Marty Kuchma, Senior Pastor
As always seems to be the case, there is much going on in the life of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ these days, and we continue to make whatever difference we can in the world. If I may share some thoughts on a few things in particular…
I join with Michael in celebrating all of the awesome activity that is happening related to our WISE Congregation process. Please do see his article in this edition of Highlights. Having as many people as we did come out for the intensive Mental Health First Aid training was simply thrilling as we now turn toward drafting our WISE Covenant. Thank you to all who have been and will be part of this important process! Things are also bubbling up in exciting ways with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and our connections there. We will now be adding a couple of much-needed community education and support groups for mental health to the many AA and Al-Anon groups and Reiki experiences that take place in the building each week. Meal and More continues to add to the cumulative healing and helping factor as well, in addition to our worship and educational opportunities, our social gather-ings, and all the great work that is going on. Of course PFLAG and First Fridays continue to provide an essential anchor and support for the local LGBTQ community across generations. They are now beginning to plan for this year’s Drag Show. And we continue to provide space and energy for several other efforts to bring about justice and eradicate homelessness for all. So what’s next?
Relatedly, we celebrate Erin Snell receiving this year’s Award from the Carroll County Human Relations Commission! My comments at the awards banquet drew a connection between Erin’s life and the passage at Micah 6:8 – to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. Erin makes that passage real through her ongoing involve-ment in the community, her leadership of Carroll Citizens for Racial Equality, her longstanding commitment to the PFLAG Steering Committee and First Fridays, her participation on the executive committee of the local NAACP chapter, her active involve-ment in the Poor People’s Campaign, and so many other endeavors. Congratulations, Erin! I am proud to affirm your great work as St. Paul’s Minister of Social Justice! With profound humility and heart-felt kindness, Erin has become a true force for justice in the world.
St. Paul’s will have another opportunity to be a presence in the community as the destination of this year’s Good Friday Walk with the Cross. The walk begins at 11:00am at Ascension Episcopal Church on North Court Street and will make its way down Main Street to St. Paul’s. As the closing service at noon, we will offer Taize-style worship in the Sanctuary.
Remember also that we are still looking for a couple of volunteers to staff the St. Paul’s booth at the Seniors on the Go Expo at the Ag Center on Wednesday, April 3, from 9:00am until 2:00pm. Thanks to the team that is pulling together a nice display that will represent us nicely at this well-attended event, and at other events in the future.
So there is a lot to do. And there is also the Lenten summons to just be, and to reflect, to pray, and to prepare for the new life Easter promises. May we be blessed in it all, and find balance in each moment, and make our way forward with meaning and energy and hope.