Pastor’s Pondering

“Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.”

That phrase was repeated often at the Northern California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.”

That phrase offered me a lifeline as we heard the news from South Carolina: a man shot nine people in a church. Gunning people down as they pray is a horrible act, and yet it happened. It happened in our country. And something has to change.

I believe we are to be part of that change, that transformation.
How? I recommend we start by holding on to this phrase so that it becomes a prayer, a prayer guides us into action: “Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.” The power of the Holy Spirit can move us beyond hopelessness and anger.

Pastor Chelsea is starting a book club where we will read and discuss, Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines by Sandhya Rani Jha. Email Pastor Chelsea if you want to join that group: [email protected]

A blog post by Jeremy Adam Smith, “Racism is not a mental illness” is well worth reading. And in his final paragraphs, Smith offers us a way to be part of the change:
“The first step, and only the first, is to cultivate a high level of self awareness, particularly of the psychological biases that can lead us to discriminate against others and to avoid responsibility for what happens in the world around us.

“But it can’t stop with inner change. Racism does not appear to be a mental illness, and you cannot treat it with talk therapy and pills. However, both racism and mental illness thrive in silence and isolation. The next step is to talk, openly and frankly…and have the guts to actually listen to each other.
We can take steps to limit the ability of a man like Roof to get ahold of weapons that turn private ideology into mass murder. We can work to eliminate bias in policing. The list is long, but Charleston reveals the alternative to inaction. I don’t want to live in Dylann Roof’s world, do you?”

May we be known as a people who never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit, a people who listen and take action. Where are you being led by the Spirit? I’d like to hear from you, as together we build the beloved community.

Pastor Kim

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