Wow. God moved in Linwood on Tuesday…and in a mighty way. With our church’s new partnership with Second Harvest out of St. Joseph, we were able to have a fresh food drop and gave food to about 400 people in just a couple hours. Thank God and the good people at Second Harvest! We also want to thank Cindy, LES principal, Assistant Superintendent Reeves, Arlene, Arlie, Lianne, and so many others.
As we move forward with our partnership with Second Harvest we will be able to provide a pantry. We are hopeful that Second Harvest will come back with the fresh food truck, but that is under review as they need a space and volunteers I believe we have the volunteers and can find the space. If you are interested in helping with that service or with the pantry, contact Pastor Bianca. Many hands make the work light. God bless you bunches.
As we read and pray over these verses for this series, it is easy to let our minds wander. We may wonder if these verses are true…they are. We may wonder if it is all doom and gloom…it is not. We may wonder if anyone understands our feelings or situations…maybe. This last point is the one I want to address briefly here. Feeling alone can be devastating and even a “killer” (of dreams, hopes, or life for example). And feeling alone is very strong. We, as the social beings that we are, like to belong and connect with others. Even introverts! But being alone together is tough. We may, especially if depression is lurking nearby, feel some of these emotions Paul described in these verses. But as God’s representative to you, please be assured that you are not alone…at all…ever. That is one of the promises in this section. Look at verses 38-39. Paul is convinced…that is a choice…that God in Christ Jesus will never be separated from him. Nothing can separate Paul from God. Paul lists a few things that some people may think will separate Paul from God. I would add to Paul’s list that a pandemic cannot separate us from God…job loss can’t separate us…people leaving us can’t separate… even ____ (you fill in the blank) can’t separate us from God. I pray you are convinced of this truth.
What we look at has our attention and our energy. Please consider focusing on what you have in Christ that cannot be separated from you and less attention on the other items. It is not to be Pollyanna about these things. They do matter and God knows they do to you. But, they will pass, they truly will. Staying focused and being fully convinced that God is with you allows you to relax and see options that were there all along…how much God loves you and is with you no matter what. It is tough right now. And we have God’s Word, the Bible, to help us face and overcome whatever we are dealing with right now. And, what’s really wonderful, God will be there during and after all of this. Amen.
We are angry. We are distraught. The murder of George Floyd is the latest example of police brutality against black people in this country. And the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in recent weeks reveal the virus that has been consuming this nation for centuries, even more repugnant than the Coronavirus we have been fighting the last several months.
The Board of Directors of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church are united in our stance that Black Lives Matter. We are committed to fighting systemic racism. And our baptismal vows call us to resist evil.
Therefore, we recommit Discipleship Ministries to create resources, initiatives, and events that help form disciples of Jesus Christ who will work to dismantle systematic racism. And we will actively participate in United Methodist efforts to actively dismantle structures of systemic racism.
We will LISTEN to the experiences of our black and brown siblings to begin the process of understanding their experiences.
We will LEARN from the resources we have produced and will continue to perfect future resources for church leaders that help end racism.
And we support the EndRacism Campaign of The United Methodist Church that shows how we as a church will ACT to end this virus known as racism.
May God be with us all,
The Board of Directors of Discipleship Ministries June 7, 2020