From Our Pastor – June 2017

Jesus gives us hope, courage, direction, love and power. – Cave Quest VBS daily themes

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

As we near our first year anniversary together, I yearn for some time to reflect on all that has happened since last summer. Often the charge of writing this letter to you for the newsletter offers me this kind of space. This month though I’m feeling the crunch of moving out of our old house and into our new one. I’m working with people to plan sum-mer happenings like VBS and the middle school mission trip. I’m experiencing the transi-tion of new leadership on the congregation council. And I’m helping to shepherd the pro-cess of exploring the possibility for a new space to call home with the Federated Church in Ayer.

All of these things could feel overwhelming, but thanks to the relationships we’ve devel-oped and the capable hands that have led us this far by faith, it all feels natural and good (even if exhausting!). Do we know how everything will turn out? Not necessarily. Yet we have been given hope, courage, direction, love and power to handle the unknown. The direction of Jesus’ teachings, the scriptures and the Holy Spirit keep us looking ahead, even as we recall our past. Hope assures us that we have a future and courage allows us to take new steps into it. Power gives us the ability to act – not on our own, but as a body and for the sake of the world. All of this is done out of and because of God’s unconditional love for us, especially shown in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

As many of us have faced challenges and loss, it’s been clear to me that God’s love is shown through our care, compassion and understanding of one another. As this year’s VBS theme uses the darkness of a cave to show Jesus as the light of the world, God uses times of darkness and despair to call us to bear the light of Christ to another.

I pray that through the various events and activities this month we might become more aware of these gifts that Jesus gives to us. Some are taking steps of courage to serve on the congregational council. We, as SOV, will look at a new direction in which God may be pointing us. Middle schoolers will see evidence of hope that people have, even facing hunger and homelessness in Washington, DC. Three people will say yes to the baptismal promises they made as they join the congregation, accepting the power of God’s promises in their lives. On Fathers’ day, as we give thanks for our fathers and other important men in our lives, we can be confident in the love with which God fathers us.

May this Pentecost celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit and birth of the Church fill you with all hope, courage, direction, love and power,