Pastor Dave has office hours on Wednesday mornings, and is available Fridays by appointment. He preaches and presides one Sunday each month.
August 14th, I will be offering a “Circle of Prayer and Conversation” at our Pavilion on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 PM-8:00 PM.
Today I write this article on Sunday August 4th. It’s minutes after I have departed from our adult Sunday school class. It is a warm and beautiful summer Sunday, but I feel gloomy on the inside. My heart hurts. For today is also the day that within 24 hours there have been two great tragedies related to gun violence in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Once again there has been the loss of innocent human life.
Questions and emotions swirl around my mind. But one that seems to be spirit-inspired is a call to action. I heard one pastor share “it’s time to stop praying.” This expression was used as an idea that prayer without action is hollow. But how do we act? How does the church respond? How does our church respond? Through the years in times of injustice the church has been a prophetic voice. One that spoke truth to power. One that called out something as right or wrong. In our modern culture it seems that right or wrong has somewhat become a thing that resides in a grey color as if it the answer somehow lives in a thick and choking fog. However, I think that there is one thing that we can all agree on, the loss of innocent human life is a travesty, and something needs to be done.
As our conversation expanded around the table during our class this morning we wrestled with the ideas of our time. But ultimately, we came to the question of “Why?” As in,
- “Why did this happen?”
- “Why is this part of God’s plan?
- “Why does it seem that we focus on tragedies such as this when there are so many that are suffering from violence so close to our community in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.?
- “Simply Why?”
These are questions that I will not attempt to answer in the brevity of this article, but as an initial “call to action” I am calling our community to prayer and conversation. What would “action” look like for our community? I feel called at this moment as one of your pastoral leaders to offer an additional time of prayer and conversation for our community. Let’s be here for one another, let’s talk to one another, and let’s truly ask what God’s Spirit is leading us to do considering injustice in our world today?
Let us wrestle with other questions as well. How do we make sense of all of this? How do we support each other in this time of tragedy and other tragedies? How do we come together as this community of Christ in prayer, study, and dialogue to make a difference in our own St. Paul’s Church, our community of Fulton/Maple Lawn and beyond? Let us ask some deeper questions and let us be in prayer together.
For the next weeks in August (August 7 and 14th) , I will be offering a “Circle of Prayer and Conversation” at our Pavilion on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 PM-8:00 PM, (August 14th)
I invite all in our congregation to come and to see what the Spirit is saying, and what the Spirit is stirring. I invite you to come, to pray, and to be present with one another. I invite you to come and pray, to talk, and to ponder together. Let us be together as this Christian community and let us move beyond to see how we can reach others in love and grace through following the example of Jesus Christ.
Now, I do not know where these times of prayer and conversation will lead us, but we will do it together.
God Bless You Wonderful People of St. Paul’s, and May the Spirit be with you. I hope to see you on Wednesday night.
Prayerfully, your brother in Christ,