Pastoral Reflections

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Throughout the month of August our worship will be centered on the prophetic words of Isaiah. The prophetic message of these ancient texts provide timeless truths about who God is and what God desires for all God’s people. The prophetic message continues to speak to the continued challenges and concerns we face today as we seek to be God’s faithful people and community. The prophet’s message provides comfort and hope-filled reminders of God who was, is, and who is yet to come.

The texts speak of God’s invitation, provision, generosity, steadfast love, justice, salvation, deliverance, welcome, inclusion and continued covenant with all God’s people including foreigners and all those God has yet to ‘gather in,’ (Isaiah 56:8). ‘For God’s house will be a house of prayer, for all peoples’ (Isaiah 56: 7). The texts offer a wonderful vision for the people of God then, and God’s people today.

Soon we will begin thinking more intentionally about fall plans, stewardship, ministry, and serving the community, city, nation, and world. We will also begin making plans to move forward into a new year. Mixed in with all of this is hearing from our Guidance Team who have led our congregational process around the topic of same gendered relationships and marriage. The team is actively pulling together an overview of the process, a summary of the recent surveys, and will report to Congregational Council in September, with the goal of reporting back to the congregation in October.

My hope and prayer for our future is that we will embrace the qualities and characteristics of God, who Isaiah speaks of so eloquently, and seek to follow God’s lead, faithfully. We have so much to offer as a community of faith held together in prayer, God’s steadfast love and God’s prophetic promises.

Stephanie Y. Mitchem, Daily Feast, Year A, Meditation contributor reflects on the promises of Isaiah, “God makes a way out of no way. Believing and trusting God’s power and love are integral to a genuine faith for individuals and communities. God’s power, love, and generosity, then, underline the hope for the future.”

As we look forward, let us do so prayerfully as God desires. Let us as a community of God’s faithful people spiritually discern how God is speaking to us today. Let us anchor ourselves in God’s steadfast love, power and generosity. Prayerfully, Kathy