Pastor's Monthly Article (June-July 2017)

Created: Thursday, June 1, 2017

A summer welcome!

In observing Memorial Day, we give special tribute to the many countless men and women who gave their life while defending the lives and freedom of others. This reminds us how truly blessed we are, celebrating and enjoying a nation that was built by determined strong hands, united as one in mind and heart for the sake and love of freedom - indeed, a freedom, we can never take for granted.

Seldom has the world seen a larger migration as the one we’ve experienced within the last few years. There are many within these minority groups who are struggling to find their identity while at the same time trying to hold on the beauty of their own tradition and culture.

All of the above became very evident to me during the last week of May, when I had the opportunity to attend a continuing education conference at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Since the Hartford Seminary is the nation’s leading center of interfaith studies and connection, this conference was a very intriguing experience for me.

Besides students from all walks of faith, there were keynote speakers from around the world as well as advocacy agencies and organizations. Among places considered a safe haven, the Hartford Seminary stands tall in providing opportunities for open-minded conversations to
occur, i.e., giving the time and space for spiritually healthy dialogues to begin.

Meeting, greeting, and welcoming new neighbors into the community is part of our calling as fellow believers and citizens of the Kingdom of God. We have the joy to help establish new communities while at the same time re-establish old and familiar ones. Having said this, there is always room for improvement, hence with God, nothing is impossible! The latter serves as a reminder of Pentecost, which paved the way for community building to take place.

In the coming days, the liturgical season of Pentecost stand before us with a spirit-filled notion of gifts supplied and provided for. Though the Spirit moves as it pleases, it's also an opportunity to take a closer look at one's individual gifts. It's a “reality” check, a personal as well as congregational spiritual inventory. It's never too early or too late. Through and through, God prepares and equips us ready for new chapters to be built.

While the stream of sunshine beaming behind each blessing received, may our hearts be in tuned with the Spirit within, praising God anew.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful summer of celebration!
Pastor Anette