I have blogged before, but never for my beloved St. John's and never when it counted this much. We are living in a time when many of us are sad, lonely, scared, dismayed, confused, worried about money, and often barely able to hang on. We worry about our nation, the unrest in the streets, the anger and hatred proclaimed on the media, angry politics on all sides, environmental crises, storms, wildfires and floods and just plain confusion about our future. We miss our family gatherings, our weekly church worship services and the special ones that are filled to the brim during the holidays, along with so many other church activities, concerts, Christmas pageants, youth group activities and more.
Here's the way I survive the disappointment: "God is in control." If you say that enough, it helps you to realize that we are all in the beloved hands of our merciful, loving, forgiving God. I also use my signature verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Finally, I also have seen the truth of Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to God's purpose." This pandemic has brought out new creativity in the Church of Christ, new ways of broadcasting the message to those who are unable to come to church due to more than Covid-19 -- the homebound, elderly in nursing homes, people who are chronically ill or have limited or no movement, and so many at a great distance who long for their church home far away. Food and contributions have been steadily coming in to churches and food pantries to help the hungry. Generosity is showing forth like never before in people donating money to their church, even though they cannot attend.
Please do not think this means that the churches have all we need. We don't. We have gotten opportunities to apply for food and other grants, but the competition for them is great. Congregation members, volunteers, deacons and ministers are shopping for families in need with their own money and time, buying perishable items on an as-needed basis because they do not keep. So, please, if you are able, keep up your help to the hungry and your offering to the churches who strive to spread the news of Christ through imaginative means that keep people safe. Please check our upcoming events tab to see what opportunities we have for you to worship and to gather in fellowship with others to hear music, get candy and have some outdoor fun.