Since I have returned home from Florida with my mom and her now staying with our family at home as we wait for her furniture to arrive I want to say everything is great! Isn’t that what we usually want to be able to say to folks who ask us how things are going, especially after a prolonged dilemma? I want so much to seem positive and hopeful and victorious and say everything is great. But that would not be the truth. Each day is a new struggle and I feel embattled from multiple directions. And yet, because of faith, because of prayer, because of grace and mercy and friendship, I find confidence and joy every day. Things aren’t great right now but all the time God is good and his goodness has been showered over me through these troubling times.
Many of you may have seen the recent Pew Research Survey indicating a continued decline of the mainline church as more and more people shift from professing faith to claiming instead no affiliation with a brand of faith at all – “the nones.” This is not good news for my profession or for traditional faith communities. We are all affected by institutional decline. So many in our community who affirm their spirituality but shun all forms of religion. So many self reliant, materially blessed individuals assuming they can make their own way without benefit of a faith community.
But we know the Good News. We know how rich and full life can be regardless of material resources and personal difficulties. We have confidence that only faith can provide, especially when the complexities of life come knocking. In spite of the dour reports about the decline of the church, we are a strong family of faith, called upon by our Creator to share our stories, our very lives with one another so that others might be invited and welcomed into a church home so they also might know the joys of a vibrant faith.
Let’s celebrate that faith this Sunday as we gather for worship, as we lay our burdens down and take on Christ’s yoke instead – a yoke of love that is light and manageable. Our prayers, our songs, our word shall remind us that God’s love is written on our hearts and there for us to rely upon and share at a moment’s notice.
Don’t forget our Children’s Ministry Department is hosting a Parents Day-out Sunday May 17, from 11:30 to 2:00. This is 2 ½ hours of free time for Mom, Dad, or Grandparents. You can drop your child(ren) off in the Fellowship Hall with the Children’s Ministry Committee. Your child(ren) will have lunch, play games, do a craft and finish with a movie. This is fun for everyone. This is for the children of CHPC and all children in our community, all are welcome. Register on our web site. REGISTRATION DEADLINE – midnight tonight!
In His Service,
Rev. Lissa Smith