From the Pastor….

I had the opportunity last month to worship with another congregation. It’s always great to get out of the leader mode and just experience corporate worship. Every aspect of the service was meaningful to me, but I was particularly struck by a prayer offered by a lay person. This woman prayed earnestly for God’s help for all of us as we recover from a very difficult period in our personal, national, and global history.

The pandemic has affected us all, but of course, there are plenty of other events in a person’s life that knock us to our knees and have us looking for help – the death of a spouse, the illness of a friend, the loss of a job, the break-up of a relationship, the suffering of depression or anxiety, the confinement, fear, and uncertainty of a pandemic  – the list is endless. 

If you were to counsel a person who needed help in dealing with one of these challenging experiences, how would you guide them?

You would certainly want them to get whatever professional help is required to give them the tools and resources they need. But you would also want them to have support.

You would want them to be in touch with people who were going through similar situations or who had done so in the past.

You would want them surrounded by loving people who would be glad to help them with whatever practical issues might arise, but who, more than anything else, would be willing to listen and care.

You would want them to know about spiritual resources that could get them in touch with a power beyond themselves that both created them and is ready to sustain them in their darkest hours. You would want to get them to a place where they could share their fears and hopes openly, without worrying about how they were being accepted.

You would want them to be around cheerful people who laugh, who refuse to take themselves too seriously, and who have a positive outlook on life, not because everything always turns out the way we want, but because there is a God who is willing to see us through whatever we may face.

In other words, you would want to help them to find a church.

Right now all of us have been through a challenging time and isolation just made it worse. But now, as we emerge from our time of withdrawal, it seems to me that turning to the Church of Jesus Christ for a path back into the full experience of life is a very good idea. And you and I have found that place at Parkway. This would be a good time for each of us to help someone else find a place of respite, growth, and fellowship that can do for them what it has done for us. As you detect the need and loss and pain of others, gently lead them into the family. It will be the best thing you can do for them.