July 30, 2020
Saints of Trinity,
Over the past three weeks, you’ve heard about how I see myself as a child of God, as a pastor, and how I see the role of the church in the world today. I’ve read over the now almost 80 questionnaires and I think it has given me some idea of how each of you approaches faith, belief, and even church. I’ve read your questions and your hopes for me as your pastor. So before getting into the meat of this short letter, I thought I might respond to some of the questions asked of me in the questionnaire. I’ll try and respond to some of your questions each week. Today I’ll begin with two responses.
First, I wanted you to know that I will never use the pulpit to voice my political opinions. The purpose of preaching on any given Wednesday and Sunday is to encourage, teach, inspire, and offer a potentially deeper understanding of how it is we are to live our lives as Christian disciples. In as much as some of you interpreted my message last week as taking a stand on some things, that was not the intention. Yes, I have opinions, and they are often strong opinions, but to me, the pulpit is a sacred space where Christ is shared; not a place of potential political wrangling. Second, if you ever disagree with anything I say, please know that my office is open, and I will try and make myself available for further discussions. I understand that in these times the communication probably needs to be by email. Please be aware that it is always my intention to respond as quickly as possible; and that I always look forward to those exchanges. I really do believe that we can sharpen each other as we open our minds and hearts, and are able to listen and converse openly, even with those with whom we disagree. What makes it even better is when we do it out of love for one another. I hope that answers a few of your questions. Now, let me move on to what’s in store for this week.
Think for just a minute, particularly those of you who grew up in the church, about the pictures of Jesus you experienced as a child. Did you have a favorite? I’m going to talk a bit about mine this Sunday. Now, as adults, has your favorite picture changed? If so, what is your favorite today and why? As we each prepare for Sunday, here’s a bit of a teaser. My favorite picture of Jesus when I was young was the one of Jesus holding a lamb. I always kind of saw myself as the lamb in his arms. My favorite picture of Jesus now as an adult is titled, “The Laughing Jesus.” For me, that captures the Jesus I believe in. I think Jesus did everything with great passion. I believe his laughter would have been the same; something he did with great passion. There are times when I believe we make Jesus so holy as to become too distant, untouchable, and someone with whom we can’t relate. But I believe the purpose of Jesus on earth was to give us someone with whom we might relate, an earthly representation of a God of love in action. Both of the pictures I’ve mentioned do that for me.
So, what was your favorite picture of Jesus as you were growing up? And do you have a favorite today? It is my hope that we’ll have a chance to share those with each other as the week progresses; whether in our neighborhood groups, our study groups, as couples or as friends. From there, over the next six weeks, we’ll explore seven different expressions of Jesus that relate to the time in which we live. Until I see you, God bless you, and know that I’m praying for you.
REMINDER: Bring your bread and juice for worship this Sunday!
Some Concerns that we have:
- For our Friends at the Fifth Avenue Apartments – in lockdown due to COVID-19
- For all those who are ill from the COVID-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for all the first responders/essential workers
- People facing or recovering from hurricanes
- For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal
Even though you can’t be with those having birthdays this week, sending emails or making phone calls are appreciated.
The parking lot service continues at 10:00 am. You can still view our service online. Just go to our website, sequimtumc.org, for a link to the service.
We still ask that you mail your contributions to the church and make sure to use our Post Office Box 3697 instead of our street address. We thank you for your continued support of our ministries here at Trinity.
Thank you so much for your contributions of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes! We now have a good supply.
A special thank you to all my friends for your support, your cards and telephone calls, and your prayers. My leg is healing and Lori is now at her apartment. The love we received from our church family gave me the strength and courage to face each day.