May 6, 2021
Saints of Trinity,
Today is the National Day of Prayer. It seems so needed, so timely, so appropriate that it falls on this day, with over 100 new cases of Covid and two new deaths, one involving a young father who is leaving behind a wife and children. We need to be praying that people take seriously the continued threat of this awful disease; our hearts hurt for those who ignore the threat. Please take down the signs that say wearing masks is somehow an infringement on our freedoms, and let’s instead be a loving community whose priority is loving each other. Lord, hear our prayer.
That, as we look ahead to Sunday, Mother’s Day, we know that for some it is a day to celebrate, to remember, to look back on moms who provided wonderful guidance and direction to so many of us. For still others, it is a tougher day, a day to be reminded of a mom who was anything but loving, supportive, nurturing, or caring. In my message this Sunday, you’ll hear of both. My mom is the first; a woman who, in spite of how she was severely abused growing up, made a conscious decision to stop the cycle of abuse, and offer her children, me being one, a life of love and grace, hugs, and support, encouragement, and nurture. Her mom offered her and her sister the opposite. The abuses were indescribable, and even to this day hearing of them takes my breath away. But I’m reminded that the church, this church, is a place where both are to be welcomed and offered opportunities for healing and transformation, to remember that we believe in a God of transformation, grace, and forgiveness. As hard as that may be to hear for some, we are a people of grace who seek to bring wholeness to all. Lord hear our prayer.
It’s my first Sunday back with you after experiencing arguably the scariest time in my life. And my experience with it falls well short of Dorothy’s. She saved my life on so many levels and yet, then had to stand and only watch as I’m carted away into an ambulance to travel forty miles to the hospital. I can’t begin to describe the joy both of us feel as we look ahead toward Sunday and being with those of you in the sanctuary, and being able to greet those of you at home. There are just so many miracles around all of this but I share that with deep caution. In no way does that mean that God did something for me that He was unable or unwilling to do for others. God is with those of you who have lost someone. I feel the loss of Pia Christensen deeply as I write this today. I know that Pia is with God who is surrounding Carl and Sue right now. God has been with so many of you through times like this, and will continue to be with you as you remember lives loved and lost. I hope and pray you remember all of that. And being so thankful for those who stepped in in this time of crisis. Lord hear our prayer.
I can now share that we are going to reopen in larger numbers over these next few weeks. I’ll be working with the leaders of the church to create that timeline. Beginning on Sunday, May 16 we will open the sanctuary to capacity. By capacity, I mean numbers that include specific protocols. We will be six feet apart, check-in, wear our masks, refrain from shared communion (one loaf of bread and one cup). We will follow singing protocols. I just shared this with the music staff and heard words like, “finally,” “alleluia” and “thank God.” We do thank God and I’ll be getting leaders together soon to finalize what it all means. For a while, we’ll continue to do sign-ups for being in the sanctuary. We will approach it all cautiously and yet optimistically, but we will approach it recognizing that the Lord heard our prayers.
There is so much more to share, but there are upcoming weeks that will allow sharing more. On this National Day of Prayer, I want to encourage you, as strongly as I possibly can, to set aside time today to pray; to allow God to direct you in your prayer, guide you in who and what to be praying for, and allow you to center on God and His love and grace. You continue in my heart and I will be spending time today in prayer for you.
With Love, Pastor Brad
Today is the National Day of Prayer. This is an opportunity to be intentional about praying for the following concerns:
- Pastor Brad and Dorothy for healing following Pastor Brad’s heart attack.
- The family of Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Elder Kurt Grinnell – to his mother, Tribal Elder Elaine Grinnell, and to the entire tribe for Kurt’s tragic death. Extended prayers of comfort, love, and healing are requested. He was a personal friend of Jim Stoffer’s and a friend of our Church and Community.
- For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. Prayers for those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
- For all those who are ill from the COVID-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; for all the first responders/essential workers; and for those who are nervous about getting shots.
- For those who consider COVID-19 to be a conspiracy theory even as people are dying from this terrible disease.
- For those who celebrate Mother’s Day and for those who find Mother’s Day to be a challenge.
- For peace in our country.
- For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.