Wow. A moving and beautiful day at St. Paul's UMC. The theme today was meant to be "Listening to God's Word." But in the midst of the heartbreak of Haiti's earthquake... Pastor Penny switched it up a little. We spent the day focusing on "Where is God in Tragedy?"
The Education Hour did their part:
* The Children's classes talked about Jesus being the Messiah - and being sent to show us the way.
* This Confirmands attended the special Wired Word discussion today.
* Wired Word spent the morning talking about the Haiti crisis. An interesting discussion of how we, as Christians, are called to respond to all in need. Beda did a great job facilitating the conversation!
* The Caring Ministries group, led by Bettie, continued discussing ways to serve those around us in our community - as well as those in the midst of tragedy.
Worship was deeply meaningful. We began with the choir bringing us into worship with "Holy Ground." We remembered our call to help all of God's children - for when we serve others, we serve Christ himself. Pastor Penny's sermon addressed so many of the comments we hear in the media about "where is God in this?" We were reminded that God does NOT cause this pain - but is present in the hands that help, the prayers that cry out, and the hope that is carried for the future. We were reminded that God IS present in these horrible disasters - and also in the disasters of our personal lives... God is love and God is here.
The service ended with an impromptu announcement that two of our United Methodist pastors, and UMCOR leaders, died in the earthquake... Our tears were shed as we joined in singing "Amazing Grace." Sometimes God is more present than we're ready for... But God was definately in our worship today.
As you go through your week, please remember to keep Haiti and all the people trying to cope with such sadness, grief, and hopelessness in your prayers... If you are able to donate money, please bring a check to church or go to the UMCOR website and send your gifts to directly to the need - every penny will be used to help!
Also, we will be serving at Feed My Starving Children on Wed. January 27th, 6-7:30pm. All meals bagged will be sent to Haiti, and donations will be taken to keep the meals going! If you'd like to come with us, please let me know!