Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 05.15.2020
For those who mock truth and their critics: It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards him/herself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business. Mahatma Gandhi
The Council and I truly appreciate the generous responses we are receiving to our Congregational Letter. We also need to thank Libby for the time and energy she gave to assembling and preparing these Letters for distribution.
Learning Meditation: The gifts of Contemplation are not given so we can “bliss out” and ignore the pain inside and outside of our lives. Listening, being still, at rest, the sacraments and praying are given us to make room for amazement! Without wonder and gratitude we immediately attempt to ‘own and control’ life. We need to be touched by the Spirit – the blessing of worship/wisdom/grace – to be awakened to the presence of God and the richness of life. A Prayer Life without worship is like having a Gym Membership and never going…..expect nothing without exercise. The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living! Contact me if you want to develop your meditation practice.
Top interfaith priorities for next COVID-19 response
On May 1, the ELCA Advocacy office joined 34 other denominations and religious organizations in a letter to members of Congress. “As organizations representing a broad array of religious beliefs and faith traditions,” it reads, “we write to urge you to act with urgency to pass another COVID-19 response bill that first prioritizes vulnerable individuals and communities.” The letter goes on to share specific concerns, such as a request to collect and release federal demographic data so public health officials can begin to understand and address racial disparities in rate of infection and morbidity due to the coronavirus which are disproportionately higher in communities of color. Other concerns raised include: domestic abuse, people with disabilities, criminal justice, Native American issues, immigration, health care coverage for all.
DeMichele Art Exhibit: Bill Carmel, our curator and Gary have prepared a video about our current Exhibit at Peace. You will get to see it next week.
“Even if you are a Minority of One, the truth is still the truth.” Gandhi
Aloha Kakou: Kaleo and Elise Ching have taught Qigong and medical Qiqong for 31 years. Together we created the Abba/Imma Qiqong Lord’s Prayer. During this time of covid crisis they are teaching a number of Qiqong Zoom Classes which encourage healing and working with/absorbing nature’s energy. If you would like to learn more check them out at: [email protected]
LIRS/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, CEO Krish O’Mara Vignarajah: The pandemic has upended life as we know it, and the impact is hitting our refugee and migrant brothers and sisters particularly hard. As you may know, refugee resettlement is currently on hold, leaving children and families in at-risk situations and postponing family reunifications. Many refugees and migrants are afraid to seek medical care due to the public charge rule, and many more will not benefit from America’s stimulus plan despite having paid taxes for years. New Americans often hold jobs in industries that have been stopped short by the coronavirus and now have no steady source of income.
But all hope is not lost. Despite their hardships, immigrants in the United States have more than stepped up to the plate. They represent a disproportionately high number of America’s “essential” workforce as doctors, nurses, farmers, agriculture workers, food service providers, and more. They are helping keep this country afloat—and we need to return the favor.
Keep in your prayers: Winnie, Elise, Jean, Betty, Marshall, Denise, Bob, Stanley, Ed, Heather, the family of Barbara Ann Alberti (former member of Peace) who died recently, our children, All those struggling in these time of Covid Crisis: those with disabilities, those experiencing domestic abuse, people in prisons, the homeless, the quarantined, those in isolation, refugees and immigrants, those in impoverished countries around the world anticipating the Covid Virus, healthcare workers, researchers, sanitation workers, those on the front lines of delivering essential services, the unemployed, and for those who act irresponsibly in times of crisis. God, in your mercy!
Our Food Barrel has been placed outside at the Courtyard Front Entrance to Peace so that donations can be received easily.
A Baby Sings in Church…and in the right key too! Check out this link if you want your heart warmed. Thanks to Elon Dickson for this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH6msTsClUs
“It has always been a mystery to me how people can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.” Mohandes Gandhi
Easter Blessings, Pr. Steve