Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt Rotating Header Image

Pearls 9/13/2016

I’m looking at some major changes in my life come December.  I will be leaving the full-time commitment with MCC Rehoboth Beach and I will be focusing on Safe Harbor UCC and being the President of the Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Churches.  It will be a major change in household income, and we have to be up to adjusting to it.

With respect to Safe Harbor, the plan is to increase the stipend for the church to quarter-time so that when I leave the area at the end of 2017, they will be able to afford a 1/4 time interim pastor.  This was the plan in place that Dr. John Deckenback and I had discussed and he had agreed with, my hope is that the new Conference Minister will also agree given the untimely and tragic death of Dr. Deckenback earlier this summer.

And as the President of the Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Churches, I plan to place significant energies toward renovations of the building, someone has estimated at about $180k, including a new floor.  My hope is that by the end of my tenure at least the floor will be in.  If anyone has any suggestions, you can see me or contact me on my cell-phone listed on the front page.

More as the holidays near.


Pearls 8/8/16



What really happened to Uzzah, the man who put forth his hand to steady

the ark of God and lost his life?  Why would coming into the presence of

a loving God kill a person?  Certainly we cannot know for sure what

happened, since the ark of the covenant is a lost relic of the ancient

Hebrews.  But the ancient Israelites believed that one could not see God

and live, and there was a very strict code about the touching of holy

objects.  In the ark of the covenant was a jar of manna (the food God

gave the Israelites), Aaron’s rod that was so instrumental in freeing

the Israelites from the Egyptians, and the tablets of stone God gave

Moses on the mountain (Hebrews 9:4).  These were holy things.  But it

was thought that something of the very presence of God was dwelling in

the ark; therefore, if a human being touched it, the power would kill

them.  The concept is not a moral one, but a natural fact, much as we as

human beings today understand that if we touch an electrically charged

line, it will kill us.


What we can glean from this part of the story is that we need not become

careless about the presence of God in our midst.  God is certainly

dwelling with us in our worship.  People who come in the front door feel

God’s presence from the beginning.  It feels safe, and somewhat

disconcerting at the same time.  The safe part is that MCC is

a haven, a hiding place where we can get our batteries recharged and our

spiritual food for the week.  We can get our wounds healed and our needs

met.  The disconcerting part is God’s presence.  Our first understanding

of God, Like Isaiah in chapter 6 of his book, is that God is awesome and

powerful, before whom we seem as insignificant as ants.  We ought not

become complacent or careless about God’s power and presence among us.


Fortunately, that’s not the whole story.  After Uzzah’s death, King

David at first rejects the ark of the covenant and puts it outside the

city at the home of Obed-edom the Gittite.  But after three months it

becomes clear that the presence of the ark is blessing this foreigner.

So King David goes to the house of Obed-edom and with joy brings the ark

of God into the place it belongs.


We, too, can be a little frightened when we realize the awesome power of

the Lord, but like David, when we see the blessings God’s presence and

power have on others, we can put God joyfully in God’s rightful place.

The story tells how the ark of God was borne to its rightful place with

shouting, dancing, banqueting, and great rejoicing.  So, too, when we

put God in the rightful place in our lives, there come spiritual

feasting, singing, dancing, and great joy.  So the second part of the

story illustrates that this God, the one who possesses the power to

create the universe so vast,so much power that could even destroy us,

loves to dwell with us and to bless us.

This IS cause for great joy!  Let us rejoice today!



Today I attended the funeral of a dear colleague from Delaware Hospice, the Social Worker for the Hospice Center, the inpatient unit in Milford.  Sara was a wonderful woman and her memorial service today reflected her deep Christian faith.  She planned her own memorial service and it was held at her church, Avenue United Methodist in Milford.  Her memorial service was a celebration of life, and faith in God and in her future with Christ.  She was a member of the handbell choir and they played two beautiful pieces, there was a piece led by the praise band, and her niece sang a beautiful solo.

My memories of Sara include her dancing with Georges, her husband of over 20 years, her empathetic talks with hospice patients, her open sharing with me concerning her early life, growing up with her sisters, her wonderful parents, especially her father.  I will truly miss her.

Attending this celebration of life had me thinking about my own mortality.  Sara was only 64.  Although I know many people younger than me in the “boomer” generation (my birth was the first year of the post-war baby boom) have passed on, usually these people I have helped to “go on to be with the Lord” had lived hard lives, had smoked, or in some other way had punished their bodies.  Or maybe it was because I felt so close to Sara.

Losing your mother or your dad causes one to contemplate the fact that one is just a few years behind them.  The early Christians spent time contemplating a “good death”.  By all accounts Sara lived a wonderful life and died a good death.  Contemplating my own death, as the early Christians did, I find myself looking into the precipice and shrinking back.

Melancholy writings but really the memorial service was one of Christian hope and love.  I hope I have the courage shown by Sara and the fortitude to die as good a death and to plan as hopeful a celebration of my life.

Safe Harbor UCC to meet at Episcopal Church in Milton

We got great news last week that Safe Harbor would be meeting at St John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Milton.  We got the great news after Jeff and I met with their full vestry and explained the mission and vision of Safe Harbor UCC.  Our first meeting will be July 17th.  We thank God for the hospitality of these fine Christians!

Focus on Safe Harbor UCC

We are currently looking for a place to meet since we have outgrown all our homes.  If anyone knows a place we might be able to meet, at 5pm the first and third Sunday evenings, please let us know.