I have been thinking a lot lately about two words: understanding and empathy. These are two words that could go a long way in healing the many afflictions currently with us. One of the collateral damages of living in a democracy is conflict. With the precious freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly, differences of beliefs and behavior are bound to happen. When they reach a boiling point, as we have recently experienced, keeping the peace decently and orderly can be a real challenge. Never in my life have I seen such a convergence of conditions that threaten our health and wellbeing. I lived through the turbulent sixties and hoped that I would never again see such conflict and turmoil.But I believe our current situation may have exceeded that painful time. Time will tell.
One of the great lines in the Old Testament is in Isaiah where God says to Israel, “Come, let us reason together.” This is a great way to lower the temperature in the room and move to a hopeful way of airing differences and trying to reach a mutually agreeable place that is just, fair, and feasible. Understanding means that we are able to see something from many different perspectives – to know it at a deeper level. This generally requires a great deal of study and discussion, which calls for significant patience and time. But this prevents a rush to judgment and ill-considered actions.
Empathy is related to understanding but takes human relationships to a new level. Empathy means literally “to have passion with.” Although a laudable virtue, sympathy means “to have passion for.” Prepositions matter in language, and I think we can see that to care “with” someone instead of to care “for” someone implies a greater sense of mutual understanding and respect.
As we continue to be dismayed by the highly charged rhetoric we hear every day on television and online, let us all make the time and effort to become better informed about all the issues before us and to have patience as we seek God’s guidance on these important matters. Every generation or so, an opportune moment arrives when people have the chance to reconsider an old problem that has never found a solution. I believe that a window of opportunity has reopened on the thorny issue of race in America that has never been resolved. This window will not remain open forever, so let us seize the opportunity to come together and reason with one another in good faith and with good will. May God give us all eyes to see and ears to hear God’s will in healing a festering wound that has longed for healing for centuries.
I hope you will tune in for our online worship on Sunday. I will preach on Jesus’ take on the heart of the matter in genuine, sincere religion. Thank you for all you do to support our ministry and mission. I hope to “see” you in church online on Sunday!
Please know that Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends as we follow state guidelines to restrict the spread of Covid-19. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.
Please keep Katie McDermott, Nancy Elder's daughter, in your prayers. Katie continues to heal from surgery to remove her gallbladder. Please pray for successful pain management, healing, and an easy recovery for Katie.
Bobby Nelson’s stepfather’s first cousin, Russell Capps, has been diagnosed with colon cancer and has spots on his liver. Betsy and Bobby have asked that we keep Russell and his wife Gayle in our prayers as they and his doctors make a decision on a course of treatment/or no treatment. May God’s healing hand be upon him and guide them in their decision.
Please keep Jo Dunnigan's mother in your prayers. She tested positive for Covid-19 and is unfortunately not improving. In addition, Jo learned her good friend, Lynn Yarbrough, is declining in health. Lynn's cancer has spread, and her doctor has said that she may have only six months to live.
Joe Thompson's sister, Gayle Peacock, has received some bad news. She has been treated for pancreatic cancer for the past year and had been doing better. However, the doctors found two spots on her stomach, and they believe she may have only a few months to live. Please keep Gayle and her whole family in your prayers.
Update: Please pray for comfort for Bev and Ted Faasse’s friend, Helen McDonald, as her condition is not likely to improve. However, we are pleased to share that her son, Greg McDonald, is now cancer free! We celebrate this milestone for him, while understanding how difficult it is to have his mother unwell.
Good news! Virginia Raby has finished her sessions of radiation. Please pray for successful recovery period and a return of her energy.
Missy, our Preschool Director, is busy planning a safe, engaging program for the fall at Trinity's Preschool. Focusing on CDC guidelines, the teachers are excited to safely welcome children back on September 8th. Enrollment is limited; there are currently openings for 3 year olds. To learn more, email Missy or go online.
As we continue to pay the church's unchanging monthly obligations, we remain sincerely grateful for your giving. Your faithfulness, generosity, and helpfulness are more than appreciated! As a staff note, Virginia continues to check the mail (and voicemail) as she is able.
We recognize that for many people this is an uncertain time, and know that you may not have the income you had before the pandemic. If you find yourself in a difficult position and would like to request financial assistance from the church, please write a confidential email to David.