Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope you had a happy 4th of July weekend.  We had a very busy and crowded house in Lake Wildwood.  Both my daughters and their families came for the long weekend.  My sister-in-law also came along with my niece with her three children.  The oldest one of the three is going into first grade and the youngest is 4 months old.  The middle one is, yes, in the middle.  All of us took turns holding the baby.  All of us tried to take some of the burden off her shoulders.  Any time you can hold a baby, it is all good. We did have to be creative with sleeping arrangements but we made it work.

I know I am fortunate to have my family relatively close by.  I know some of you know this well.  But for some, if you have children/family, they may be living far away.  My dad is like this.  He is one lonely person.  Even though I talk to him weekly, I probably haven’t seen him in 2-3 years. Hopefully that will change.

I want to talk about living in the United States.  I feel like I have won the lottery.  It is a great country, not perfect by any means.  Don’t know of a country which is.  We have so many opportunities in this country.  I also know I am privileged to be a white male.  Not only did I win the lottery, I also won the genetic lottery. 

What a privilege it is to be able to worship the way I want to.  So many people who live in different countries cannot.  I know I have many individual rights that others do not have.  I remember a quote from a veteran when asked about a group who was protesting something, “I fought for them to have those rights.”  The veteran never commented about the protest.  He commented about what he fought for. 

But the thing that bothers me the most is how we are treating each other in this country.  We are so divisive. We tend to be so quick to judge and label others. I know it is hard to love everyone, but that is what we are called to do.  Love Neighbor means exactly that.  Throughout the Bible, we are called to take care of the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the foreigner in our midst.  These people are who God favors.  If we don’t take care of these groups, we are opposing God.  Not where we want to be. They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love, I believe is very true.  The question is, do they?

Last year we took a sabbath from all our meetings in July.  It was welcomed by all of us.  This year, we have decided to do the same.  That does not mean we are not doing anything. We are just not meeting in our committees this month. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call.

Below, a couple of things to remember:

“God’s grace is sufficient…” (2 Cor. 12:9).  Always is and always will be.

Scatter seed!

Don’t ever forget who you are and whose you are. You are, yes, you are a child of God.  Alleluia !

Pastor Tom


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Readings for the July 13th & 14th  – 8th Week After Pentecost

Amos 7:7-15               Psalm 85:8-13             Ephesians 1:3-14                     Mark 6:14-29