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An "All Church" Letter from Rev. Ken

March 17, 2019

 

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. – John 9: 1-7

 

Good day.

 

The above scripture portrays a world where people believed illnesses could be punishments for past sins, or, the sins of others passed down to you (like a spiritual virus). But Jesus assures the disciples the man’s blindness is not a result of God’s punishment. Jesus demonstrates that God seeks to make a mark upon our hearts that will declare to us God’s concern, God’s love, God’s care, and God’s mysterious power to change the way we “see”. But God’s effort is not without need of assistance- vision cannot be given to us unless we are a part of the process.

 

I think for believers, seekers, and even doubters there can be a feeling of disappointment when told that God’s power takes active participation from humanity. I understand that disappointment. My ego tells me that the world should beat a path to my feet, that the powers of the cosmos should be mine by a mere desire that they be. And even when I allow for the fact that I do not possess such attraction or power, I can still be disappointed.

 

Much the same with the spread of the Corona virus, no amount of praying will defeat the spread of the virus without our active participation in defeating it. Therefore, effective immediately we are suspending all worship and committee activity that would take place in person. We are working on on-line possibilities which of course would not include everyone as some are not a part of the online community. In defeating this I urge you to be cautious but not fearful. Keep a positive outlook, arrest your temptation to deny this very real menace which has yet to show its full face here, but is presently a vicious torment upon China and Italy in these very moments.

 

In the meantime, I will be making phone calls to you all to check in. IF, for some reason you do not hear from me in what you believe is a reasonable timeframe, PLEASE CALL ME! I would like to be able to be perfect in my effort to reach out to all, but I will assume there may be trouble in doing so, or God forbid I make a mistake! And even if I have called you, I’d love to hear from you more so never hesitate calling me.

 

Please use the Church’s web site or our Facebook Page- please “like” the page if you have not yet) to keep up with information. I may be offering more on-line comments, information, fun, and if you have an offering of personal comment or want to share some art that you created, or anything at all that may lift the spirits of us all, I’d like to include.

 

Also, please make calls in and amongst yourselves. Check up on each other! Say something silly! Call for no reason at all other than to make contact and let someone know that they are appreciated, and, for you as well to know that you are appreciated. And above all, do your part in not causing the spread of this virus. Be creative in coming up with ways to amuse yourself. And don’t be afraid to go outside and gather in some fresh air and soak up sunshine when it’s available!

 

Also, please remember to keep up with your pledge to financially support the church. You may mail us at the address at the bottom of this page.

 

If you see fit, an additional financial gift could be used by the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. I am able to assist people in small but meaningful ways, and sometimes in large ways when the funds are available. But this fund is not a budgeted item and is dependent upon donations, here- there- and most often nowhere. I am very prudent with these monies but have found opportunities in the past to bring relief to persons desperate for a much-needed lift.

 

Stay safe, keep others safe, be compassionate and caring, patient and prayerful,

 

Rev. Ken

 

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First Congregational Church in Essex

United Church of Christ

6 Methodist Hill

Essex, Connecticut 06426

phone:  860-767-8097

office@essexucc.org