Pastor’s Letter Sep. 4, 2022

An image of a diverse group of people walking together. The image is taking from behind.

Hello beloved,

I hope you are all well on this Labor day weekend and last Sunday of our summer. Next week, we will rally back to church at 10 am to worship God and celebrate the gifts of so many people in our community. It’s about time isn’t it? It is about time to rally back to worship, to fellowship, to God. I feel in many ways this year’s Rally Sunday is about more than just coming back after a long summer, it is about coming back after a long pandemic.

That said, we know Covid is not over and many of our friends are still maintaining a degree of safety. Let us continue to keep them in our prayers. Please know if you are one of these souls, you are not forgotten and thought of often by everyone in the church. Still, this era of the pandemic seems to be waning and our time to rally again in our faith seems to be needed by many. Your voice and presence, I know, is needed by me. And I say “needed” as Proverbs 27:17 reminds us “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.” Your wits, insights, belief in God sharpens mine as well as I hope I do for all of you. We teach and learn from one another in ways that cannot always be seen. 

Take for example last Wednesday, the sin of pride and the healing ability of humility came up in the message. It was not until someone chatted with me about their upbringing that I understood a misunderstanding. For, you see they saw pride as a good thing – being proud of family, country, a good day’s work. And that all makes sense as it is one of the definitions of pride. However, pride as a sin is not a good thing. It is the “excessive view of one’s self without regard for others” and one of the other definitions of this word. This latter definition is the way I was using it throughout the message but somehow there was a disconnect. Furthermore, it is not just a sin in the apocrypha text we read that night. The term is found throughout the Bible such as in Jeremiah 9:23-24, “…Let not the mighty man boast of his might…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me…” Pride is also mentioned in the following verses: Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 16:18, Romans 12:16, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Galatians 6:3 and James 4:6-7. 

The point is that without that conversation, I could not sharpen my wit and my delivery of God’s message. Therefore, thank you to that soul. A truth, I believe goes both ways. At least, I hope it does. I pray that all our interactions in worship and discussions afterward also sharpen your wit and deepen your faith as we walk on this journey of our faith together. 

For our community, which is sometimes on very different parts of our journey, I find our interactions a great gift. We are able to sharpen our faith – our wit – our beliefs better when they are confronted by different views. It is a truth as old as the old testament. It is a practice of learning used as far back as Socrates. It is one of the greatest gifts we have as a community. But, it only works when we show up and share our presence and thoughts. It is only a blessing when we are confronted with other truths – other beliefs – other ways of living out our love with God. So, let us rally again next week and come together as one fellowship – one community – worshiping God in a variety of ways along the journey – together.

May you have a safe, restful, and wonderful Labor Day before we rally once more together – for God.

Your pastor and teacher, Brian

During the summer, let us consider and remember how to love God each day. Remember love and faith is not just a feeling but an action we do every day – even rest can be an action. Feel free to text, call, or email me always to share as I am here to support you and your relationship with God wherever you are on the journey. My number is (207-350-9561) if you need anything or simply want to talk. Next week, the church will be closed on Monday for the holiday and my pastoral care hours are Tues. 12-5, Wed. 11-3, Thurs. 10-2. Many blessings to you all.

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