‘I’ve Been Meaning to Ask … Where Does it Hurt?’

Dear Friends,

Our worship series “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask…” brings us this week to the question “Where does it hurt?” These days, this week, this question seems to have an overwhelming number of answers. This question acknowledges that everyone experiences pain. Worship this week will be sacred space to name places of pain in the world, to wonder about the pain of others, and to notice our own places of pain. 

From A Sanctified Art – sanctifiedart.org

Our biblical stories are about Hannah struggling with infertility and a woman with hemorrhaging seeking healing – people who were misjudged and isolated in their suffering. These and contemporary stories will invite us to lament with God, ask others about how they really are, and remember that God draws close to us in our suffering. As we share communion this week, we will share our prayers with one another and remember that Jesus knows suffering and shares those wounds with us.

Join us on Zoom at 10:00am Dial: 1-929-436-2866 with Meeting ID: 150 620 34

Again, we find ourselves beginning a new season that is more difficult than we hoped it would be. The evolving Delta variant and global crises are layering our days with stress and anxiety, especially as some start a new school year with new parameters and others are pivoting once again at work or with family. If you need support, you do not need to suffer alone. Please reach out to someone, such as Rev. Heather Shortlidge or me. We are here to talk with you or help you find counseling.

We continue to pray for those who are suffering from political and environmental crises around the world. If you are looking for ways to support Afghan refugees or those affected by Hurricane Ida, below is information on two trusted organizations doing this work: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

There are many opportunities in the next couple of weeks to be connected with one another as congregational life picks up with the program year. See upcoming events about the Youth Hike and Church Picnic this Sunday, Back-to-School Bags for all children (infants-12th grade), Sunday School for children and youth on September 12, a Young Adult Gathering on September 12, the All-Church Retreat, and other opportunities for all ages to learn and reflect. If you’re ever not sure how to get plugged in, I would be happy to think through this with you.

As you move through this week, be kind to yourself, be gentle with those around you. May you be inspired and comforted by this poem from our worship series from A Sanctified Art:

When It Hurts
By Rev. Sarah Are

I can tell that you’re hurting.
It’s the way your eyes cast down,
the way you shuffle through the house,
distractedly bumping into things.
It’s the restless sleep and
the quiet space between us which
turns us into icebergs.
We float by, silent in the night,
most everything existing
under the surface.
I can tell that you’re hurting.
It’s the way your prayers were quick
at first, and then—none at all;
your silence challenging God,
daring God to say something to the void.
I can tell that you’re hurting,
but I don’t know what that feels like.
Tell me—
where does it hurt?
I’m not offering to fix the pain,
I’m not that powerful.
However, I am offering to see it.
Show me your scars,
and I’ll show you that
you’re not alone.

Peace,
Rachel

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