Prayers, Resolutions, and Service

A Monday Meditation for June 29, 2020


St. Peter’s:

My heart is full this Monday. Why? Because the Church is stepping up during this time of great uncertainty, and that inspires me. Here’s how, through prayers and service:

 

 

1. PRAYERS.

I received a number of text prayers from our congregation this weekend. Most cannot be shared with wider circles. Trust me, even knowing that your fellow St. Peter’s friends need prayers matters. So pray for each other, will you? For those who reached out, you are NOT alone. The challenges you face are so very real: illness, addiction, family challenges, COVID-19, financial strain, mental stress, and the list goes on. THANK YOU for reaching out to me, and please, continue to be in touch, St. Peter’s.

 

 

2. RESOLUTIONS.

This weekend, the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the UCC (IKC) held its Annual Gathering. We met virtually for the first time and voted nearly unanimously on two important resolutions. Resolutions alone do not change the world… but people working to enact such statements/policies DO change the world, and that is what faith is about.

 

MENTAL HEALTH: The first resolution was for the IKC to adopt a WISE Covenant and become a WISE Conference. (W.I.S.E. is an acronym for Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged for Mental Health.) The resolution passed unanimously, and we became the 3rd UCC Conference to become a WISE Conference for Mental Health. Read the covenant here.  Read the resolution here.

 

SYSTEMIC RACISM: The second resolution was on systemic racism and can be found here. We named some of the hurts that we have caused and committed to do better; it will start with a call to Associations (smaller groups of congregations) to hold anti-racism training for all pastors, just like we are required to have boundary training on a regular basis. These are great first steps, AND there is more work to do on all levels.

 

Many who are connected to St. Peter’s want to engage these topics… and we should. What can you give to the conversations? How can you respond? What resources do you have to give to advancing the work of de-stigmatizing mental health challenges and dismantling systemic racism? Reach out to one of our leaders or to me if you have a personal interest in nurturing these conversations/ministries in tangible ways at St. Peter’s.

 

Additionally, if you would like to support the work of the IKC directly, you can donate here.

 

 

3. SERVICE.

Finally, let me name that today I am happy/sad. We should have left yesterday for our yearly summer mission Experience with Washington UCC in Cincinnati. I haven’t missed a summer with Washington UCC since 2004. But just when I was hurting from that reality, I got an email from Laurel Humes, Council President at Washington UCC: “If this summer was normal, your group would be arriving this evening! We miss you, the other mission groups, and especially the kids. We are (mostly) delivering lunch and next-day breakfast to the children Monday-Thursday, the meals they would receive at Summer Program. On Thursdays, we take a box of weekend food. About 40 children from 10 families are recipients. The kids also are receiving at-home activities a couple times a week - art supplies, craft kits, games, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk. We’ve had donations from a couple UCC churches to provide that. Holly Martin, our arts/crafts staff person from last summer, is back this summer as a VISTA volunteer. She is coordinating the activities… Hope all is well with you. We have not restarted in-person Sunday service yet, doing Facebook Live in partnership with another UCC church. Weekday adult meals remain carryout.”

 

Everyone is adapting in this season, St. Peter’s. If you would like to support the ministries of Washington UCC, please mail a check to Washington United Church of Christ at 2950 Sidney Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45225. (Washington UCC cannot yet afford to accept online donations for their ministries, but please do not let this deter you from supporting their important work!)

 

 

So that’s a long meditation… and there was even more that I could have shared (Pride, yard signs, worship, etc.)

Just go live your faith, would you? In small ways and in large ways, go live a little piece of your faith. Call someone whom you miss. Donate to our congregation (here) or to a cause that you love. Pray. The list goes on.

 

In Faith,

Lori Bievenour