I’ve quickly come to love the days that I can sit in my office at church and have the windows open. I hope that this is a sign that things are starting to cool off, I love summer just not the 90-degree days! It lets me know that fall is around the corner and that there are changes in the air.
Thank you to those that have signed up for “Moments with Pastor Megan”, there are still spots open and am happy to work something out if one of those times does not work for your schedule. I am excited to get to talk with you and learn more about you and give you a chance to learn more about me! I will be also adding more dates to the schedule. Look out for that email tomorrow.
There are several links at the end of this email to be aware of. One will take you to make sure that you are registered to vote and how to request your Absentee ballot. The other is the link to the poem that was part of my sermon this past Sunday. Also included at the end of the email is information from Mary Ann Kerr about UMCOR helping in Gaza and how we can help.
I think I say it each week, but I will say it again. I am so thankful for our time that we have had together already. I think I keep mentioning how much I enjoy the Coffee Hour time on Sundays, well our greeting time this week has made me smile for the past few days! I love how you each greeted each other and welcomed each other to worship. I also want to thank you all for welcoming my family into this church family. Mom has loved coming and being my in-person congregation on Sundays and soon you all will meet my aunt; she is excited to meet you all as well!
Take some time this week and enjoy the cooler summer weather. Listen for the birds, watch the butterflies and walk in the grass.
Our scripture for the week is: Isaiah 51:1-6, Psalm 138, and Matthew 16: 13-20
Our prayer for this week comes from the book Ash & Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos & Grace of Daily Life. The prayer is entitled “When I don’t feel ready for this”
I’m finding kinship with your disciples…
soul friends who followed you immediately
when you met them
in boats tangled with fishing nets
or on stone walls near wells
or counting the clink of tax money.
These siblings of mine who
were willing to follow your lead
when they didn’t feel ready…
Rather than sitting down to reason,
they stood up to respond,
and chose every morning
to move their feet,
even as their minds questioned
and their hearts worried.
Can I do that today?
With your help?
You tell me an element of fear
always accompanies the most
And, I feel in my body
the age-old wisdom-
if I wait ‘til I’m ready,
I’ll eternally wait.
If I block potential pain,
I also thwart what could be
my life’s greatest joy.
I pray that even in my confusion,
I can be committed-
asking you all my questions
while we continue to walk.
Let us continue to walk this path this week, even when, especially when it gets hard.
I pray this week lands gently on you all.
Grace and Peace,
Message from Mary Ann Kerr:
UMCOR – United Methodist Committee On Relief – is asking us to help support urban gardens in Gaza. Gaza is the largest open-air prison in the world. The Israeli government has placed severe restrictions on freedom of movement. This has had a devastating impact on Palestinians ability to work, go to school, grow food, access medical and mental health care, or reconstruct their damaged communities. Even the sea is patrolled by Israeli gun boats so that fishermen must fish in sewage infested waters. Israel has repeatedly bombed schools, hospitals, businesses, homes. Water systems have been destroyed and food systems demolished.
In the last week Israel has attacked Gaza with planes and tanks. One missile landed on an UN elementary school. Fortunately, it did not explode but its terrified children and teachers. 12-year-old Lianne Al-Musawabi exclaimed, “I was shocked. I went home and told my mother what happened, and I was crying, “Why are they hitting the school?”
Once a prosperous farming and fruit growing area, now 72% of Gazan households are facing food insecurity.
UMCOR has long had a presence in Palestine. This project will provide 250 women head of households with a sustainable and growing source of income and nutrition for their families. They will receive animals such as rabbits and chickens, as well as goats and sheep, green houses to provide food year around, and technical assistance. Some women use rooftops and other small strips of land for food production.
UMCOR’s annual goal is $10,000. The Mission Committee is asking the congregation to contribute what they can. There is a $100 matching gift. So far, the Mission Committee has pledged $70. Can we meet and exceed $200 for this worthy cause? Make your check out to Church of the Redeemer with a note, “For UMCOR Gaza Relief“. Remember how Martha and Irwin Wason spelled relief? “U-M-C-O-R.”