Pastor Harry's Page

The Rev. Harry Kyle Gindhart Jr., came to Midland Park UMC in July of 2019. Pastor Harry transferred  from the Marion District where he was ministering at Lake View and Nichols UMC. Rev. Gindhart studies involved Charleston Southern University where he received his BS Degree in 1973. Upon completion of CSU, Rev. Gindhart attended seminary at Candler where he received his Master of Divinity in 2006.

Rev. Gindhart is married to Marsha Gindhart. Marsha is a homemaker and currently holds no employment outside of the home. Rev. Gindhart and Marsha have three grown daughters who live outside of the home. They have been blessed with several grandchildren.

Prior to entering into the ministry, Rev. Gindhart’s professional career included ownership, management, and on-air positions in commercial broadcasting (TV and radio). Rev. Gindhart held a Residential Contractor’s License (SC), as well as an Unlimited General Contractor’s License (commercial). His last position prior to entering seminary was Senior Vice President of Dolphin Architects/Builders and President of Dolphin Building Systems (and Partner). Rev. Gindhart studied Architecture at Clemson University and obtained a BS degree in Accounting.

“I am committed to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaching Scripture in small group settings. I am a sinner saved by the Grace of a loving and merciful God.” – The Rev. Harry Kyle Gindhart Jr.

E-Sermon for Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 - Matthew 14: 13-21 NRSV

Needs and wants. We basically all experience them. A want is something you may desire such as a new dress, house, boat, golf clubs, tennis racket, and on and on. They are like entertainers, sports figures, and the like: non-essential. I used to tell my girls in their formative years that there is a big difference between a "want" and a "need." A need is something essential to your well-being like food, shelter, clothing, a means of income, a sense of safety, equality, and that, yes indeed, your life does matter. When have you ever suffered from a genuine need? I personally have a lot of wants; but being the privileged, white male that I am, not so many needs according to some. Friday following my dialysis session I was starving. Marsha had fixed a breakfast of oatmeal around 10:30 and that comprised my entire nourishment for the day. As luck would have it, I finished dialysis early and on time (i.e. no issues). Usually I'm on the machine for an extended time and things take longer for me to be released which exacerbate my mind numbing boredom (sitting in a chair very still for four plus hours). But Friday there was hope: I got out early only to discover Marsha was stuck in traffic coming off Johns Island; long story short: she was an hour late picking me up and that oatmeal was long gone! I was starving; I could have eaten a horse; I NEEDED food! I have experienced a need for food a number of times in my life; not because it wasn't available but usually because of circumstances. As hungry as I was I cannot imagine the feeling of hunger experienced by inner city children living in ghettoes, or third world countries where food is literally not available. I think of children in our own communities who do not get enough to eat because there aren't free school breakfasts or lunches due to the Corona Virus. There is real need all around us! Matthew tells us that upon learning of John the Baptist's execution, Jesus gets into a boat. I like how he thinks; messing about in boats is awesome, but I digress. Jesus seeks a place of solitude to get away from the crowd; he sets a course for a deserted place. Upon arrival, Jesus discovers the crowd has followed on foot. Was he upset; was he aggravated; did he tell the crowd to get lost? Nope! "He had compassion for them and cured their sick." That's just the way Jesus is; he sees a need and takes care of it! Not only did this crowd of faithful followers desire to be in Jesus' presence but they forgot to pack a meal for the journey. They didn't adhere to the 5 P's: "prior planning prevents poor performance." This became obvious to the 12; they politely suggested that Jesus send them into the nearby villages to grab some chow. Grub Hub and Uber Eats were not around yet. But rather than dismissing the crowd, Jesus instructs the disciples to do the unthinkable: "you give them something to eat." Say what, Mr. J? Have you not noticed that there are around 5,000 men plus women and children in this group? The larder is bare, brother. We can only scrounge up a couple of fish and five loaves of bread. Hardly a smorgasbord of delectable delights; and not nearly enough for a party of 5,000 plus. Undeterred, Jesus has the 12 bring those meager means to him; "he looks up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples." The disciples were able to distribute fish sandwiches to everyone until they had their fill, and leftovers to boot! What just happened? A miracle? Yes, but wait, there is more. Notice what Jesus did and didn't do. First he takes what is available; he then gives thanks for what he has; he allows God to do what God does best, i.e. take care of needs; Jesus then distributes this bounty of food to the disciples who in turn feed the crowd. Notice that Jesus did not actually do the feeding; he gave that opportunity to the disciples. The 12 fed the crowd! Jesus in his compassion took care of a need by allowing God to act through him to provide what was necessary. A very real need was met. Starvation was alleviated. Aside from the mysterious miracle of bread and fish multiplication, how are we to understand exactly what Matthew is sharing in this text? The proper response is we should in compassion recognize the need in our midst and not expect God to do something about it, but allow God to work through us as agents of God's love, mercy, and compassion. We cannot use the excuse that we are few in number: 12 fed 5,000 plus. We cannot use the excuse that we do not have the resources: 12 used 5 loaves and 2 fish. What appeared to be the unimaginable became the possible through pure faith and trust in God. That's what Jesus did; Jesus trusted God to overcome adversity. When we as a church, we as children of God simply trust that God will make the impossible possible then we can do amazing ministry! Find a need; meet a need. Like the 12, Jesus gives us the opportunity to be ministry in action. This is what Jesus would ask of each and every one of us. We would be doing what Jesus would do. And the really cool part is that God takes care of us on a daily basis. "Give us this day our daily bread." God doesn't supply our every desire and want; God takes care of what we actually need. I think we can all agree this is a truth. Despite feeling like we are in a deserted place with a myriad of needs during this pandemic, God continues to provide. The church is thriving; we all have something to eat; we all have a roof over our heads; we all have clothes to wear. We have much for which to be thankful. Jesus is not advocating a socialistic society; Jesus just wants us to take care of one another. And Jesus gives us the opportunity every single day. Are you discovering needs and meeting them? The Kingdom is counting on you to be Christ to others! Grace and Peace, Pastor Harry

