Exciting Possibilities

As I was listening to Pastor Kerry’s sermon, this morning, I thought of the innumerable exciting possibilities that are before us. He spoke of those of us who are happy and content in our faith community and yet…how do we reach out to so many of our human family who need some good news and some friendship and some hope…because they feel hopeless.

I remember how I felt when we first attended First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale, Illinois. First and foremost I was searching for a church where I and my family were welcome. Along with that we were seeking a worship service that when it was concluded we felt better for having attended. Life is hard and it involves us in problems and concerns and stress and we need a context to deal with the challenges. Although MJ and I were well into our middle years and we had two wonderful sons…we were still uneasy and apprehensive as to how we would be accepted at the church that we immediately felt a kinship with. We were so pleasantly surprised at how friendly the members of the congregation were and their pleasure that we were there. During my past church experiences I had been an elder and deacon and a trustee at one time or another. Yet when I was asked to be a member of the Trustee Board at First Presbyterian…I was nervous and somewhat in doubt as to the abilities that I brought to the task. I was so welcomed by the outgoing chair of the Board and then, Dorothy Baker, the on-coming chair…that I felt I was, with God’s help, up to the job.

We church going Christians have a blessing and we have a burden. Someone reached out to us when we were seeking a fellowship that would welcome us and encourage us to be an active member of their group. In our world of insular… lonely… sad… and the lack of trust in our neighbor that is exacerbated by the plethora of conspiracy theories, that seem to be around every corner, who will reach out to our brothers and sisters of our human family if we do not? I have been a member of groups that felt exceedingly comfortable with each other and much like a family dynamic ensued. I feel very much as a welcomed family member in our church. But, it was not always that way. If someone had not continued to love and care about me….

Happiness is ahead of us. Social dinners at our favorite Winery are already occurring. Travel is considered to be safe with the proper precautions. There is a rest and ease and comfort in taking the vaccinations. You will breath deeper and feel safer once you have received your jabs. If there is any lesson that I have learned over our 2020/2021 Pandemic it is that we are all in this together. Rich and poor and academic and tradesman…gay and straight…the churched and the un-churched…we all have a second chance at unity and family and leaning on each other and needing each other. We have the opportunity to increase our house and to expand our walls…to build a bigger and longer table…

If we have the courage…

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