January 23, 2024- Exceedingly grateful

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Over the last week I’ve learned that several churches in our ecumenical group are experiencing a pastoral transition. These changes are never easy, and finding personnel has become increasingly challenging, especially given financial constraints of congregations and the high cost of living in this area. 

As we come off of our Annual Meeting, again passing a balanced budget that allows for continued maintenance of church and parsonage, I am exceedingly grateful for UCU’s wise and careful stewardship of its resources. Ever since our arrival, the trustees and congregation have been diligent in their care for the place I get to call home while also giving space for privacy. Thank you. Our family is stronger, our rest more complete (no thanks to the baby!), and our sense of home more palpable because of your care.

I ask you to hold our sibling churches in your prayers, especially as we enter the season of Lent next month. This sacred season of spiritual renewal—and the resurrection that follows—can be more difficult to experience when the future seems uncertain. Yet, the worldly future is never certain. Hope would not possess any power were there guarantees. 

The power of our faith, as we’ll explore more on Sunday, comes in holding onto the promises of life over death, goodness over evil, healing over affliction. That kind of power sends the demons of injustice, oppression, and apathy running for the hills. As we look to Jesus as both teacher and wonder-worker, may we find the wisdom and fortitude that frees us to life abundant.

I’ll be sure to keep you apprised of the ecumenical changes as they are made official, and we may even have the opportunity to meet some new clergy at our Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 14. Also in preparation for Lent, I will be attending a preaching webinar this Thursday, which means I must reschedule my office hours. This week (1/25), I’lll be at Jericho Ale and Bean from 1-2 pm instead of my typical 11-12. Perhaps that time will work better for some of you!

Thank you, again, for the loving care that keeps us going,

Pastor Jen