Pastor Cathy Daharsh
We live in a time that more than ever needs us to pay attention to one another and to be engaged. On the surface, many people seem to be put together and happy, but sadly many people feel isolated, different and disconnected even in our church. People are needing a chance to begin again. “Begin Again” is our theme for this time after Easter as we read through the book of Acts until the end of June. Our theme is about second chances and “always being made new” as God works in our lives to transform us and to bring us hope.
In this week’s reading from Acts, we learn about a disciple called Tabitha who was devoted to good works and acts of charity in her community. She had become ill and died, and the apostle Peter is called to come to Tabitha’s home. When Peter is there he kneels down to pray, and God works through Peter to bring new life to Tabitha and her community. She is given a chance to begin again.
In the last 9 days, our congregation had 5 funerals. We continue to hold the family and friends of Lois Dinzole, Elaine Kohn, Raymond Wenk, Virginia Nordlof, and Kim Schneider in our prayers. In the midst of grief, I saw hope and strength in our community. I heard words of resurrection and new life as congregation members and staff members came together and supported each other in the belief of eternal life through Jesus Christ. During this time congregation members have initiated conversations about forming support groups for those who are grieving, not only from someone dying in their lives, but grieving losses of other kinds like separation or divorce, moving to a new community, losing a job, etc. I am hopeful these groups will start in the fall. This is a great example of our theme, “Begin Again.” Just when life seems unbearable and hopeless, God finds ways for us to begin again. Amen.