Debbie Richards 8-12
Elizabeth Barrigar 8-12
Roger Hadlock 8-13
Nick Winchester 8-14
Evelyn Saphier 8-25
Ann Root 8-26
Jen McGregor 8-26
Art Davidson 8-27
Viktor Cole 8-28
Greg & Arielle Demick 8-5
I’m presently at Calvin Seminary and have been here all week engaging in my gift from Theresa Presbyterian Church; pastoral study time. I say a gift because when I use the time not only do I as a pastor benefit from further learning, but the congregation and larger community do as well. How I am spending my week is with other pastor’s as we engage in the topic of grief. How do we lead the congregation in times of grief? How do people grieve? What gets said or done (or not) during a time of grief? Perhaps not a topic one wants to hear about during the summer when life tends to be lighter, less hurried, less programmatic. However, grief is a reality that doesn’t take time off. Grief will happen and continue no matter what season we are living. Grief still affects a person’s life, even in the summer.
As I reflect and ponder I share some highlights with you…
1) People grieve loss. It may be the death of a loved one. But there are other forms of death and reasons to grieve, loss of a job, a broken relationship, something that has caused a change in life such as aging, moving to a care facility, or health. Take time to reflect on what you have or presently are grieving at this time…
2) Words and actions matter by both what we say and do as well as what we don’t say or do. Our words and actions while often well intended can cause further grief by inflicting harm and yes, more pain to an already grieving person. Words and actions (or the lack of) can cause embarrassment, anger, more pain, and yes, create joy, be uplifting, and be a source of comfort. There can be judgment, either by the church or the members of the congregation, made about the grieving person or a family. Reflect on your response (or lack of) when someone you know has been grieving….
3) Faith in times of grief. We like to think in a time of loss, a person’s faith is strengthened. However, that’s not always the case. In times of grief there is often great questioning for the person grieving. Faith can be re-shaped, transformed both positively and negatively. What is believed scripturally about God based on what’s been learned over the years? The church plays a role here. Is there room for a grieving person to express emotions and question or wonder about their faith? Reflect on discipleship/faith formation and your own response when a grieving person questions God…
The Bible is filled with stories of grief or loss of one type or another. The Psalms are great proof of lament and grief, crying out to God in pain. 1/3 of the Psalms are Psalms of lament, yet we fail to lament in worship or give space for lament. Worship tends to be filled with praise, joy, and be upbeat. What does worship look like when over time, when occasssionally there is space for people to cry out? What programs are offered by the church to give space for the grieving?
Grief changes life and the order of it. Psalm 30:10-11 says the following, “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper! You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,” As we continue our journey together during this season of transition for HPC let’s reflect together over grief. For those who grieve in this day and at this time, know that God indeed is on your journey of grief with you as the Psalmist testifies in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff -they comfort me.”
Peace be with you,
Our Annual Fish Fry Dinner will be held Thursday, Aug. 15th from 4:30 to 7:00 at the church pavilion. Fish, Mac and cheese, salt potatoes, cole slaw, desserts and beverages for $10.for adults, $5.00 for ages 5-12. Take-outs are available. We will be looking for workers the day before the dinner to help prep foods, set up and prep kitchen, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Any questions? Call Joan Hadlock 314-5517
The next Hammond Food Pantry food distribution will be Thursday, Aug. 22, from 9:30 to 11:30 at the Hammond Fire Hall. The food items include juice, butter, cheese, cereal, fruit and vegetables, soups, pasta, fresh produce if available, bread and three or four meats. We hold the Food Pantry once a month for anyone eligible. The Food Sense program is held the same day, with a set package of items including meats, produce, vegetables and variety items which anyone can order regardless of income at $20.50 for the package. Food Sense must be pre-ordered and pre-paid. This is an economical way to stretch your food dollars. There are also specialty items which can be ordered and pre-paid. Food Sense truck comes in about noon on Food Pantry days.
In addition, there is a table with used clothing and some household goods available.
Anyone wanting a Food Pantry schedule, the Food Sense order form or information may call Joan Hadlock at 324-5517.
Anyone who has an extra few minutes–or more–, there is some yard work needed at the church. The spirea bushes need to be trimmed, side church garden along driveway needs some weeding, sides of the pavilion need to be weeded. Anything else you see needing work, please go ahead. Thanks in advance!
