Weekly Greeting: July 23

Good evening parish,

God’s joy be with you! A couple of days ago, my wife and I received a gift that brought a mixture of tears and joy to our hearts. Our son Elliott sent us a ‘Fur-ever Friends’ windchime to honor the lives of our older Westie Brothers, Salty and Jack. Salty passed away just before Christmas, and Jack left us this past Monday. They came to us as rescue dogs, age 10, and have shared our lives for the past 7 years. The journey was not always easy, for they had behavioral challenges; but they were deeply loved members of our family who taught us much.

As we enjoyed the tones of the windchime, we received a bereavement email from a friend encouraging us to re-read II Samuel 12:2-3. At first, we thought it an unusual passage to point us to, since it is a part of Nathan’s scolding of King David for sins committed. But in it, Nathan describes the love that a poor man has for his precious lamb: “the poor man had one little ewe lamb which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him.” As we read the description, we found assurance that God understands the sorrow we feel when a beloved pet dies. Many of you have also lost friends of fur and feather, so I share it with you for your consolation as well as ours.
This Sunday, we will gather for our 8:30 am (in person and zoom) and 10 am (in person and live-stream) worship services, focusing on the story of the Feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus’ compassionate care of others. Jesus offered spiritual health for sure, but it often followed direct compassion for the physical needs of those to whom he ministered. This teaching is why our UMCA mission invites us to “embody Christ’s love through a commitment to serve God by caring for the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of our congregation and of our local and global communities.”

I have attached the Worship Guide for Sunday services, a Mission Opportunities update, a Fall Festival invitation, and a copy of last Sunday’s message to the weekly greeting email. I hope you will join us on Sunday as we worship and fellowship together.

God’s grace,

Pastor Steve Bascom, UMCA