Tag: glimpses of faith

A Note From Pastor Carla

Faithful Friends,

Life is rarely one thing.  We have success and failure.  We have hope and heartache.  We make progress and face setbacks.  We experience excitement and fatigue.  This week has been no exception.

On Sunday, we completed a process that began last March as Council and members began discussing needed repairs and updates of our facilities.  As always, you conducted yourselves with diligence, wisdom, passion, integrity, and compassion for one another. 

I was never more proud to be your pastor than I was during and after the Congregational Meeting that day to agree upon plans for what changes and repairs we would make and how we would finance them.  Folks were engaged and honest, patient in the face of a tedious process, open to one another’s concerns and hopes, and gentle with each other. 

Leadership was relieved to find consensus.  Members were grateful for consensus and a feeling of goodwill in our midst.  Visitors were impressed by the health we displayed, which can be hard for any group of people when making big decisions with many competing opinions and needs.  Thank you for being the Church with one another!

Gratitude, excitement, hope, and the joy and security of feeling part of something bigger carried many of us.

Tuesday and Wednesday found many struggling with the state of our state and country and the decisions made by some of our neighbors to elect leaders who do not always appear to consider the safety, dignity, and rights of all.  As we have processed our emotions and waited still to see what results will become clear in the weeks ahead, we have also grappled with how to respond and what we can do to help build more just world.

Anger, fear, grief, and exhaustion from what seems like a never-ending quest for a better world have weighed many down ever since.

These are moments when it can feel hard to know what to say to offer hope without false positivity, encourage just words and actions when speaking about some of our leaders and fellow citizens without pushing down understandable feelings of despair and frustration, and lead us to continue working for what we believe God wants for all of God’s children and our planet.

I do not wish to give you empty words and platitudes.  And, I do wish to ask us to take time to grieve, to rest, to vent, but to not give into any of it any longer than necessary.  Now is not the time for people of God to shrink back.  Now is not the time to cease in our labors.  Now is the time for we as Christians to be that much more intentional about following Jesus in service to justice and peace.  In time, we individually and collectively will become clear about what, exactly, we are called to do in response.

For now, we will continue to offer sanctuary to all who feel left out and alone.  We will continue to offer food and housing to those who do not have enough.  We will continue to work for equal access to rights and safety and equality and inclusion for all.

Each month, we serve the SOS Food Bank on the third Friday.  Over the holidays, we will again help house and feed our siblings in need through Family Promise for 2 weeks at Slumber Falls.  On November 20th, we will observe the Trans Day of Remembrance.  After worship that day we will hear from a representative of Just Texas about how we can become a Reproductive Freedom Congregation.  Through multiple events, we will continue to discuss and learn and deepen and grow in our own faith.  We will welcome new members and break bread together and support each other.

We will continue to be the Church to each other and our world.  And we will embody the hope and grace and faith in a brighter future of a true kin-dom that the people so desperately need to hear.  We will be faith.  We will be hope.  We will be God with skin on.

For now, however you find yourself feeling, whatever thoughts are rumbling through your head, I offer these words below of comfort and challenge shared with me by our own Donna Foster.  They are the words of Jeremy Rutledge shared on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 during a gathering of prayer, poetry, and music at Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, SC.  They are words that Jeremy scratched onto a pad earlier that day.  May we find meaning and hope in them, still.

Regardless, we will find meaning in our shared work and community and we will find hope in the God who sees a far bigger than we ever could and will never fail to lead us in building a brighter world, in our own hearts and for our neighbors.  I love you.  I am grateful for you.  May peace be with us, all.

Yours in seeking and service,

Pastor Carla

Dear sons and daughters
who wake
into the world
we have broken
so badly

we see you today
blinking out of bed
into this dark dawn
of hate speech
and bigotry
the irreligion
of our politics

and we say to you
as you climb
from the covers
that we are sorry
for what we have done
all we have allowed
to happen
around you.

And the only prayer
we can offer
is to rise with you
and speak in
a different voice
a surer cadence
to stand with
our backs up
against the prevailing wind

and say to you
Muslim child
that you are not banned
from our hearts
or our homes

say to you
gay child
that you are loved
and valued
for who you are

say to you
that you are not an object
but a subject
your life, your body
belonging to no one else

say to you
child with diverse ability
that you are not a joke
but a joy to us

say to you
all children
mocked and put down
by the bullies and the brownshirts
of this and every age
that we won’t let them
take what is yours

but we will rise
take your hand
and walk together
until miles from here
years from now
we might sleep again
in peace.

~by Jeremy Rutledge

© 2024

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