One of the places we send our Mitten Tree items is St. Joseph’s Indian School in
Chamberlain, So. Dakota. In May, the school celebrated a nice group of 8th grade graduates. Graduating from 8th grade is huge for some Native American children, especially due to the obstacles many of them must overcome. The students were awarded completion certificates and presented with a star quilt by their families. This represents honor and generosity. Also in May, a group of students participating in the High School program graduated from Chamberlain High School. For some, the future will be college, military or the work force. Fr. Anthony, Chaplain for the school, realizes that,” only the Great Spirit has complete knowledge of what the future has in store for our students.” He states that those of us who support their program help feed, cloth and educate the children, and help carry out their mission to care for the whole child-- mind, body, heart and spirit. This school has educated and cared for over 200 Lakota children each year since 1927. So the little part that our Hammond church plays, has a big impact on the lives of these children so far away. Joan Hadlock
At the end of June, my children were playing Tee Ball at the school and my son, who is special needs, had a couple of his aides from his school come and watch him on his last “game” to show support. I love meeting up with his teacher or aides outside of school so I can hear some of the stories that my son does in school. One of the stories that I was told, was that my son can swim in the deep end of the pool without and support. When I bring my son swimming, I let him wade up to mid chest and that’s about as comfortable as I feel without turning into a worry wart. So when his aide told me that he swam without anything to help keep him afloat, my heart went straight into my stomach. To me, there are certain accomplishments that I don’t hold my breath on, because I don’t want to be disappointed that he didn’t reach a certain mile stone. You really learn that all the little things are tremendous steps, and big things that are accomplished, is almost like the feeling Neil Armstrong must has felt when he walked on the moon for the first time. Anyways, with this information in the back of my mind, I decided to bring the family out to a beach where they have a floating dock in the deep end. I tell my step son that if he wants to go out to the dock, he can, but that my son might follow him for the first time. I sat on the beach and watched both boys, swim out to the floating dock, climb up onto it, and then jump off and swim back to me. It was one small step for my son, but one giant leap for this mommy.
This summer with our Church family, it almost feels like, we are my son, and God is our mother watching from the beach. We are kicking our feet, and paddling our hands in the water, God looking on to us with pride and love. You can feel the hope and love that God gives when you walk into Church and everyone is being supportive, helpful, and loving to one another. “Ás I have loved you, love one another” John 13:34, might be his way of saying, “keep swimming, I see you, you’re doing great.” It might just be that we are taking these small steps that we normally take, that we don’t think of as anything important, but in Gods eyes, we might be taking those giant leaps that gives a parent so much love and pride.
There is a story behind this poem. I met its author, Myron Jackson in Bradenton, FL last winter. He and his wife Natalie led a drumming workshop for families at the local library. He recited from memory this poem he had written. At the end of the workshop I asked if he would send me a copy of the poem and permission to share it with others. He said, “Yes.” and sent me a copy.
The tone of the poem is playful with an important message. It is a prayer of gratitude thanking God for the flavors of the global community. He prays that the world can live as one.
“Because there’s nowhere under God’s sun
that’s void of variety,
Except that which
Man imposes on society.”
If God is willing and I am able,
I thank him for life, family, friends, shelter, clothing, transportation, sound body and mind
And provisions placed upon my table,
Dining offers a great opportunity to commune with the flavors of the global community,
I ponder over my Peruvian coffee with Irish cream,
Whether to have French toast, Polish sausage or Chinook salmon,
Freshly caught from a mountain stream,
Belgian waffles with Vermont maple, a Danish or Canadian bacon,
In a manner of speaking I may go vegan,
Washington apples, Georgia peaches,
or California raisins,
I’m thinking while drinking Jamaican rum punch
As to how to paint my palette,
Will I choose Maine lobster, a Frankfurt on Italian bread, Russian dressing on a Greek salad?
Swedish meatballs, or Wisconsin cheese,
Tandori chicken or fresh English peas,
My hunger doesn’t discriminate too tough and my mouth welcomes all of these,
At dinnertime I’m inclined to employ
the same method and means
Of integrating Blackened grouper with Red beans, Brown rice, Yellow corn and turnip Greens,
Jewish rye, Dutch Apple pie, topped with
Blueberry ice cream,
And before long,
I’m getting my taste on with Florida Orange juice,
With a pinch of Carolina White lightening,
Doing yoga exercises on my Persian carpet
Watching that amber sun meld into an
indigo night time,
Chillaxing in my Mexican hammock sipping on a
Munching on Turkish delights, Brazil nuts and strumming my Spanish guitar,
Before too late I incorporate
Feeding my Siamese cat and
walking my Australian shepherd,
Watering my African violets and play the kids in
And I crash-out on Japanese futon at the end of the day,
With my lovely lady from Montego Bay,
I pray the world can live as one,
Because there’s nowhere under God’s sun
that’s void of variety,
Except that which
Man imposes on society,
But it’s words of King to which I’m drawn,
And by the way that’s Don, Rodney, Martin,
Nat, and BBKing,
Carol, Burger, King Arthur, and
Stephen King and King James,
Whose quotations combined reminds us that
That not just
“Only in America…,”
“Can’t we all just get along?”
“Have a dream today,”
“The thrill is gone.”
Let’s not sing
“It’s, too late baby”,
“You can have it your way,”
“A freedom we can embrace with honor”
“Nightmares and dreamscapes”