August 29, 2019

Stand Strong, Hold On is our new theme for Christian Formation this academic year. Grounded in the Scriptures of Isaiah 41:10 and Romans 12:17-21, we are instructed not to live in fear (for God is with us, strengthening us) and not to be overcome by the evil around us (clinging to love instead). These are timely exhortations as there is much cause for fear all around us, and very real temptations to allow the evil in our world to overwhelm us.

These admonitions affirm the work we are already doing, and encourage us to continue in our ministries of loving one another, welcoming the stranger, and serving our community. Let us not grow weary in living out our faith – now more than ever our witness is needed, relevant, and essential in providing an alternative way to live in the world. Below are a few ways we have been standing strong this summer, I share them as an encouragement for the work that is before us in the year ahead.

Sacred Resistance – In light of threatened mass raids of immigrants, we had an emergency congregational meeting to discuss how we could provide temporary sanctuary on the church premises and in our homes to those vulnerable to be taken from their families. This was a powerful opportunity to embrace our commitment to welcome the stranger, love our neighbor and live more fully into our commitment to be sanctuary to those in need. I fear there will be more opportunities that will stretch us in this regard in the months ahead, and the Sanctuary Working Group is hard at work preparing for how we can continue to Stand Strong, Hold On.

When Life is Scary: God is Good – Vacation Bible Camp was a great opportunity to remember and reaffirm God’s goodness amidst the scary, the sad, the unfair, the changing and the good parts of life. Young and old alike were able to celebrate the power of these promises – may they guide us in the months ahead as they encourage us to Stand Strong, Hold On.

Backpack Drive – The Hunger Task Force organized to provide 65 backpacks filled with school supplies for kids headed back to school, and Bible Camp raised $225 to support tutors and school supplies for the students at Harbor House. Thanks to all who participated in the purchasing or packing of the supplies, and all who contributed to the VBC offering. The Hunger Task Force will provide many opportunities in the fall for us to contribute to the needs of others so they, too, can Stand Strong, Hold On.

Courage as we live into a new season of living our faith,
Allison