The following is from some critical thinking, and in no way is intended to down play situations and those who have responded. There is much positive about the actions of many, but this is a reflection on overall mentality of humans, and in particular those living in America.
In the wake of the tragedies of the past few months, I have been reflecting yet again on our responses. I find myself struggling with several questions. What about prevention? What do we really mean when we say “Our thoughts and prayers…”? Why does it take tragedy and destruction to make us move beyond our usual treatment of others?
Prevention is a difficult thing. In so much of our lives we are constantly looking at ways to prevent illness, disease, injury, and so much more. Yet, it is not until a major natural disaster or mass shooting or other violence that we try to dialogue about prevention. We cannot prevent natural disasters, but we can be more prepared in our infrastructure and own lives. Surely there are measures that can be taken that prevent human tragedy from occurring. Unfortunately, the talks about these measures almost always turn political in the first hours.
I know that people, even politicians, are sincere that they care for victims and families in the wake of disaster and tragedy. But, simply saying “Our thoughts and prayers” is not anywhere near enough. We most certainly should be praying. Those prayers should also lead to action, and it is in the lack of action by those who can make serious change that the words begin to ring hollow. Praying for God to do something is not an excuse for our inaction.
Come together. That is what happens in the wake of violence and disaster. It is what happens in the middle of chaos. One component of this though is that we were not together before. I do appreciate the work and heart of first responders and long term volunteers. My issue is that it takes something of this proportion to bring us together and act how we should all along.
Looking at these questions from the point of “Why Christ?”, I come to the point of reflecting on our call in Christ. In terms of addressing prevention, we are called to consider others before ourselves. If we were to apply this to every aspect of our lives, which I believe we are indeed to do, then our communal lives would take on a far different tone. Yes, we need to be in prayer. Yes, we need to keep others in our thoughts. But, our intercessions cannot be our only response. We also need to put into action a response to prayer and God’s guidance. Prayer does not only happen in words. Sharing the mind of Christ should have us already together. We should not be fighting each other, or having to strive for justice in any form. I believe that it is possible, and within human capabilities (in Christ of course), to live every day in the same way we come together in the wake of tragedy, and still be able to respond above and beyond.
Will we ever live in the true peace of the kingdom? Not in this life, and certainly not until Christ comes again. However, as disciples we can work together, alongside our fellow Christians, to make the world better than it is now. Blessings and peace to you all.
In memory of Opal Rost: Cindy Jones
In memory of Benjamin Calvin: Diana Hedrick
In memory of Helen Carter-Nance for Capital Needs: Clay & Kyla Beaver & Family, Mike & Karen Gherardini, Elaine Marmon, James & Susie Jackson, Karen & Terry Emerson, Fred & Jerri Greenley, James & Melissa Schlau, Gary & Cheryl Lankford, Mike & Patricia Oser & Family, Philip & Deanna Bush, James & Patricia Achenbach, Dennis & Jean Craft, Dalbert & Cynthia Williams, Jerry & Cheryl Pace, Larry & Bonnie Krupp, Steve & Carol McFall, Margaret Becher & NGA Friends, Robert & Regina Cundall, Thomas & Ania Maxson, Jan & Angela Hilliday, Barbara Kusmierczak & Family, Karen Kneedler, Donna Smith, Jim & Judy Brickey, Jeri Kingsbury, Brad & Linda Kunz, Bernie & Jo Kunz, Stephen & Barbara Esker, Gloria Alldredge, Clancy & Dot Mills, Ronald & Mary Baker, Paul & Mary Lee Muniz, Diana Hedrick, Scott & Sara Kreissler.
Funeral information for Helen Nance-Carter: Sunday, October 8 at FUPC . Viewing at 2 PM, funeral at 4 PM with dinner to follow in Westminster Hall. The family will be furnishing the meat. We are asking for donations of salad & desserts. Please call the office if you can help.
Trivia Night to benefit the Capital Needs Fund will be held on Friday, October 13 starting at 7 PM. Doors will open at 6:30. Gift cards requested for raffle. Also asking donations of desserts & soda.
The Fall Fest is scheduled for Saturday, October 28. Come with the family to eat and have fun. Costumes optional but fun!
We will be participating again in the Collinsville Chili Walk this month. More information to follow.
Pastor Appreciation dinner will be held on Sunday, October 15 immediately following Worship. The menu included ham & potatoes. We are asking for donations of salads and desserts. Everyone is invited to come and celebrate with our pastor on this occasion.
The Kneeling With Giants group is meeting this month on October 3, 10, 17, & 24 in the Chapel at 7 PM.
September, 2017 Session Meeting
Pastor Jeff met with the Elders and their committees to discuss the “State of the Church” and how we are meeting the “turns” of the church. The financial reports for August were presented, discussed and approved.
The Food Pantry Kozy Kafe was moved to St. Johns Evangelical United Church of Christ because of our air-conditioning problem. (This problem has since been fixed.)
Janet Butts submitted her letter of resignation to be effective at the end of this Session’s year. Regret was expressed by fellow elders, but they did vote to accept her resignation.
Pastor Jeff is doing another book study starting the first Tuesday night in October. “Kneeling With Giants” is the book that we will be using. Section 2 will be done in November and Section 3 in January 2018 with Section 4 done in February.
Janet Butts, Acting Clerk of Session