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"What is important is to realize that we are a family... and that the reason we are at church is not to be entertained but to worship God, increase our relationship with God, increase our recognition of God’s worth in our lives..."

 

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  Pastor Michael's Musings

 

 

“Let’s go back to school” vs “Back to school!”

 

School has begun, officially, for all kids.  There’s a mixture of emotions in kids and in parents. Parents are mostly happy because the school year is programmed, organized and consistent (which means less time having to figure out how to entertain and/or occupy a child’s time). Conversely, there’s the sense of melancholy because it signifies growth and advancement, which isn’t bad, but – “I don’t want my baby to grow up!”

 

As for kids… it’s the same sentiment for different reasons. Instead of the-do list consisting of cartoons, breakfast, playing, swimming, lunch, running, being with friends, playing some more – repeat.  Now, a lot of that play time is replaced with school, lessons and homework. They don’t want to grow up (well, they do, but we know better).

 

Along with these changes will come the seasonal changes; sweater weather and pumpkin spice lattes! I love it!  BUT - it seems to happen so fast. Didn’t we just start summer?  I saw Halloween candy on the shelves at the beginning of August! I love the fall season, but that’s just wrong.  I was having coffee the other day and overheard a conversation in which a man who works at a retail store indicated that their Halloween products arrived in January. JANUARY! I was aghast!

 

Why must we rush life!  There’s so much to enjoy and despite the contrary there IS plenty of time to enjoy it! We’re the ones that do the rushing. Let’s stop overscheduling our lives. Do we really have to have every minute of the day programmed on our calendar? Do we teach our children and remind ourselves that it’s okay to be bored? It’s ok to have a few hours with nothing to do and YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! Come to church. What are you doing after church? Nothing? – Great. Want to go sit in the park and drink coffee, while we enjoy all this nothing?

 

Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here soon enough. While the world is rushing life along and filling up your already full schedule, screaming “BACK TO SCHOOL” – choose to adopt a more enjoyable, yet still responsible attitude of, “Let’s go back to school.”

 

 

Pastor Greg’s Gandering     

 

 

Summer Report

 

This summer most definitely has been the best of times and the worst of times. In the midst of enjoying my semi-retirement, time with Shelly (and Blu), our new trailer which has made this summer exceptional, and some wonderful times Grayson, our grandson, who is a very happy person and always fun to be with – there has been an eclipse in the love of God that once shown so much brighter. (Mind you, it still shines, it’s just been blocked.)  Everyday, except when we had no cell coverage, was like a “Groundhog Day” déjà vu of reopening Pandora’s box and finding out what new absurd painful thing was happening.  To highlight the best and the worst of things, it has been half a century since we have seen the bigoty, prejudice, hatred and lies that have made everyday a new adventure in the Kafkaesque world we now seem to be living in.  But on the ‘best’ side of things, we have seen an inspiring response to this upsurge of ignorant white/hetero supremacy and a fantasy based worldview that has made a farce of the concept of ‘truth.’   Not since my days of hiding under my desk in elementary school to protect me from the nuclear holocaust that would consume everything but me and my desk, have I been so fearful of the very real high probability that we might find ourselves in a reality of a nuclear fire and a nuclear winter.

 

Like the joke about the minister who complained to St. Peter that he had to wait in purgatory while a cab driver made it into heaven, where upon St. Peter explained that the cab driver had inspired more people to pray than did the minister; in the past eight months, my prayer life has been greatly improved.

 

I have prayed for those who were targeted with nuclear weapons, those who have been attacked and denigrated because of how God created them, those who have seen bigotry, prejudice and hatred preached, endorsed and practiced by those of highest and most powerful positions.  I have prayed for God’s creation that has seen a new unprecedented, never seen before, violation of its fragile being. And, I have prayed extensively for our nation, our world and most especially for our President.  As I put forth in my sermon/song/story -- “Oh, you must not hate those who do harmful things. The compassionate thing -- is to do what you can to stop them—for they are harming themselves as well as those who suffer from their actions. So I pray for them that they may experience God’s love.

 

The thought that such a thing might happen gives me great joy… It may not happen, but it is a worthy vision, a worthy goal. And, in the meantime, I have learned to be compassionate and that too has brought me joy.”

 

It is love of God that gives me hope.  GO GOD!

 

 

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