Sometimes the most courageous thing is to do nothing. This takes strong faith that God is at work in the world in ways we cannot know or see. This meditative use of a verse from Psalm 46 to quiet our selves can open our eyes to God’s activity all around us and give us the courage to let go.
Recently, I was invited to preach at Madrona Grace Presbyterian Church, an open and affirming church up in Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, when my husband got ill and needed to be hospitalized, I had to cancel my trip to Madrona at the last minute. In anticipation of my time at Madrona Grace, I had prepared a sermon and I want to share it with you here as the second part in a series of posts on the Biblical roots of why I stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
I was overjoyed when Jeff Krehbiel, who is standing as my vice moderator, offered to share a prayer for Mother’s Day. Jeff writes movingly about an issue that is often overlooked in our churches and in society as a whole. I continue to feel blessed that Jeff is travelling this journey with me and that he is able to share his pastoral wisdom with us here.
Thanks to all for your well wishing and prayers. As I continue to help my husband back to health, I feel blessed that I began work on a number of different pieces for my blog a while back. Today I’d like to share a story about a remarkable woman named Lynn Coghill. Lynn is a popular teacher at the University of Pittsburgh and a lay minister in the Community of Reconciliation, a church in my Presbytery in Pittsburgh
For a time recently, as my husband was admitted to the hospital for the first time in his life, my vision shrank to what Augustine captures here. It took immense courage for him—usually the physician in charge—to receive care from others. For those who feel alone, afraid, sick, or face great challenges or even boredom, this prayer offers an acknowledgement of our burdens and a call to where hope can be found if we have the courage.
What the church can learn from mothers has relevance to the themes of this blog, I would say. It takes immense courage to embark upon the responsibility of being a mother. And the unity of the mother and child is an image that has been used in Christian tradition to capture the connection between the faith community and believers.
It is a privilege to be Jesus’ arms and legs in this world. At the same time, our spirits can falter at the challenge of sharing our faith in Jesus Christ. For many of us it is not something we ever thought would be needed in our neighborhood. We are shocked how often now those we know have no knowledge or experience of God in Christ or had a bad experience with the church. It takes courage to witness—this prayer becomes ours.
I am excited to share another guest post with you. This one comes from a dear friend, Wayne Peck, who is pastor of Community House Church. In this post, Wayne talks about the ministry of Sasan Tavassoli, who he met while visiting Peachtree Church in Atlanta. As Wayne told me the story of Sasan’s ministry of reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in Iran, I was amazed.
Rev. Dr. Arlo Duba and Doreen Duba sent this prayer to us after being reminded of it by Thomas Merton’s prayer posted on March 18, 2012. It has a similar theme of asking for courage to follow unknown paths, exactly what we are all doing as we reform into the PCUSA that is to be. It is one of the prayers suggested at the end of Morning Prayer in The Book of Common Worship.
In my introductory video, I mentioned that even though my views have often not prevailed through the years, I have stayed in my church home, committed to one Lord, one faith, one baptism. During this Eastertide, I want to share with you more of my thoughts on this, particularly, what I see as the biblical basis for us all to work together to be One in Christ.