Pastor Eric Leonard

 

Pastor LeonardPastor Eric Leonard was appointed to Park United Methodist Church on July 1, 2014.

Prior to coming to Park Church, Pastor Leonard served as a Student Associate at Bakerstown United Methodist Church in Gibsonia, Pa, and served as pastor of the Sheraden United Methodist Church, the Cambridge Springs & New Richmond United Methodist Church, and most recently the Mercer United Methodist Church.

 Pastor Leonard is a graduate of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. After working two years in Southern California, he returned to Pennsylvania and in 1992 married his wife Barbara, a speech pathologist. They joined the First United Methodist Church in Shadyside, PA. and it was under the ministry and preaching of Reverend Pete Weaver that he felt the call into pastoral ministry. In the summer of 1995 Pastor Leonard entered Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, full-time, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1998. His motto is “Fight the good fight” and believes his appointments thus far have affirmed his call, deepened his relationship with Christ and with his church, and have been a rewarding and challenging adventure.

 Pastor Eric and Barbara are the parents of four children: Luke - a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh; Trent - a junior at the University of Pittsburgh; Tess -16; and Ben -14,  students in the North East School District.

 In his spare time Pastor Leonard enjoys biking, hiking, reading, traveling, and watching his children’s sports and music events.


 Pastor's Note


January:2019

 

Our recent visioning process has encouraged us to ask the simple question: What are ways that Park UM Church can show our community - our neighbors - that we are FOR them? This question is intended to call us into action beyond the walls of our church. It is a good question with a variety of answers.

 

              I want to share one particular way that Park Church has been and will continue to be FOR OUR NEIGHBORS. It is pretty awesome to consider that between June and December of 2018 we built five handicap ramps in a single neighborhood of our community! The neighborhood is known as “Rolling Meadows”, a mobile home park with several hundred residents (including Ronnie and Jamie Cox), located off of Loomis Street, just south of the rail road tracks past Bay Valley Foods.

 

I think it is interesting to note that the five ramps were built for an assortment of human needs. One was for a 5 year-old girl who suffers from dystonia and epilepsy. She was on sight the day our crew of 10 built the ramp and her presence was heart-rending. She was adorable and greatly excited to see the completed ramp! Another ramp was built for a 14 year-old who was having surgery to address the effects of his cerebral palsy on his growing body. His mother and father were profoundly grateful. One ramp was built on a Sunday afternoon following church. It was for a thirty-something women who had been in a car accident with her young son (who was still in the hospital) just weeks before. She was extremely appreciative of her newly constructed solid wood ramp that only took us a couple hours to build.

 

We built our last two ramps in Rolling Meadows in December during a stretch of mild weather. The first was for a woman in her nineties who is suffering from severe osteoporosis, but is otherwise healthy enough to remain in her home. The last one we built was for a widow in her sixties who is struggling with severe arthritis and lymphedema and is living with her son.

 

It is important to note that with each of these ramps we supply a lunch that is shared with the family and we close with a prayer of gratitude to the God who empowers us to serve in these ways. Rick King coordinates these builds and Ruth King coordinates the food preparation. Several church members (and non-church members) supply the labor to build these “Ramps of Hope.” The offerings we collect each Sunday help fund the money for the materials.

 

I share this to show just one way we have immersed ourselves in a particular neighborhood of North East by offering a particular ministry. Interestingly, our contact with families living in this neighborhood has led us to see another possible way to be FOR OUR NEIGHBORS in 2019. Our mission team is currently considering the possibility of helping to build a playground within Rolling Meadows. To be continued... FOR OUR NEIGHBORS!

 

   In Christ,

   Pastor Eric


 

 

 

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