It has been a weird, painful sad summer for my family. It's also been an exciting summer with us looking forward to fall.
My brother was killed in a car accident June 17. I am still struggling to recognize that he is not in this world somewhere, doing what he did.
What did he do? My brother was a horticulturist. He had businesses, and they were all for pursuing his passions, plants, growing and bringing joy. His work crews miss him, and at the same time, it's probably nice not having someone looking over your shoulder, thinking there should have been more work done. And for my brother, that doesn't mean he saw anything undone, just that he truly always believed there was something more that could be done to serve the customer. He was also a city boy. Which is funny, when you realize he grew up in a small town, in a farming community, to a farming family. But, he loved the theater, eating out at restaurants ,
Welcome to Manor UMC, online. I have been blessed to be the pastor here for going on two years. I came to MUMC during the COVID-19 lockdown. It was definitely a weird time to begin serving a new church, but life happens, and apparently, so do pulpit appointments during pandemics.
I can't imagine any life not affected by the pandemic. I know I had friends and church members from churches where I had been on staff before. die due to the virus, I also lost contact with people who took the opportunity during the pandemic to move closer to family in other states. There just felt like all I was experiencing was heart hurting loss.
I went to school year round on-line during this time, trying to finish my Master's of Divinity. It was a weird way to travel the path to the pulpit, but I stuck with it. Of course, at that same time, I missed my school friends, my best friends, and all the people I regularly saw throughout the week, at work, in worship and just while goofing off.
But, during the pandemic, I rediscovered the sweetness of old dogs and loyalty, the excitement of watching a small flock of chicks grow, the fun of learning to get the goats to stay in the pens, and the joy of a summer symphony of crickets and frogs. We adopted a puppy during the pandemic, Duchess, who started out at 12 pounds and 6 weeks, who rapidly grew to 90 lbs and is now approaching 1.5 years. I had forgotten how fun a puppy is, even if you are froze in, with no power or water. That's what a fat puppy can do for you, help you forget your troubles.
We're back to normal now, seeing friends, going places and worshiping in person, without masks. I just hope we don't forget all we lost and found.
In the "Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Lost Son" parables found in Luke 15 (yep the whole chapter is about losing and finding), the key points, in my mind, are to never stop looking for the important things you have lost, like peace, faith, hope, love, friendship and energy, and when you find them, do what Jesus keeps telling us "Rejoice with me. What was lost is found!" Yes, we have lost many we have loved, but we know we will find them again, in eternity. But Look What We Have Found!
Hallelujah, we have been lost, but now we are found. Ain't it amazing?
Worship Service 10:30 Sundays
Meals with Manor Last Wednesday of the month (6-7)
Hope reSTOREd by appointment and 1 & 3 Wednesdays of the month, 4-6 pm
Food Pantry during Office Hours