“ For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” - Jeremiah 31:25
There are so many reminders and promises in scripture about God refreshing the weary soul. God demonstrates God’s power and compassion, bringing wells and rivers of fresh water into the barren wastelands. The goodness of God revealed in something so simple as water. The wisdom of God revealed in something essential to our very existence - water. You, my sweet and loving congregation, sent me on a much-needed time away to see my sister. When you tell people that you are going to California, one immediately thinks of cool, hip, cities with fancy shops and restaurants or miles of beaches and beautiful water, or maybe even ski resorts. This is not where you sent me. You sent me to the desert, the place where God woos us, speaks to us, heals us (so incredibly perfect after our Lenten study series). And because God does what only God can do, the weather in the desert was unseasonably cool for this time of year AND there were rainstorms. These rainstorms were so unexpected and so precious to the community that as soon as the rain started, people came out from their homes to watch, to stand in it, to delight in it, and to give thanks. I am so grateful for the time away, time to refresh my heart, my spirit. Time to let go of expectations and responsibilities. Time to start grieving the things I keep pushing down because this season has been one tragedy, crisis, or loss after another. I spent time in my sister’s garden, just sitting in the swing, being present, drifting away to hear the tender words of Jesus as I prayed. It was good to be away. It is good to be back. It is hard to not just “jump back into” busy-ness and doing. So while I lean into what I heard from the Lord, one of the things I’m “jumping into” is slowing down the summer. Now, don’t get too excited, as I’ve been told, my ‘slow is still pretty darn fast.’ There are things that need to get done at the church, in the church, because WE ARE the church. There is work in the name of Jesus to be done. Loving people, serving others, building community, inviting our neighbors into relationship… there is a lot to do. And, if we are doing it well, if we are doing it with God’s heart for God’s people, we’ll do it with joy. There are other things that need to be done too… taking care of the property, tending to staff and volunteers, handling the details, doing the business of being the church. Again, there is much to do. But, if we are doing it well, if we are doing it with God’s heart for God’s church, we’ll do it with joy. I hope one of the words you’re focusing in on is “WE.” We, all of us, every one, is needed – to volunteer in the office, to pull weeds, to pray, to sort pictures, to shop/sell at Market Day, to worship with the band and choir, to participate in the liturgy, to help prepare and serve communion, to usher and greet, to lead a small group, to be part of a study, to give, to show up, to search God’s heart for God’s church and then do our part. In this newsletter, I’ll be sharing some updates, giving some schedules, asking for help, and sharing some conversations about our core beliefs. For calendar and event info, please make sure to check the webpage, Facebook page, watch for emails, etc. Please be praying about how you will be helping tend the work and people of the church in our coming season!
Finding Refreshment In The Desert, Pastor Michelle