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Cleanup Buckets: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered!

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Through an incredible partnership with Project Unity, NorthPark Presbyterian Church, Temple Emanu-El, and servants who just showed up to help, we were able to send over 200 clean up buckets and many more boxes of supplies to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Orange County, Texas. Your generous donations of sponges, scrub brushes, trash bags, clotheslines, tools, and so much more have made their way to East Gate Pentecostal Church in Vidor, Texas and was distributed by Southeast Texas Interfaith Organization. We are especially grateful to Shipper Owned Container, LLC for the generous donation of their driver and services.

 As we have witnessed many more storms and natural disasters wreak havoc across Mexico, Puerto Rico, Florida, northern Lesser Antilles and Virgin Islands, we continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers those who are grieving the loss of lives, homes, and entire communities. Through our continued partnership with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, we hope to bear witness to the loving presence of God during this difficult time. We remember that God calls us to stand in the GAP:

Give of our financial blessings to help disaster survivors throughout the world.

Act through participating in disaster recovery ministry.

Pray for God’s presence on behalf of all disaster survivors.

For God promises us that if we work to meet the needs of those who are afflicted, then

“Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isaiah 58:12)

Thanks be to God.

 

Posted by Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell with
in Grow

Mountains Beyond Mountains Book Reflections

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This upcoming Sunday (September 24) we will gather after worship for lunch and discussion of one of our “Summer Sunday Book Club” readings, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It was a book I first read almost fifteen years ago as a college freshman, and it inspired me to think not just about what career God was drawing me toward but about what vocation God was calling me to fulfill. It led me to ask: What gifts has God blessed me with that are to be used in service to another and to the world?

It was also a book whose stories about the suffering of the poor and the marginalized, and the sometimes complicit role of foreign and domestic policy in that suffering, forced me to re-examine and complicate the narrative that I had always known about the world and how it worked.

It can feel risky in today’s world of sound bites and polarized political perspectives to complicate our worldview through the story and suffering of someone else. Too often we narrow the voices in our lives to those who can comfortably confirm our assumptions (or our Facebook posts!) and agree with our point of view. But God calls us to a radically different kind of community: one that risks transformation through human encounter.

Reading books, hearing poetry, examining the lenses we use to read scripture, and listening to the embodied narratives of other people helps us re-examine our own narratives and assumptions. It can also help us tell the truth about ignored suffering and even transform our world here and now.

The world wants us to believe that there is a single story, a right way and a wrong way, and yet our faith draws us toward a multi-faceted, beautifully complex creation full of diverse stories from which to learn and grow. Hope you will join us!

Grace and Peace,

Sarah

Posted by Rev. Sarah Johnson with

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