entitled “committed to Christ.” Essentially this study seeks to answer the question, “what does Jesus expect of those who follow him?” Put another way, “what does it mean to be Christ’s disciples?” Or “What should a Christian look like?” When Jesus was told by one man, “I will follow you wherever you go.”, he replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” In other words, “Do you really know what you are promising?” Another said to Jesus, “I will follow you, Lord, but just let me go back and say good bye to my family.” On the surface of things, that seems like a reasonable request, but Jesus’ reply shows his awareness of his man’s lack of readiness to make such a commitment.; “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.” You see, what the Lord expects of his disciples is that they be fully devoted followers, with whole-hearted, total commitment to his service.

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Pastors Pen - January 2015
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Pastor's Pen
January 2015

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

“Christmastide”, or the festival of Christmas, ends with a celebration called “Epiphany”. Officially, January 6th marks the day we call Epiphany, which is great for those of us that want to extend the seasonal celebration beyond December 26th. It is the last of the “twelve days of Christmas” and commemorates the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem. These sages from the East had seen “His Star in the East” and had come to worship the newborn King. Matthew 2:9 says, after consulting King Herod and his counselors in Jerusalem, “they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great joy. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”

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Pastors Pen - December 2015
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Pastor's Pen
December 2015
by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Advent is upon us and Christmas is coming! Can you believe it? I can almost taste it. Imagine - roast turkey with sage dressing, rosemary red potatoes, peppered parsnips and turnips, biscuits with cranberryorange relish, baked apples with almonds, gingerbread with whipped cream, and hazelnut coffee… Doesn’t the thought of a Christmas feast make your mouth water? But – what if you sprinkled pepper all over everything? Now it doesn’t sound appetizing does it?

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Pastors Pen - October 2015
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Pastor's Pen
October 2015
by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

I had a wonderful time when our family got to go camping in the Smokey Mountains National Park a few weeks ago. I felt awed and amazed by my first experience of this exquisite example of God’s awesome creative wonder. We camped at a campground near Maggie Valley, NC called “Mile High Campground”, so named because it was literally on top of a mountain, elevation over 5,400 feet! Many of the campsites, including ours, had a panoramic view overlooking miles of mountain scenery. As I joined a number of fellow campers at the host’ site one evening to watch the sunset, I noticed a “peace pole” marking the site with Psalm 121:1 “I lift my eyes up unto the hills, whence cometh my help” quoted on it. I found this most appropriate, since all I could think of while being surrounded by such majestic splendor was how awesome God is so revealed in His marvelous Creation. “My help truly comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In my heart and on my lips, all week long, was praise due to our Great God, who gives us all of this to inspire worship and honor. Over and over in my mind and heart was ringing the second verse of a favorite hymn:

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Pastors Pen - July/August 2015
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Pastor's Pen
July/August 2015

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite things in life and fellowship of any church I’ve served is participating in small groups. In fact, one of the best things for me in my experience in ministry is leading small groups. I have found that small groups provide the best context for me and others to grow in faith. I think that is because a big part of the Lord’s purpose and plan for the people in general is to live in community. Jesus prayed for His disciples to be “one (in unity) as He and the Father are one. The best way to foster “community” through oneness and relationships is to join in a small group. Just as the basic unit of life in any “body” is the cell, so the organism of life in the “body of Christ” is in cell groups. That’s where the growth takes place.

A great analogy too, is a “platoon” in military service. Those trained don’t generally do so alone. The fraternal bonds of support in a band of “little platoons” enables those in battle to stand together, fight together, and “have one another’s back.” In spiritual conflict we are not meant to face the enemy alone. I thank God for the wisdom of His strategic operation of the church.

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Pastors Pen - April 2015
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Pastor's Pen
April 2015

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

When you were growing up, who did you want to be like? Who did you look up to, emulate, or want to imitate? When I was young I remember wanting to be like my cousin Glenn. He was four years older than me, lived in Ocean City, and was a high school basketball star. In fact he is the only Darby I’ve met who is over 6 feet tall! Anyway, Glenn is still admirable but I’ve since outgrown that ambition. Now, when I grow up, I want to be just like – Jesus!

The Bible says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us.” Ephesians (5:1–2) So the aim of Christian living, and my goal, is to pattern my life after the character of Christ. By God’s grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit living within us, we can, more and more, grow to be like Him.

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Pastors Pen - February 2015
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Pastor's Pen
February 2015

by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged, but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join me in another Lenten adventure. During the upcoming Lenten season, we will be engaging in a “church wide study” entitled “Committed to Christ: Six Steps to a Generous Life” by Bob Crossman. This is designed to be a great follow up to our fall study “Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity.” Moving beyond Christ’s call to Christian stewardship we will see that the Christian life, in response to God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ, is a life-long journey toward faithful discipleship in six core areas of commitment.

  1. Prayer
  2. Bible Reading
  3. Worship
  4. Witness
  5. Financial Giving
  6. Service
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