Dear Church Family,
Last week I participated in our Conference Clergy Retreat via Zoom on Wednesday and Thursday. It was good to be encouraged and inspired by our clergy on more than 170 screens which represented over 200 people. In our closing communion, we read a liturgy which began by lamenting the things the pandemic, racial reckoning, election cycle, fires and hurricanes have taken from us. Then it continued with these words:
But here’s what it cannot do. It cannot stop the sun from rising or grace from being free.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Loss cannot restrain the helpers from meeting the needs of neighbors.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
This moment, no matter how dark or how long, can’t make us belong to one another less.
And not one single thing in all of creation can separate us from God’s love.
We’ll make it through together.
The author of this prayer writes, “This litany reminds us that hope endures; goodness prevails; people surprise us; and love cannot, has not, and will not fail. Keep going.”
(Britney Winn Lee, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, p. 178-179)
These words have echoed in my soul this week. 2020 has been long and difficult. And just when we think there can’t be one more thing, there is one more thing! This year is putting our faith to the test. This pandemic is calling us to draw from our reservoirs of resilience. This year has taken much from us, but not everything. There are some things that can’t be taken from us. Take a moment to reflect. What has this year taken from you? What has it not taken from you? Hold on tight and nurture the things that help you flourish: our faith, God’s grace which has the power to sustain us, the love we share in our church family and in our community, etc. We have lost much, but we also have much to be grateful for. Let’s keep focused on that as we continue to move through 2020. Remember, “hope endures; goodness prevails; people surprise us; and love cannot, has not, and will not fail. Keep going.”
The sermons for the last two weeks were “Blessed are Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness”, and “Blessed are the Merciful”. Both are included. This week will be “Blessed are the Pure In Heart.” November 1st, is All Saints Sunday when we will honor those who have passed away. We will also have a guest preacher, Rev. Chris Haughee from Inter Mountain Children’s Home. Join us in nurturing our soul and deepening our connection through worship.
Click here for our daily scriptures.
As the positive COVID cases in our county continue to rise and the death toll continues to increase in Montana, I urge us to continue to be diligent about wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene. Especially to those with increased health risks, I encourage you to stay home as you can.
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The Lord bless you and keep you!
Park County United Methodist Ministries
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