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               Dr.Escoffery@SenateBill.us

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PILGRIMAGE:                                                                                     

One of the things I'm doing during my campaign is visiting a different Faith Community each week-end so as to meet the parishioners, experience the different flavors of Christianity and behold the power of American Believers en mass!

I plan to visit not only Christian Churches & Congregations of different faiths; but also some Jewish Synagogues, because, as a Jewish friend who attended Christmas dinner with my family every year used to remind us: "Jesus was a Rabbi". 

So I'm going to invite you to join me as I go "On Pilgrimage" around Florida, and as I put the photos of the various churches & congregations up here on the site for your prayers and reflection. (Click here to see the pictures in the "Photo-Gallery" at the bottom of this page, each with the date of my visit). 

This has turned out to be an exciting Pilgrimage for me, as I hit the road each Sunday with my trusty Nelson’s Study Bible, camera at my side and a great sense of anticipation! In some churches we kneel, in some we receive communion in both species. Often the children are welcomed to a special moment at the altar; frequently parishioners stand and voice their concerns; and always the hymns & praise are glorious! And I am learning to listen carefully to discern whether I am in an “AH~men” or “AA~men” environment!

I personally was raised a Roman Catholic and was "Born Again" in an Assembly of God congregation in Northern Montana. (Thank you Pastor Jim Slaska and Father Gary Norman). And, due to my attendance at both churches in Scobey, Montana ~ The Assembly "Country Gospel Singers" were soon caroling at the Catholic Christmas Mass and Father Gary was coming over to the Assembly for social events; and flying Pastor Jim around in his plane! (Montana is that big of a place!)

God is powerful!

Now, to be frank with you the R.C. Church has never ~ in my experience growing up ~ been big on The Bible. So in Montana on Sunday mornings I'd leave the Nelson Study Bible that Pastor Jim advised me to purchase (and which we read together on Wednesday nights and every other Friday on my day off) in the trunk of my car as I hit the Catholic service at around 10 AM. Then I made sure to have The Good Book in hand as I scurried over to The Assembly around 11 O'clock. I'd be a little late there; and Pastor Jim would see me sneaking in the back and shout out for the entire congregation to hear: "Here comes the doctor with his Bible!" At which point there was a tremendous cheer and the music became even more enthusiastic!

Those were great times for my growth as a Christian.

Today I am basically non-denominational and very occasionally attend a service at my brother-in-law's church here in Fort Walton Beach, FL. (He married my wife and I when we exchanged our vows). My current preference is to spend most Saturdays ("Sabbath") in a non-electronic environment at home while reading & studying Christian, Patriotic & Educational materials. (Although this has become more problematic as I engage in campaign activities. However the great trade-off is that I'm attending a lot of Sunday Services instead. In God's Plan there is a time for everything!) In 2006 I was able to purchase a facsimile copy of The Codex Vaticanus B, 4th. century Bible and I am currently slowly reviewing Mark from that source. (It, along with Codex Sinaiticus is said to be one of the earliest records of the Bible).

I enjoy all church services and have fond memories of many, particularly including a funeral I attended for one of my patients, an African-American preacher, in inner city Indianapolis some years ago. Myself coming from a tradition of mourning over death ~ I was stunned and uplifted by the joyous celebration of this fine man's passing, in the fullness of years, by all members of the congregation including his wife who danced in the aisles as she praised the Lord and urged The Brother on to Glory! 

That is another powerful Christian memory & "Teaching Moment" that remains with me to the present.

Indianapolis was also the place I delivered the only sermon I ever gave! It was around The Millennium and at the time I worked for a clinic of Methodist Hospital. It was the tradition for them to have a lay person give the Good Friday "Homily" at the Morris Street Methodist Church. I had always fancied that if I ever became a preacher I'd be a real "Fire-and-Brimstone" one in the tradition of The Great Awakening (see "Sinners in the hands of an angry God!" by Jonathan Edwards). So I gave them a real stem-winder! And if I can locate the sermon, I'll put it up here for your attention.

