“Be still and know that I am God.St. Patrick
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Dear friends and congregants,
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, the Saint who inspires huge crowd gatherings and celebrations. Well, not this year! And while all the parades, the parties, and the excitement are wonderful, what’s truly important (to me, anyway) is the spiritual side of Saint Patrick. He is one of my favorite saints because of his deep connection to God, because of his appreciation and awe of creation and his fierce courage. He (born in England) returned to the islanders (the Irish) who had kidnapped and enslaved him as a teenager and became a missionary to Ireland; he loved them. And to this day they love him back. I also think that the above quote is timelessly important and stands the test of the coronavirus. Just try to meditate these words for 10 or 15 minutes and be drawn into the presence of God… As almost every facet of public life is grinding to a halt, let us learn to acknowledge God and “be.”
I’d like to thank you for the various messages, responses, encouragements, and suggestions of things to share (including prayers) that I received over the last few days from many of our members. Today I’d like to share the message of one of our young people who (sadly) has moved out of state, following college and career. Maggie H. wrote to us from her new home in Michigan. She was part of my first small confirmation class at St. Peter’s. Here is what she had to say:
I just wanted to write to let you know that my fiance Ryan and I watched the service and read your sermon this past Sunday. It was very comforting to be connected to my spiritual home from 500 miles away among all the uncertainty in the world right now. We are lucky to both have jobs where we can work from home and have the blessing of not having to worry about financial instability. One positive to this whole situation is reaching out to those you may not normally check in with! 🙂 I enjoyed your message of drinking from our spiritual well and using this Lenten quarantine time to reconnect with the things in life that are truly important.
Could you also add my email to the St. Peter’s mailing list? I’d love to get your email updates (my mom has just been forwarding them to me right now).
Sending prayers to St. Peter’s and to the world!
I was very touched by that message. It’s exactly what I hope our church would instill in those who grow up in our community of faith: a lasting connection, a hunger for spiritual food in good times and in bad times. God bless you and Ryan, Maggie!
Yesterday, I asked you to pray for Amy S. She saw it and was very moved and appreciative. If you can please continue to pray for her, as she walks that difficult path between hope and surrender and a faith that is wrestling with all the deeper questions that come with life and death situations.
For today, I would like to ask you to pray for our brother Bill K. We haven’t seen him in church for a while and the reason is that he has been battling a horrible bladder condition that causes him to get up 15 – 20 times every night. You can imagine what that does to your quality of life! I can only relate from afar. I have had some periods of sleep disruption in recent years – nothing compared to this – but I know how much that affected me and diminished my ability to function. Billy had recent surgery to correct the problem, but so far it has been unsuccessful. He and his wife Laurie are getting other medical opinions now. On top of it, they are taking care of their wonderful but rambunctious grandson Fox (aptly named, with his red hair and personality). Please pray for Billy and Laurie today, as they are in this together. I really hope that they can find a “fix” for his medical problem because it has totally upended his life. (Of course, Bill gave me permission to share this.) Prayers are coming, Bill!
Finally, a little glimpse into another part of the world and how the pandemic is affecting people in my original home. Last Thursday, my brother’s father-in-law Richard W. (no relation to the composer) passed away. I talked to my sister-in-law yesterday and she was very emotional. The funeral is today and just about everything is different. Her dad ran a local bakery store. He was a wonderful baker and poured his lifeblood into that craft. He also baked for thousands of funerals. In rural Germany, people usually come together not for lunch, but for “Kaffee and Kuchen.” And now he is being buried in a small ceremony and most likely without these sweet condiments and the comfort of touch and community for those who are bereaved. It really is sad and I suggested to do another celebration of life when this virus thing is over. We are all coping, adapting and every day waking up to some new adjustments to our life.
Please stay safe and stay tuned.
Blessings and God’s peace, Pastor Andreas Wagner