With Love from Pat
September 2, 2016
A couple of thoughts on the first Friday of September:
Last Saturday, August 27, Sandi Zeigler’s sister, Joan Watson, died following surgery. Joan’s death was sudden and unexpected. Everyone is still in shock. Joan’s Memorial Service is Saturday, September 3, at 11:00 am at the Arvada United Methodist Church where Joan was a member.
Joan’s life was characterized by caring for others and reaching out beyond herself to make a difference in many lives in many ways. Click HERE to read Joan’s obituary.
Please keep Sandi and Ed, and their family, in your prayers during these difficult days. May God give us all that we need, and everything it takes, as we mourn the death of Joan and thank God for her life.
Life is such a fragile gift…and precious. It makes me think that we need to handle life with more care. Today I’m asking myself this: what can I do to take better care of the lives of those I love, my own life…and also the lives of people I do not know, all of whom are beloved children of God.
Next: from 1993-2000, I served as pastor of Centennial United Methodist Church in Rockford, Illinois. Centennial Church is celebrating its 180th Anniversary this year. As part of this celebration, Centennial has invited me to preach on October 16, and I accepted their invitation.
In 1994, the U.S. News & World Report did a story about white slums in America. They ranked the Centennial Church neighborhood as the ninth worst white slum in the United States. The only thing that surprised me about this report was the label “white.” The neighborhood I knew was a mix of African America and Anglo American with a growing Latino population.
In response, Centennial Church developed as a multi-cultural, multi-lingual church – one church, with one budget reaching out in many ways and in two languages. Centennial Church continues to be that today. I’ve never been back since I left. It will be good to do that.
Nearly every Sunday, as part of our Affirmation of Faith time, we sang the Spanish language hymn Enviado soy de Dios. The words go something like this:
Sent by my God am I
My Hands are ready now
To make the earth a place in which God’s love can become real
The angels are not sent to change a world of pain
Into a world of love, of justice and of peace
The task is ours to do, too make this a reality
O help us to obey, O God to do your will
I’m humming that tune this morning and remembering the words. And I am thinking that this is exactly the reality God is calling us to here in Boulder County – to make the earth a place where God’s love can become real.
Finally: my daughter, Elizabeth, moved back to Maine yesterday after a couple of years living just 3 blocks away from me. Elizabeth went to college in Maine and has spent most of her adult life there. It was nice having Elizabeth nearby for a while, but it is also good that she is going back to a place that she loves and that feels so much like home to her.
We said goodbye last night. It was really hard. Still is…and will be for some time. Yet this morning, I am thinking about how love is amazing in so many ways. Among those ways is that love transcends both distance and time. Something to ponder on Labor Day weekend.
Please keep our beloved church in your prayers. I remember you in mine.
Rev. Pat Bruns is the Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Boulder. Email him at patrickrbruns at gmail dot com.