"If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." - 1 Corinthians 12:26

It's been a hard and difficult week. Hurricane Laura. Presidential campaigns. Pandemic. Protests sparked by violence, which led to more violence. The news is noisy. The internet is loud. In the midst of it all, I hope y'all are taking time to break free from the noise. I hope you're taking time to be still and pray. My prayers have been heavy this past week. In particular, I've been praying for those who are hurting - southern neighbors trying to rebuild homes in the wake of a hurricane - parents trying to juggle the need to work and stay home with young school-aged children - African American sisters and brothers, who are crying out (again) for justice after the shooting of an unarmed black man by police. Friends, I don't have the answers. I suspect none of you do, too. And yet, we're called to love, to listen, to cry with the hurting, to call for justice in the face of injustice. We're called to wrestle with the question - what does it look like to love our neighbor as ourselves? What does God call us to do in times like this? Truth is - there are many ways to faithfully respond in times like these. All of us can choose to do something good. At the foundation of our response is EMPATHY. Empathy is the capacity to understand others. It's the ability to feel what others are feeing - to share in their pain, as well as their celebration. Empathy is an expression of love. Empathy is not having all the answers. Empathy is not trying to quickly fix the problem. Empathy is listening and loving people where they are - not where we wish (or think) they should be. Empathy is grieving with them, crying with them, and walking with them through the valley of sorrow. At the same time, empathy is valuing their voice. It's affirming their humanity. It's assuring them that they are beloved children of God. It's reminding them that there is hope for tomorrow. So, let's not lose this opportunity. Let's not turn a blind eye and walk on the other side of the road to Jericho. Let's take the time to stop, to listen, to learn, and act with love - as Christ invites us. ~ Pastor Caleb

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Apr. 2021 Newsletter

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