One year ago as we entered the closures brought by the pandemic. I
hoped as many of us hoped that we would enter and exit Lent and Easter
with the end of the pandemic in 2020. I recorded a sunrise Easter service
last year in the St. Michael Church cemetery in front of a gravestone
representing an empty tomb with an angel announcing that Jesus was no
longer bound by death. We all hoped for swift passage. And, now we
anticipate Easter once again a year later and the celebration of God’s
victory over sin and death.
We are still in the midst of the pandemic. Now, our hope is encouraged
by the vaccinations occurring all over the world. For Maundy Thursday, I
prepared and recorded a sermon reminding us of the new
commandment from Jesus that we love one another. And, by loving each
other, we show the world the Good News of Jesus Christ. The greatest
way we can love one another right now is by getting our vaccinations and
helping others find their way to vaccinations. I truly believe this and give
thanks for all those who have already received vaccinations. And, we
must be patient in our love for one another, bear with one another until
we are able to gather again as a congregation, more safely.
I had a dream this week that has stayed with me. In my dream I was very
excited and upset. I was trying to watch NCAA basketball on a small black
and white TV. But, a much older person, a woman with a hat on, was
sitting right in front of the television. I wanted to ask her to move, but I
could tell that she had poor vision and she was trying to watch the game
very intently as well. I was frustrated out of respect for her and yet my
desire to watch the game. And, then a small child patted me on the back
and said, “You need to find the place that brings you calm.” As I’ve
reflected on the dream, I’ve realized that the place that brings me calm is
not a physical space. The answer came last night as I talked with family,
“Wherever I am” is the place that may bring me calm. Wherever you are
is the place where you may find calm.
God is with you wherever you are. Jesus was not forsaken, even in death,
even when he experienced being forsaken. May you find calm in the
midst of the turmoil and frustration, the shadow of death and the effects
of human brokenness. And, may you experience God’s love and the
power within you to love God, your neighbor and yourself.
Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen, Indeed!
Yours in Christ,
A Note from Pastor Paul
The month of April is my last month with you as Interim Pastor. With
excitement, we look forward to the Rev. Audra Ferguson whom you have
called to be your pastor. She begins her ministry with you on Sunday,
I am excited for you as a church. Rev. Audra is a wonderful, supportive,
and friendly person who brings many gifts to the church. As a full-time
pastor she will bring a full-time presence to the pastorate which this
church sorely needs.
Thank you for allowing me to walk with you these past eight months
along the journey of faith. I pray for you with great excitement—waiting
to see what God will do through you in the months and years ahead.
Grace and Peace,