From the pastor….
” But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
( Isaiah 43: 1)
This is my favorite scripture verse, because it always reminds me that God named and claimed me. Even in the worse times, even when life seems like it is falling apart, we have been called by name, someone knows our name. Even in the best of times God calls us by name. We all are named and claimed by God. We live our lives knowing that. That is wonderful news. Being named and claimed by God reminds us that we are called to love one another, be kind, show compassion, stand up for justice, be joy-filled. We belong to God.
As we move into November, we have been together now 8 weeks. They have been a truly fun time. I am learning names, not as quickly as I would like, but I am learning them. Faces are coming quicker, feelings and compassion for all of you are coming even more quickly. I am loving every minute of being your pastor. I am listening and learning. Grace United Church of Christ has lots to offer. What an amazing place this is!!! God is working through us and with us. And yes sometimes God has a sense of humor, and that helps us to laugh at ourselves.
On November 30 at 4pm, we will gather together for my installation, which means we will all take the promises of living together in covenant, with one another, and with the Central Southeast Association. It is when everything becomes “official”. I am very excited for this service. There will be many people who have been a part of my life, both a long time and new, that will be here and will participate in the service. Following the service we will eat together, sharing one of the things you do really well… Potluck! There will be guests and family that you will meet, and together we will share a most Spirit filled time. I want to thank the search committee for their hard work of listening to God and for the Holy Spirit. It isn’t always easy to just listen, but when we do we truly hear God and what God is calling us to.
As Isaiah 43 goes on, verse 3 and 4, ” For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…..because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you… Do not fear, for I am with you…”
We belong to God, named, claimed, loved and precious… Let’s live knowing that…
We are so blessed…