PASTOR KATHY'S MESSAGE FOR JULY, 2020
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6
During this time of waiting during these weeks of the pandemic I often found myself anxious and concerned about the nature of doing church work. I was unable to find a way to adequately feel as if I had accomplished the necessary tasks each day that make up ministry. I have always been a “do” person…tasks are to be listed and accomplished and that accomplishment gives me a feeling of success. In these last few years, ministry had become a list of tasks. I had become addicted to the pace and tasks. Ministry had become a job rather than a calling.
Initially, like many of you, I felt cut off from our community and struggled to find ways to feel better connected; for me that meant to work in ways that seemed productive and helpful. During this time I read and searched out scripture, poems and prayers from multiple authors. Some were familiar to you, some were new, and some I wrote myself. Initially I emailed morning and evening devotions; after a few weeks the pace slowed to daily devotions. During this process of searching and reading devotions for you I found a tiredness in my spirit because in my desire to care for you I was neglecting myself. I had neglected the deep work of spirit and prayer…the very thing I was encouraging you to do.
Yet, through all of this, God was at work. In my search for you, I found my own need answered. As I read, I was challenged by scripture and authors to think deeply. As I listened and watched the events unfold in the media and our community, I was challenged to consider what it means to be a follower or Jesus. I was asked uncomfortable questions and participated in difficult conversations. The deep work of reflection, meditation, and prayer is hard to quantify, but is necessary for each us to grow both spiritually and emotionally.
You may notice I now I only send devotions once or twice a week. I have come to realize that to fully embrace and participate in God’s work in our lives we have to slow down….read slowly…pray deeply…and imagine fearlessly what it means to live into the kingdom of God.
May the God of precious things guide, guard, and fill your hearts today and in all the days ahead. I leave you with this prayer by Rev. Gary Weaver on the next page to use this in your time of praying and thinking deeply.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Kathy
O God of precious things, who hears our pain even when tears
block our words, create in us a heart of laughter and hope.
May your Spirit still the anxiety of those who live with enormous
pressure and stress; may it fill the emptiness of lost and lonely lives.
And yet, we know your comforting Spirit does not feed an empty stomach,
nor insist on the end of war and fight, nor free the politically oppressed.
Only your Spirit of love which confronts and changes the hearts of people
everywhere can do that. So bring us comfort where we need comfort,
but where we need justice, let there be love.
Let us never be content with murder, tyranny, starvation,
pollution, or any form of human cruelty.
May we continue to groan and lift loud voices to those
who can effect political change: but even more,
may we lift our hands or bend our backs or use our minds
to help those in distress – who stand at our doorsteps,
or live down the block, or huddle in isolated areas of our community.
O Suffering and Compassionate God, hear our prayers as we continue
to trust in that Spirit that leads us away from arrogance and self-satisfaction
toward a life of forgiveness, humility, and growth. Amen
by Rev. Gary Weaver