These have been heavy days for most of us...COVID, the war in Ukraine, the economy, shootings, shootings, shootings...there doesn't seem to be a let up. And the political divisions in our country haven't eased that. Yet we continue to gather together around a living word, the Gospel of Jesus that calls to us to live into who we have been created to be - peacemakers, healers, justice-bringers, love-sharers. We are not called to seek "our rights," but rather to be love our neighbors, as ourselves - asking what can I do to benefit my neighbor's wellbeing. This is praying AND acting.

If you are struggling with the recent mass shootings, the war in Ukraine, COVID, or any of the other heavy realities of our world, please know you are not alone. If you need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or some words of prayer together please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email or call me at 603-882-6142.  On Sunday, May 29, 2022 we will begin our worship with a Litany After a Violent Event, and encourage all to take part in this time of prayer. 

I also offer up this prayer that was shared by our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

Gracious God, news of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has ripped our hearts and torn our souls. We are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. In the depths of pain and anger, we come before you, O God, our rock and our refuge. You are our only comfort. You are our only hope. Merciful God, you know the depth of our suffering. We have only begun to mourn those we have lost. Amen.

A Pastoral Word - January 6, 2021

Dear Siblings in Christ,

January 6, 2021 was a sad and scary day in our nation’s history – as mobs of rioters swarmed and illegally entered our nation’s Capital Building during a time when our elected officials were doing the work we elected them to do. Much of this mob mentality was stirred by leaders in the highest positions in our government; while many of us sat in front of our tvs, connecting to websites, and checking in on print media not truly believing that this was really happening. We lament this vicious attack – the destruction, the fear, the injury and the loss of life. We lament the loss of trust in our institutions, in our community, and even among each other – the very goal of this act of terrorism.

There is a lot of concern, confusion, fear, and division in our country right now. This is not who we are called to be. As people of faith we are called to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8) in all areas of our lives. This means that we are called to be a part of bringing about justice, healing, and wholeness within our nation and beyond – for all people. And that begins not in silence but in prayer.

We pray for the families of the people who have died in this act of terrorism. We pray for the safety of all lawmakers and staff, for the public safety officers, for journalists, and for the people living in the immediate areas. We pray for swift and transparent action on the part of lawmakers and law enforcement. We pray for the peacemakers and justice workers on the ground, as they continue to work for a safe and open government for all. We pray for families and communities that are divided. We pray that we – individually and collectively – will own our own part in this, and commit to work toward the peace and justice that we are called to by God.

In the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism (which we will share together on January 17th) we are asked if we intend to continue in the covenant God made with us in holy baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth? As we seek to process what has taken place and how we take the next steps, may we remember this call and respond loudly saying, “We do, and we ask God to help and guide us.”

May we turn and reflect the love and justice of God.

~ Pastor Kim