As we sat in a Shabbat service in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors over the past week, we saw unbelievable pain and grief. We also witnessed the mourning of our Palestinian siblings at a vigil. As Christians, we must bear witness to such grief, but we must not make the mistake of only seeing one side’s pain.
Just as Christ commands us to believe as a child, Fred Rogers, and now Daniel Tiger, keeps reminding us that we won’t always be the best, but we all deserve the chance to try to be the better version of ourselves. The Imago Dei. The one that God sees when God declares us beloved.
Pastoral care is an essential part of ministry. Individuals and families in the congregation are under our care. However, it’s easy for pastors to get sucked in doing more for people than is good for them—or for us.
When loss occurs, grief inevitably follows. Yet in public life, grief from our collective losses seems to routinely get short-circuited. We seem incapable of allowing it into our lives. But that stymies our shared project of creating communities that thrive, because it causes so many of us to pretend or wish our losses never happened. For others, it means a retreat from public life entirely.
I join with millions of people around the world pleading with America’s government to cease financial and military support for the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. Further, I join with a global community in calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to this war. All lives matter!
Too often a legacy church survives, or not, because of choices made about the church building. Fortunately, my 150-year-old congregation transformed the overwhelming burden of supporting our legacy church building before it was too late, but not without significant conflict and risk. Here’s what we’ve learned.