The songs we teach our children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School never cease to amaze me. They are so simple and yet they contain the greatest truths. How can it be that we adults are capable of writing such beautiful songs for children and yet so easily forget to live out their very messages in our own lives?!
Our so called “modern day” lives seem to be so completely out of control. We are always on the run, always making or missing deadlines, overloaded with emails, junk mail, voice mail, snail mail, texts, “news” and information. We are always trying to catch up, rush, make time, or running out of time. With this last election and all of the emotional turmoil it has produced we are now living in what is being called “The United States of Anxiety.” What has happened to us?? and how did we get here??
More importantly, what is the answer? How do we calm down, slow down, find our center, re-group, take stock or decide what we really need to do, when to do it, or even if we CAN do it? Life seems far from easy – we long for the old days when we could “while away the hours” – I think that is from a song – maybe “The Wizard of Oz” – Ha! Another children’s song! These are “the best of times – the worst of times – the age of wisdom – the age of foolishness” – Dickens, right?
In trying to deal with my own unease and underlying anxiety I recently came across the book, Fearless, by Max Lucado. Max talks about the many thing we all fear and dread and how this fear and anxiety sucks the life out of our souls and drains us dry. It’s an easy read but a powerful reminder of what we actually can do to reconnect to our Source – our Heavenly Father – the one who loves us, knows us, cares about us and has promised to always be there for us.
In one part of the book, Max talks about tackling our problems or just plain approaching life with what he calls “worrystoppers.” And what do you know, #1 on his list is…. Pray. Pray First. Don’t pace up and down, don’t fret and wring your hands, don’t join the chorus of complainers. Simply pray. I Peter 5:7 says,” Cast all of your cares upon Him. Let God have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. “
#2 on Max’s “worry-stoppers” list is to Slow Down. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. “ Psalm 37:7 Let God be enough. Our Heavenly Father knows all your needs. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and all things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:32-33 Lucado has additional “worry-stoppers” you might like to check out as well which – so sorry – I don’t have room for here.
Bottom line: We need NOT fear! Our hope is not in our own strength, not in our own might, not in our own government. Our hope is in God our Father who created us and loves us – who sustains us and redeems us. Let us move forward in these strange times with hope in our hearts, with joy, with eager anticipation, in childlike trust as Jesus instructed us to do. God will help us to see what he is calling us to do – He will show us the way.
There is much Kingdom Building to be done. The Deacons are entering a new period of discernment along with our Session as we consider where God is leading us as a church and the Deacons in their ministry. The Session has recently reviewed and approved our recommendation to move forward and make our Food Pantry a model of “Choice” thereby moving away from the older model we have used in which we hand out pre-packaged bags of groceries to our clients. With this newer “Choice model, clients will be able to make choices about the foods they will select from the shelves much like when we shop in a grocery store. This model will take a great deal of planning, organization, resources and training. We will need volunteers in new and different capacities and the clients will be shown how to proceed on pantry days to pick out foods that are more suitable and appropriate for their family’s needs and tastes. Another benefit is that our resources will be optimized, streamlined and there will be less waste of foods that are not desired or appropriate for our clients.
The Deacons look forward to the task at hand and hope to have a whole new system up and running before next summer. We ask all of you for your continued prayers and support as we work to make this new model a reality. We will particularly need volunteers to help us in the following ways:
- to come on alternate Friday afternoons to help unload the Food Bank truck and stack items on the shelves for distribution the following day;
- to come on Saturdays to assist in the flow of traffic in the new Pantry Set-up;
- to prepare meals for “Loaves and Fishes” for members who are home bound after hospitalization or illness;
- to transport members unable to drive to medical tests & appointments, church functions or important errands.
Please contact any one of our Deacons or the church office if you are able to serve in any capacity. We are happy to receive your help. God Bless you all and may you have a blessed and happy Christmas!
~Carol Thorne-Gaetani for the Deacons