Also check-out The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University:

I want to thank you all for welcoming me to your faith celebrations. As I write this, early in my Pilgrimage, I am enjoying warm memories of recently attending the local Shalimar Methodist, Lutheran and Baptist Churches as well as the Niceville R.C. Congregation and my brother-in-law's Fort Walton Beach Non-Denominational group, Grace Covenant Church. (See photos below). Many more are to come, including the local Presbyterian service as soon as I get a fix on their worship times!

Update 1/31/10: The Shalimar Presbyterian Church Sunday service is at 11AM. There I met Elders Linda & George Shealy & their awesome congregation as well as visiting Chaplain George Castillo & his wife Muriel; heard an uplifting sermon on "Living by [and Walking in] the Spirit" with focus on Galatians Chapter 5, emphasizing the special notion of "Christian Liberty" whereby Christians are freed from enslavement to "The Law", but are none-the-less restrained by other considerations. For not only must we resist the lure of "The Flesh" [Materialism], but we are also obligated to demonstrate the Fruit Of The Spirit outside of Church; and commit to Love and service of neighbor. Following this I stayed for Fellowship ~ Thank you all!.

Ecumenism is what it's all about folks, and I long for the day when we'll all bury our superficial differences and stand together as a single-minded, Mighty Congregation of The Lord, to celebrate One Father in Three Persons; give thanks for The Forgiveness of Sins & The Miracle of The Resurrection; and finally establish The Kingdom Of God right here and now! (Matt 6:33).

Update 2/7/10  ~ Today I did an unusual thing on my pilgrimage: I returned to a church that I had visited only recently; the Fort Walton Beach, Grace Covenant, Non-Denominational. I wanted to listen to Author-Lecturer Dennis Avi Lipkin, a Jewish-American speaker who lives part time in Jerusalem and who served in the IDF. He gave a tremendous presentation outlining the current Islamic threat to Israel, America and indeed all of Western Civilization. So make sure to visit Avi Lipkin's site for more information! 

2/14/10 ~ Valentine's Day! And a beautiful bright one it was in Fort Walton Beach when I visited Trinity United Methodist Church, just a few doors down from my office. I hadn't realized what a large compound it was and got thoroughly lost in back somewhere between the Fellowship Hall and the classrooms. But a kind parishioner (Thank you, Madam!) showed me through to the worship area where I heard a great sermon by The Rev. Robert G. Ellisor, Chief Pastor, on "Love that Lasts a Lifetime." Pastor Ellisor took inspiration from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ("Love suffers long and is kind ...") and introduced the acronym "L-O-V-E" to summarize the attributes of one who embarks on a deliberate choice to love. (That, by the way is "Agape" love as compared to "Eros", "Philia" & "Storge"; for more details listen to "The Four Loves" described and narrated by the great Christian Philosopher C.S. Lewis and introduced by Charles "Chuck" Colson). One who exhibits this Christian Love  ~ as demonstrated by God ~ endures all things and accepts any rejection to build up and encourage the beloved. Pastor Bobby's acronym "L-O-V-E" stands for: Listen (instead of talking or 'reloading'), Overlook (faults), Voice (appreciation, both verbally and by action) & undertake the Effort required to make the relationship work. Thank you Pastor! 

From this point on, the church photos and brief comments can be accessed via the Photo-Gallery thumbnails immediately below. For more details including summaries of the various sermons, click on the "Index of Churches."    


  

God Bless you AND Shalom!

Bill.    


                                   <RECENT <<<<<<<<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EARLIER> 


 

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St. Marks Episcopal,

Palatka, FL

 (Scroll Up For Photo-Gallery Thumbnails).                                                                         



(NOTE: I want to emphasize that, pursuant to the relevant campaign prohibitions, none of the churches, Pastors nor parishioners in their official church capacities ~ referenced or pictured herein ~ officially support my political candidacy).


THANK YOU FOR YOUR GRACIOUS SUPPORT!


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WILLIAM ESCOFFERY III,

Candidate, U.S. SENATE, FL 2010

 

 

. William Escoffery III

FL Primary 24 August 2010

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Pd. Pol. Adv., paid for and approved by Dr. Bill Escoffery,

Candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida.

Copyright © 2010 by William Escoffery III. All rights reserved.
Last modified: 09/13/10