As you all read this email, I will be in San Diego with a group of friends, supporting Izzy, the stepdaughter of our late friend, Cary. Izzy is graduating from college and would love nothing more than to have Cary there, but instead she gets this band of women (and men) who have been working hard to mother her and her siblings since Cary died last May. It’s a bittersweet trip but there’s no place I’d rather be: in community with those who have worked so hard to hold each other up over this past year.
I am grateful for this time away and amazed at how each time there’s a need to fill, this church is the direct reflection of God’s kin-dom, supporting and helping one another as only loving building blocks can do. While I am gone this weekend, Rev. Dr. Sarah Henseler is filling in for me, leading prayers of the people. When our A/V Tech Ethan is away a few times this summer, I’ll fill in for him in the sound room, and Rev. Dr. Sarah Allen, Rev. Dr. Jenny Veninga, and Carol Barrett will step in for me to lead the prayers again. Two weeks ago when Emily and I were out sick, Carol Barrett, Melissa Vasquez, and Andrea Larson all stepped in to fill our roles.
In March, when the Merryman family experienced the sudden death of Brant, our church community stepped in to send food and gift cards. A week ago when Andrea Simoneau had surgery, meals were provided for her family. On Monday, Kelley posted a Care Calendar for the Allison-Johnson family and within 4 hours, all but one of the slots was filled.
This church never ceases to amaze me with its love and generosity, as well as its ability to pivot on a dime. You support the children, the youth, each other, and the staff. Over the last few months, leadership has come to the staff repeatedly to let us know the congregation wants to help and wants us to know that we have their support and prayers. I assure you, we have felt incredibly supported and cared for, so thank you!
But what I want to know now is…how can we care for you? The love and generosity flowing towards the staff is amazing, but it's important that it flow both directions. How can we care for you, how can we care for our lay leadership, and how can you care for leadership, each other, and yourself?
As the lyrics in our communion music said this past Sunday, “I thank God every time I remember you. Constantly praying for you.” I thank God for this church, this community, and this love and care flowing throughout our congregation.