We have so much for which to be grateful!
Our congregation is growing with 4 new amazing members committed to joining us August 8th and others in discussion with me about doing so in the near future.
We’ve added to our tech team, thanks to Philip Graves, and Joe, Mikki, and Sam Ward have worked hard to set us up so well for hybrid (in-person and Zoom-casted) services, with written instructions for each part of that process, that others will be apprenticed to also join that team in the weeks to come (we could use a few more volunteers!).
Our Pastoral Care Team continues to reach out beautifully with cards, notes, and calls to our faith family, as do many of you, so that I regularly hear what incredible warmth, welcome, and hospitality our congregation provides.
We have scheduled another Outdoor Hymn Sing August 8th to sing to our hearts’ content (with a bit more distance provided between us due to the Delta variant crowding our local hospitals) as Slim Bawb and Jordon once again lead us in some good old fashioned music (11:15am-12:00pm after an abbreviated service).
We had a great response to our request for nominations to our Pastoral Search Committee and will be announcing those names, soon. They will be meeting with the help of our new Conference Minister, Rev. Phil Hodson.
And…the world continues to struggle in ways too numerous to mention. As of this writing, over 4.2 million people have died of COVID, with a new surge in cases and deaths as our country and community grapples with coming to agreement about how to protect ourselves and each other.
More than 2,100 children separated from their family at the border still have not been reunited with their families, voter rights remain under attack, and the bodies and lives and rights of many of us and our siblings are, as well.
We may find ourselves lamenting along with the psalmist, “How long, oh, Lord? How long?” as we face these struggles, along with others that hit much closer to home.
We wonder what we can do. And I still believe the most powerful and radical thing we can do is to pray, to so build our connection with and trust in and security with God that we can hear clearly what God would call each of us and our church to do and be in response.
As we bring our best selves to each and every interaction, conversation, decision, and Facebook or Instagram post, we can put greater health and justice and peace into our midst. We can invite God into the circumstances of our world and lives and seek God’s face, where God is moving in the midst of the seemingly worst and most hopeless of circumstances, asking God to empower us to be God’s hands and feet and voice in all we do.
So, I invite you to join me as we lift up our hearts to God, and sing along with me this month the prayer of the Psalmist from Psalm 130, captured so beautifully by Ruth Duck and Robert J. Batastini in the following hymn (NCH 554).
- Out of the depths, O God, we call to you.
Wounds of the past remain, affecting all we do.
Facing our lives, we need your love so much.
Here in this community, heal us by your touch.
- Out of the depths of fear, O God, we speak.
Breaking the silences, the searing truth we seek.
Safe among friends, our grief and rage we share.
Here in this community, hold us in your care.
- God of the loving heart, we praise your name.
Dance through our lives and loves; anoint with Spirit flame.
Your light illumines each familiar face.
Here in this community, meet us with your grace.
The tune can be found here https://youtu.be/EJ8Yexp0Iz8
As we sing this Psalm, let us do so as a prayer, asking God to fill our hearts and lead us and others to solutions while comforting us all every step of the journey.
Peace to us all,