Matthew 14:13-21 NRSV

Feeding the Five Thousand

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Pastor Harry's Pulse Article: July and August 2020

Without fear of contradiction, I feel safe in saying 2020 so far has been one wild and crazy year!  Started out benign enough; but as the days and weeks passed things got ugly fast.  First COVID-19, followed by Murder Hornets (haven’t seen the first one), mass demonstrations protesting Police brutality, marches for Black Lives Matter, then looting and the destruction of property (to what end but to create more ill will).  As our state began to open up more and more people have become complacent about social distancing, wearing face masks, and pardon my bluntness just plain stupid about protecting themselves much less concern for others.  I digress. 

     Thought I would get you caught up on what is happening health wise for me and what ramifications it makes upon my ministry at Midland Park.  Go back to the beginning of the pandemic; I was still functional but began to feel the effects of health issues.  I first had severe sciatic nerve pain which revealed a bulging disc between L1 and L2 in my back; then my left knee started giving way without pain or warning and causing me to fall (not a happy prospect for Marsha – very difficult to get me up).  Now I use a rolling walker mainly to keep me vertical when my knee gives.  I needed to see an Orthopedic Surgeon for correction, but along comes COVID and I canceled the appointment.  Having said all this, my general health began to deteriorate; I had no appetite and food tasted nasty to me: bottom line I lost 40 pounds (not a bad thing in itself).  I was weak; I felt crummy.  It was time for dialysis which I began mid May for the initial three day hospital stay.  Dialysis started off fine but then my blood clotting factor kicked in causing problems.  If that wasn’t enough, my blood pressure and heart rate were dropping following treatment.  That led to two separate hospital stays with EMS transport (once with the sirens – which was way cool).  I had a procedure similar to a heart cath which failed to help; then a surgery to unclog my fistula which did not work, then a separate surgery on Saturday June 13th to bypass the fistula and place what is called a graft in my left arm; because it was swollen and not available to use for dialysis immediately, I now have a permacath in my chest to use for a few weeks.  All this to say that my dialysis is now going extremely well, and I feel better than I have in months.  My appetite has returned along with some of those pounds I lost.  I am receiving physical and occupational therapy to help regain my strength.  Bottom line: I am doing great; I am ready to return for worship July 19th.  As far as concerns about my ability to function on a pastoral level, I am available to meet with anyone at any time; I am not going to the office practicing social distancing with Allison (she is doing a phenomenal job keeping the office running smoothly); there is nothing that I cannot do at the office that I cannot do at home.  Most churches are experiencing similar situations.  I can’t visit anyone at the present; hospitals do not allow visitors at all (I spent my first stay by myself – Marsha could not even come); church gatherings were not permissible; so I did the best I could with what I had: I was available for consultation via telephone, stayed in contact with church leaders, wrote e-sermons and Pulse Articles, and made out going phone calls to members.  In short: a non issue as confirmed by our DS.  I remain available and will respond to any dire need as required.  As Jesus said, “Fear Not!”

Shifting gears now to current events.  COVID-19 as stated above is continuing to plague (pardon the pun) us on a daily basis.  People are not exercising caution and people are getting sick or dying.  As we begin in person worship, Church Council has crafted (with my approval) a number of guidelines that must be observed.  We will have music but no singing; we will still collect an offering; we will practice social distancing and wear face masks.  All other church activities are still on hold: Sunday School, Bible Study, Women’s Circles/Men’s Group, and the like.  Committee meetings will be via telephone or the like.  This is our new normal; but take heart – one day this will all be resolved and church will resume per norm.

     Last, let me address what is happening in our country.  We remain divided because we fail as a society to follow the teachings of Christ.  Jesus loves everybody regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, etc.  We are created in God’s image; NO ONE is any more special or privileged than another.  We MUST embrace our diversity and find a way to live in harmony, peace, and love.  When we can truly purge all anger, hatred, bigotry from our hearts things will get better.  Yes, people are still oppressed and treated poorly in our country today.  There is no place for Police brutality; there is no place for blatant disregard for the law.  A few selfish, spoiled, or entitled individuals are literally tearing our great nation apart.  There are also those who wish to impose their agendas upon the masses.  I am both liberal and conservative at the same time.  I support the right to march for social change, but I support the way in which Martin Luther King went about it.  There is no excuse for destroying property and the livelihoods of our brothers and sisters.  That accomplishes absolutely nothing; it fans the flames of discontent on all sides.  I reject political parties and the media’s agenda of shoving policies, etc. down our collective throats; I care not what over paid athletes and personalities think.  I believe that if we are true to the teachings of Christ, we will achieve a more excellent way of life.  Let’s be Christ to everyone we encounter.  You don’t have to agree with them: only love them.  When love is in control, change will happen for the best.

Finally I hope you have an awesome July 4th Celebration with your family!  Remember I am praying for each of you daily.  You are in my thoughts and in my heart always.  The Peace of Jesus Christ be with you!!  See you July 19th! – Pastor Harry