Thoughts from Pastor Erika
Well, we spent September in the rituals and rules of Back-to-School season: we blessed the backpacks of our children and youth, and prayed for them and the adventure of this new year; we started up our own Sunday morning education program again after a summer break; our sermons reviewed some basics of what it means to be a community, like…
#1 – Love is the only rule. Obey this one and we’ve already got all the others. (Romans 13)
#2 – No criticizing; no condemning. Honor each others’ paths. We all are doing what we can. (Romans 14)
#3 – Rely on God for what we need. After all, God’s relying on us to do what the world needs. (Exodus 16)
So now that we’ve prepared ourselves, we’re going to dive into some content that might unsettle us a bit (in fact, I’d almost guarantee that it will, because it’s unsettled the world all around us).
Beginning October 1, we’re embarking on a journey of “Opening to the Other.” On Sunday mornings we’ll look at the scriptures where Jesus encounters “others” of his time, and listen for how those encounters shape him and his work. On Wednesday nights we’ll use a series of articles to guide us through an exploration of white privilege. On Mondays and Tuesdays we’ll offer book groups that tackle profound questions of race and identity.
These are the conversations our country is having right now, in both healthy and problematic ways, and they’re conversations we also need to be having as a church. They won’t be easy. But this is what church is for: to listen to the Spirit, together, and to listen to each other, and especially to the voices around us that are crying out to be heard.
Grateful for the chances to listen to and with you, Erika