From Kathy…

From Pastor Kathy…

Your Asbury staff has been meeting every week on GOTOMEETING since the Shelter in Place Order was given. Normally we met twice a month. However, we felt the need for support and sharing as we try to stumble through our mission, our jobs, our tasks in these unprecedented time. One of our congregants told me that if we were serving in the military we would get a medal—that really lifted me up. Not because I need or want a medal but because of why he said we deserved one—that we were finding ways to carry on the mission and the ministry of the church in ways for which we were never trained and that it was hard work.  It felt so good to have someone recognize the situation. And I am sure that is true for many of you as well. We are teaching, parenting, grandparenting, and working in ways for which we have not been trained and its exhausting.

It’s also exhausting to be a person of compassion during these times. I shared a post from John Pavloitz a few days ago on Facebook and a great many people responded that this was exactly how they felt. John’s post was entitled “An Open Letter to Those Who Still Give a Damn”, you can find it here: https://johnpavlovitz.com/2018/07/21/an-open-letter-to-those-who-still-give-a-damn/?fbclid=IwAR0g47LVYSZQ65Hb8dbL_3unc6VVEwqTREDuYXV0SCVRZriIS1zIsiTXE8U . Warning: some of you may be offended by some of the political implications—try to put that aside and focus on the parts about compassion.

In his article John says: “It’s exhausting to give a damn isn’t it? To be a person of compassion in a time when compassion is in such great demand? To wake up every day in days like these, and push back against predatory politicians and toxic systems and human rights atrocities …the volume and the relentlessness of the threats can be wearying…Whether you’re an activist or a minister or a parent or a caregiver, or just a citizen of the planet who is moved by other people’s suffering—you likely feel the immeasurable heaviness of these days. Sure, speed and activity can mask it for a while, but if you stop long enough, the reality of the fatigue catches up to you—you can measure the toll it’s all taken on you. I want you to measure it. I want you reckon with how tired you are. I want you to hear yourself exhale with the heavy sigh of someone who feels the weight of it all. There is a cost to compassion, a personal price tag to cultivating empathy in days when cruelty is trending. There is in your body and head and in your midst, a collateral damage to you giving a damn when others do not, and it manifests itself in many ways: in irritability, impatience, physical illness, eating emotionally, addictive behavior, the inability to be present to the people who love you, an obsession with social media, a fixation on how jacked up everything is…..You are in good company, so keep going.

Fight like hell to keep your heart soft, even while so many people have become hardened. Yes, the world is upside-down right now, but we can make it right—one beautiful act of decency at a time. Get some rest and keep going. The world needs people like you. Blessed are the damn-givers, for they will right-side the world.”

And so I want to remind us that these are the times when it is particularly important to practice those things that help us connect with and stay in love with God—worship, private devotions, prayer, helping those in need, financially supporting projects that transform the community and world, meditation, Bible study, Christian conferencing (small groups), taking communion….

Elsewhere in the Articles you will read about some of the steps we have and are taking to help our community stay connected. If you feel isolated, please reach out—to a pastor, to another Asburyite, to a neighbor.

Blessings,

Pastor Kathy

 

 

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