From The Pastor – October 2021

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-8 

Fall has come to the shores of the Northland.  There is a saying that goes around every autumn to the effect of, “The trees are about to show us how beautiful it is to let go”.  That has a note of grace to me and for that reason the saying is appealing.  Grace and letting go are special to our Christian Journey.  It means to me that God is living and active and working to make your life better.    Grace says to me we can trust God and the future that God planned.  The fact that God has a plan for us does not mean we need to work less hard or smart.  But, it does mean that we can trust and hope and dream big.

This is also a time of major transition in the world. In some estimations we are squarely in the middle of this thing we call COVID.  We have a vaccine available and many are availing themselves of it.  A sizable minority is either unable or unwilling to take part.  This means that the rising levels of COVID cases in our area will continue.  So, the current state of things will continue for a short while – perhaps as long as one more year.

During this time, I feel God is active doing new things.  We are continuing to learn how to stay connected while social distancing.  We are learning new boundaries for healthy practices.  We are learning to express love and care for others, until we can change again.

This leads me to three open questions for us.  I am interested in your consideration of these as I feel we could learn a lot by sharing our answers.  Perhaps, we could ruminate together for a bit.  I am interested in how we have grown and changed in the past year and a half.  And, where we think we are going.  The questions meant both for you personally and who we are together as a community of believers.  Here are the questions:

Who were we before the pandemic? 

Who were we during the pandemic?

Who do we want to be after the pandemic?

Give these some thought and let’s chat about them as you have time.  Because this is the time to start thinking about what the church will be like and do post pandemic.  We can trust that God has a wonderful plan, but God also takes our aspirations and dreams into account.

For another topic in the same theme, All Saint’s Day is coming later this month.  To me this marks another kind of transition.  Some people say that grief can be described as love that does not have a place to go.  So, it tangles up nside and bubbles out at times.  All Saint’s day is an opportunity to recognize those who we have loved and have returned to God.  I find that it takes some conscious thought to grieve well.  Time to be thankful and time for letting go, sometimes it takes intentional work every day.

As All Saints day approaches, we hope to have a special All Saints day liturgy where we remember people who we have loved and have returned to God.  If you would like to have your loved one remembered, please contact me directly with their name.

Autumn is a time of transition and remembering the most wonderful parts of our lives for the last year.  I hope it is also a time of peace for you.  Know that my prayer list stays full while I think about you and where our spiritual journeys might lead.  I pray for the things you are thankful for and things we all let go.  Most importantly that we have grace for ourselves and those in our lives.