Pastor’s Letter Jan. 12, 2022

An image of seven hands, all different colors, making the shape of a heart.

Good afternoon, Beloved,

         I pray you all made it through the arctic cold of yesterday in the warmth of God’s love. Love that we see reflected in the lessons of Jesus time and time again. So much so that it almost seems that this act of love is well – important. And I believe it is. Furthermore, I believe we all know this idea is True as the act of loving one another is part of our call as Christians. 

         That said, the body of Christ is not made up of only one human culture. Creation itself does not consist of only one particular culture. Rather, there are a variety of cultures with an untold amount of different identity combinations amongst the billions of people in the world and each person experiences love in a slightly different way. Almost mind boggling to consider the possibilities. Yet, these are some of the things that I think about as I drift off to sleep at night. Hopefully not keeping myself awake wondering about the inevitable question: how do we show God’s love to all these possibilities of people, like Christ does for all of us? 

         This question becomes more important today as we approach our national holiday celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King JR. One of the great heroes of the Civil Rights movement who preached and taught about love, time and time again. Yet even King’s lessons about love were from a particular culture. One which some Americans today would not recognize as loving at all such as the “Dream” of MLK JR that one day we will all be color blind, i.e. that people will only be judged on their character – not their skin color. For him, I believe this idea was one of the greatest acts of love a person could show another person. Today, this idea is seen as an act of hate amongst some people; for, “color blindness (they say) does not recognize the individual and the varieties of identities said individual represents.” So, how do we show God’s love to both views – all views – all cultural understandings of how one feels love? Can we? 

         I believe we can, and I believe Jesus shows us the way. Not as we may understand love traditionally in our culture; but as, the individual person who we encounter needs to feel love in their culture. Is this not the way God reveals Her love to us every time He answers our prayers, grants us Grace, and holds us when we need a loving friend? Maybe this idea is the true message of MLK JR. day and one of the lessons of the Epiphany: that love is revealed when it is received as it is needed to be felt.

May your week be a blessing of discovering new ways we can love everyone no matter where they are on their journey through life.

Your pastor and teacher, Brian

Please feel free to consider these questions and thoughts during Epiphany. If you would like, you may text, call, or email me always. As I would enjoy hearing how you feel love. My number is (207-350-9561) if you need anything or simply want to talk. Next week, My pastoral care hours are Mon. 9-4, Tues. 12-5, Wed. 9-4, Thurs. 10-2 to provide some time for visiting. Many blessings and Love to you all.

Pastor’s Letter Jan. 5, 2022

Good afternoon, Beloved,

I pray you are all well on this wet and wonderful Wednesday – on this last day before the Epiphany. As I thought about what to write today, I wondered what does this Holy day mean to you? What is the Epiphany? Why is it important for us Christians, specifically for us in the United Church of Christ who are Trinitarian by nature? What blessing did and do we receive on this day which changes our very understanding of the world – our perception – our purpose? These are questions that may be answered by reflecting on the meaning of Epiphany. 

Then again, it may just be a Thursday for you tomorrow and that is ok as well. For, we are each at a different point on our journey. Yet, if it is just a Thursday then consider what is important for you about that day. The day we are living in right now. Every day of the year and what has and is occurring to make these blessings so wonderful. I believe you will see some of the same purposes as those who consider Epiphany a high Holy day. Yet is this not always the case with so many things. We each witness the world and perceive it in various ways; yet, the basic purpose – solution – and even causes can sometimes be the same. We formulate our world looking for a right answer so we can all be on the same page, if you will.

Yet, the truth is there are no right answers for everyone but there are right answers for you. And we learn by hearing the understanding of other people. This truth is part of what we mean when we say all people are ministers. We all have something to share with each other and the world. For, God does speak and share through each and every one of us. So, I pray you will consider the questions above and consider sharing your understanding with each other. So, we may all witness your voice even if it shakes – or is considered wrong by some -even if it speaks in ways we do not all understand. Your voice matters and I for one would be lost without hearing it as we walk through this journey of life together.

May today be a blessing as we discover the beauty of Thursday and the Epiphany – together.

Your pastor and fellow teacher, Brian

Please feel free to consider these questions and bring your thoughts to our Epiphany pageant this Sunday. There may even be a time for us to all share our voice. If you would like, you may also text, call, or email me and I will be happy to share your voice in the service. As always please call (207-350-9561) if you need anything or simply want to talk. Next week, My pastoral care hours are Mon. 8-4, Tues. 12-5, Wed. 8-4, Thurs. 10-2 to provide some time for visiting. However, if I am at the church please come in. Many blessings and Love to you all.