Good morning church,
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things that cannot be seen.” I prayerfully offer this quote from Hebrews 11:1 as our country continues to go through difficult times, tensions, reckonings, revelations… and as we realize that we are not there yet in the country our founders dreamed of. These are messy times, uncomfortable times, and those are pretty tame words to describe the scenes in Atlanta and elsewhere. Yet, we have faith that some good, some full-hearted reforms, some more humane practices, better awareness of the sins of the past and how they are continued in present times will come out of this. Unacknowledged sins always have a way of holding sway over people, which is true in our personal lives but also in the psyche of a country. As messy as it looks right now, this could be an opportunity for the country we love, that is, if we dare to deal with the less glorious aspects of our history and current society.
I was very happy that some of our young adults who grew up at church and were influenced by the moral teachings of our faith came to me asking whether they could do a car wash fundraiser. Nicole R. with her siblings Kelsey and Sean and Brynne G., together with a few other people their age and their “old” youth group leader Robin A. (Robin you see, I put that in quotation marks!!!) will offer a car wash on Saturday, June 27, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. I asked Nicole to carefully think about a worthy beneficiary. These young adults want to do something about racial justice. The event will benefit The Innocence Project, which I think is an excellent choice. It’s an organization that helps imprisoned people with a claim to innocence via DNA testing, legal assistance and such things. I don’t know about you, but I have read a few horror stories of people who spent most of their lives in prison until their innocence was finally proven. It’s a horrible thought, isn’t it, someone’s life destroyed in such a way! So I am happy, both for the activism of our young adults and for council’s full support of the action.
Another mini-series that we are adding to our summer calendar had come out of my conversations with Rabbi Parmenter from Tiferet Bet Israel (TBI) in Blue Bell. It is called “Tender shoots of Righteousness: Re-discovering religious Civil Rights Leaders – A Jewish/Protestant conversation in the Black Lives Matter Era. We will offer the following three sessions via Zoom:
July 7: Abraham Heschel: “When I marched in Selma my feet were praying.” – A Jewish mystic on a journey toward justice – what he can teach us and what we can learn while our feet are praying. With Rabbi Danielle Parmenter.
July 21: The Civil Rights Movement in our front yard: Black leaders in Philadelphia from 1963 to 1985 and the Move Bombing. With Assistant Prof. Emeritus for African American Studies, Dr. Richard Stewart.
August 4: Lessons learned? Reinhold Niebuhr and the Civil Rights Movement. With excerpts from 1954 until late 1968 written by one of the best-known Civil Rights Ethicists of the time. With Pastor Andreas Wagner.
Yesterday, I learned more about the mysterious ice cream truck that will appear on our parking lot on Sunday. All fathers and all children and spouses, listen up! The Sweat Pea Ice Cream truck from Doylestown will make a stop in our church parking lot on Sunday/Father’s Day between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The ice cream will be served drive through style and is free of charge, thanks to a generous sponsor. We invite our members and friends to come and enjoy, especially all dads and their children. The ice cream home-made, all-natural and they use only compostable containers. Do something nice for dad! We will also have a basket for church offerings on site. Come and enjoy!
Last but not least, please participate in the following survey. As a staff team and as church leaders, we are really curious about your responses and would value your input very much. Here is a link to the survey. It will also be part of the Steeple Views edition that will fly out this weekend. But for most of you and for us, using the link is easier access.
Today are the birthdays of Colleen G. and Steve W. Happy birthday, both of you!
And blessed recovery, Steve!
Be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner