By Rev. Scott Andrews
Poet William Cowper (1731-1800) began his poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” with these words:
God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform, he plants his footprints on the sea
and rides upon the storm.
I too believe, and have experienced the fact, that “God works in mysterious ways”. I believe that most of you reading this would agree. I also believe that God worked his “mysterious ways’ through the passing of a friend of mine.
As I remember the light she shared with us, I have to tell you that I learned not only from her presence, but Yvonne’s passing.
At this time of year, 11 years ago, a “recovery friend” of mine passed away. “Yvonne T.” was 72 years old when she passed on to glory. She had also celebrated 39 years of sobriety. Yvonne and I hadn’t known each other all that long (three years). However, as with many friendships within my 12 Step program, Yvonne and I became friends quickly. She wanted to know about me and how long I had been sober. She wanted to know about how I had “worked the program”. She was at our 6:00 AM meeting almost every morning. When she was there, she always greeted everyone the same . . . with a smile and a hug. Her presence shined God’s light into our lives. As I remember the light she shared with us, I have to tell you that I learned not only from her presence, but Yvonne’s passing.
She even had us post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order on our bulletin board.
Yvonne had been fighting cancer for a while. She finally reached a point in her treatment that the doctors told her that “it wasn’t working”. For a short while, many of us knew that her passing was coming. Yvonne had talked to several of us about the day when she would eventually no longer be able to be with us at our meetings. She even had us post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order on our bulletin board. She wanted us to know that she was ready to go. I believe that God was working through Yvonne to show those of us around her that we don’t need to fear death. Yes, Yvonne had her moments when she questioned God about what was happening. However, she, with great strength of character and dignity, lived the last months of her life ready to make the final transition.
Yvonne firmly believed that “one day at a time”was more then just a cliché. For 39 years, she lived “one day at a time”. Yvonne believed that all we need God gives us for this day. Yvonne simply took one day at a time, one step at a time, and one moment at a time. She allowed us to see what this meant to her, and how we could do the same. I believe that God was working through Yvonne to teach us that eternity belongs to him, and that we have but a few moments that we call life. Moments he gives to us to live and love and hope and shine.
Yvonne’s light never stopped shining.
Yvonne’s light never stopped shining. When members of our 12 Step group would come to visit her, she would smile and say to her family “look my people are here”. God’s light shined through Yvonne with every visit, every hug, every tear, every laugh, every smile, every kiss, and every moment we were given with her. Even in her final days in hospice, Yvonne didn’t stop shining for us. I believe God was teaching all of us that no matter what we face in life our light can still shine into the lives of others . . . that darkness need not overcome us.
I thank you Yvonne for allowing God to work through you for our benefit.
I thank God for his “mysterious ways”. Through my friend Yvonne’s passing God reminded me of the importance of trusting him in all things, taking one day at a time, and letting his light shine through me. I thank you Yvonne for allowing God to work through you for our benefit. I thank you God for working through Yvonne to share your light.
In His Name, Scott
Thanksgiving at the Pantry is a special time. The families really look forward to the Thanksgiving bags and the congregation is always amazingly generous in filling them. Shopping lists are available at church and the church office. We ask that you put items in a sturdy re-usable bag and attach the list to the outside of the bag. Bags need to be brought back to church by Sunday, November 11th which gives us a few days to sort and organize before we hand them out on Friday, November 16th. We expect 160 -170 families to come on that day.
Our friends at the LDS Church are again planning to do the bags at Christmas, so we can put all our energy into making up special Thanksgiving bags. It’s a special time for us to count our blessings and to share with others.
We had our Pantry Team luncheon on October 10th and 41 panty helpers came. It’s was wonderful to see all the different food pantry volunteer groups get together. While the Friday workers know there are shoppers bringing in staples during the week, and our shoppers know there are Albertson’s bread and Fresh Rescue pick-up teams, it always surprises everyone to see how many people are involved in this ministry! It truly “takes a village.”
Happy Thanksgiving, The Pantry Team
Longest Night ServiceRead more
Join us for Our 2 Christmas Eve Services.
5:00pm – Geared more for young families
7:30pm – Traditional
We must build a caring community.
Our United Methodist Book of Discipline, the manual which defines our denomination’s structure and functioning, declares that, as members of the Church—the body of Christ—we are “bound in sacred covenant to shoulder the burdens, share the risks, and celebrate the joys of fellow members.” ¶ 219 If you stop and think about it, that’s pretty profound. It means that, when we commit ourselves to church membership, we take on a nurturing, caregiving responsibility for one another. So it’s not about you—or me—it’s about us! it’s about our looking out for one another, doing for one another, being there for one another. We must build a caring community.
Click to see the United Methodist Church Book of discipline
…how often people seem to “fall through the cracks.”
As I observe our life together in this congregation, I do know that a lot of that happens. As I carry on my visitation ministry, I hear many touching stories about mutual burden-bearing and compassionate caring. I am also sadly aware, however, of how often people seem to “fall through the cracks.” An illness or hospitalization occurs, an individual or family is dealing with loss or grief, some other difficulty intrudes—and no one outside the immediate family circle knows about it, prays about it, or does anything to be helpful. I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again—if you have a need for prayer, for a caring presence, for help of any sort, please reach out. Call the church office; Pastor Scott; me; Eula Anyiwo or Rich Steadman, who head up our Care Ministry team; call Ann Reese, who assigns our Stephen Ministers. Call and let us know how we, as a church family, can “be there” for you.
They are not going to reach out for help… this means that they will stop coming to worship.
But here’s the other side of the equation. The reality is that some folks, for whatever reason, are just not going to do that. They are not going to call; or are not going to reach out for help; they are not going to let us know that something is going on. What that frequently means is that they also stop coming to worship. Of course, there are many reasons why people might stop attending worship; but, no matter the reason, we need to be paying attention. In a church of our size, it takes all of us to keep track of one another—particularly when it comes to worship attendance. The church office does track our attendance as we record it on the tear-off section of the bulletin; but not everyone uses that—and it only indicates that we were present, not that we were not present.
We all need to be doing is looking around, paying attention
So what we all need to be doing is looking around, paying attention, and taking responsibility for noting when people in our circle of acquaintance start missing. Maybe it’s someone who usually sits in the area of the sanctuary where you do; or it’s someone in a fellowship or service group with you; or it’s someone you’re used to seeing at coffee fellowship. If you have not seen them for two or three weeks, give them a call. If, for some reason, you are reticent to do that, let me know and I will give them a call.
There will, of course, be times when people move away or, for some other reason, simply choose to leave our fellowship. But let’s not let anyone drop off our radar unnoticed!
For more info on Caring Ministry visit us Here.
Pause, pray, proceed.
Ever been in a hurry? Of course! We all have. Whether it’s a last-minute purchase before a birthday, a rush to make a dentist appointment, or a jammed freeway which might make you late for work, we have all experienced that anxiety inducing feeling of being in a hurry. We seem to feel it more and more with all of the distractions we experience in our daily lives. The accompanying frustration can be “life threatening” for some. A friend of mine reminded me of an oldtrick to help deal with being in a hurry and the frustration is produces.