From the pastor…

From the pastor…

Today, I sit in my study, I am praying for the islands in the Atlantic as another Hurricane is bearing down on them, I pray for violence to end in St. Louis, but stand for justice, I pray for Mexico City and the devastation of the 7.1 earthquake, I pray for people I know and people who’s names have been given to me who are struggling with illness, disease, drug use, etc… and the sky is kind of grey but I know that God is still speaking, the Spirit is moving, calling me to listen.

Ok, what do I mean?
What does it mean that God is still speaking?
Didn’t God already speak and we are to follow?

What I mean is this….
God spoke through the prophets to a time and place, to a people that needed God and God needed them to hear, to a people that needed rules in order to know whom they belonged to.

God spoke through Jesus, when God sent God’s own son to live among the people, and to be truly human, and to die a horrible death on a cross, and then to rise again, to take all of our sins away.

God spoke through the disciples and the apostles as they lived and were changed and told the stories of Jesus and brought people to faith.

God spoke through Paul in a conversion as Paul wrote letters to a certain people at a certain time.

God spoke through our parents and grandparents as they too tried to figure out what God was saying to them at a certain time in a certain place.

God speaks to us, helping us to hear God’s voice in the world that we live in.

God speaks to us today in new and different ways. And God will continue to speak to our children and grandchildren and great- grandchildren.

God is a God of justice and love. God is a God of compassion and spirit. God is a God who isn’t quiet in our world. God is a God who isn’t stagnant in our life. God is a God of peace and justice, mercy and grace.

I am so glad that God continues to speak, that God loves us enough to keep speaking.
One way we continue to show that we are listening to our still speaking God, is to give out of our abundance in time, treasure and talent. Treasure is about giving off the top, giving to Grace UCC, but also to the wider church. When we give to the wider church it is giving to OCWM.

OCWM monies, helped to bring profiles and the Central Southeast Ohio Association staff to Grace UCC to help when you called me. OCWM monies are used for continuing Education programs for Clergy and others. OCWM monies are used by our Central Southeast Ohio Association staff to be the pastor to me and my family, when we are in need of pastoral care. OCWM monies are used to help bring about programs and speakers for learning, for growth, to have the speakers we had at our 200th anniversary celebration. OCWM monies are used to do ministry with us, among us, and for us. Some monies are sent on to the Ohio Conference where programs are conference wide, and some is sent to Cleveland to the National Offices. I wish more could be sent on to the denomination, so that ministries of justice and hope could grow.

Besides, OCWM, there are special offerings both local and wider. There is stewardship of our gifts, both monetary and time. I invite you as we move into the fall season, to give from your first fruits, if you aren’t tithing to work towards that. God is still speaking…. Are you listening to our still speaking God??

Pastor Mindy