We began writing these pastoral letters eighteen months ago as a way of staying connected week to week, naming our concerns, and offering pastoral support through this unprecedented pandemic. Now we are entering September, and our need for this connection is as strong as ever. On this Labor Day weekend we remember the labor movement in this country and around the world, and the need to continue the efforts to guarantee meaningful work, safe and respectful working conditions, and just compensation for all laborers. As students and educators head beck to school, we hold them in our hearts. As we witness again the impact of human activity on our climate and our planet, we pray for those most recently affected by Hurricane Ida and by the Caldor Fire in California. In the last two weeks we have witnessed the massive failure of a twenty-year-long intervention in Afghanistan, we hold the people of Afghanistan, men and women who have served there, families of those who lost their lives in this two-decade war, and refugees now exiled from their homes in our prayers. Devastation from the earthquake in Haiti is compounded by political turmoil, severe storms, and prolonged humanitarian crisis there. As we cultivate an anti-racist lens, we also see how systemic racism exacerbates the injustice and inequitable effects of tragedy. And all of this is happening in the context of this pandemic that we had hoped to be emerging
from in a different way.
There is no doubt we are in a time of deep grief. So we continue to hold one another in prayer as well.
And we know that our understanding of prayer is not passive. We take action in ways that give meaning to our prayers. So our church continues its work to be a just and fair employer. Our September special offering supports the childcare and learning programs in our building. We offer support to the victims of weather events and devastating fires. And our Refugee Action Team is coordinating our congregational response to the Afghan refugee crisis.
And we are working hard, making plans for the fall and for our anticipated gathering as a community, and adapting those plans as we learn more about the delta variant of Covid-19. As more information is available, what we planned last week might change this week. You can find the latest information about our gatherings as a community here, in the September Church & Home, and in the weekly emails.
All of this is to remind us that we do not take this journey of faith alone. We are a community, and God has promised to be with us, to guide us, to bring us back when we lose our way, to walk with us through every hard time.
As we continue in this time of emergence, and in whatever time we are in, we as your pastors are here for you. If you need support, or would like to provide support for others, please reach out. We always include our contact information in these letters. You will find it below.
Here is how to reach us:
Amy, firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 605-6893
Catherine, email@example.com (206) 321-7604
Steve, firstname.lastname@example.org (414) 238-7030