From Our Pastor

Pastor Tim Funk

Pastor Tim Funk is a second-generation minister. His father, Amos M. Funk served United Brethren, Evangelical United Brethren and United Methodist Churches for over 60 years. Born and raised in the Chambersburg area Tim accepted Christ at a revival service at his home church, St. John’s UM Church, when he was 10 years old. At 13 years of age he received the call to the pastoral ministry but only became serious about the matter in his early twenties. It was then that he decided to attended Messiah College and Wesley Theological Seminary to prepare for the future God laid out for him. Tim met his wife, Sharon in his last year of college and they married in June of 1984. As a team the two have served 4 other parishes before coming to St. Paul’s in Red Lion. From 1985 – 1988, while in seminary, Tim was assistant pastor at Potomac UM Church, Potomac, MD. From 1988 – 1994 he served The Catawissa Circuit, a three point charge, consisting of Bethel, Fisherdale and St. Paul’s U.M. Churches. It was during this pastorate that their two incredible children, Rebekkah and Jesse were born. His next appointment from 1994-1998 was only 4 miles from Red Lion at Bethany UM Church in Felton. Tim’s longest pastorate was with the people of Waggoners UMC in Carlisle from 1998 – 2014. When he is not ministering, Tim enjoys all kinds of sports, fishing, auto racing and walking the Gettysburg Battlefield.

A Message From Pastor Tim

Dear St. Pau’s Members,

A man, who only attended church on Easter and Christmas, met the pastor at the door after the Easter sermon.  While they were shaking hands, the pastor pulled the man aside and said, “Sir, you need to join the Army of the Lord!”  The man replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Reverend.”   The pastor questioned, “Why do I only see you at Christmas and Easter?”   He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”

Is there such a thing as being in the Lord’s secret service?   Well, some people try to enlist.

One of the most famous secret disciples was Joseph of Arimathea. The Gospels tell us about Joseph.   Matthew writes that Joseph was rich, that he wrapped Jesus’ body in a long sheet of linen, and that the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid was Joseph’s own.   Mark emphasizes that Joseph was a member of the Jewish High Council (the Sanhedrin), and that he was waiting for the kingdom of God.  He writes that Joseph took courage in approaching Pilate.  Luke calls Joseph a good and righteous member of the Sanhedrin, who had not agreed with the decision and action of the council to condemn Jesus.   John comes right out and calls him a “secret disciple.”

What was Joseph afraid of?  Quite a few things.  Specifically, I believe he was afraid he could lose his position in society and even more.  Having seen the unjust rush to execute Jesus, Joseph had real reason to fear the same fate.  Nevertheless, he was on the council itself—he was in the position to make a difference.  Had Joseph taken a public stand for Jesus, would it have changed the outcome?  Probably not.  But at least he would have taken a stand.

Joseph finally reached the point where he would rather face the consequences of coming out for Jesus than to face the shame of doing nothing.  So he steps forward and asks for the body.  That took courage because in doing so he was declaring his love for Jesus.  The word used in the Gospels indicates that Joseph had to beg for Pilate’s permission.  A condemned man had no right to burial; that was part of the shame of crucifixion.  It’s surprising that Pilate even allowed it.

It turns out, Joseph doesn’t stand alone.  Nicodemus joins him, another member of the Sanhedrin, another secret disciple.  Two secret disciples come together, and the result is they gain the courage to go public with their faith.

Here is the point to remember as we approach Easter.  If you stand up for Jesus, somebody else will, too. They would gain courage from your courage. But a secret disciple encourages no one.  Jesus needs you to stand up for him, to let people know where your faith is.  This Easter, find a way.  Don’t be ashamed of him or afraid of what others will say.  If you belong to him, sooner or later, your commitment to Jesus will demand you go public.  Do you believe he rose from the dead?  Tell somebody!

Peace,

Pastor Tim