Well, I got up this morning thinking I would write my usual light-hearted, chatty, informational email to you all with a few updates about the coming weeks in the church life. I wondered about adding few humorous thoughts about my vacation in DC and so on. But the news about the shooting in Colorado last night just took the wind completely out of my sails. Again?… Again? Memories of Virginia Tech, of the Gifford’s shooting, and all the way back to Columbine… Here we are AGAIN? Well, it just sucks.
Pray for the families of the injured and dead. Pray for the family of the shooter.
Pray for us all.
May God help us all.
Surely we are a people in need of God’s forgiveness, mercy, and redemptive grace.
Surely we are a people in need of Jesus Christ.
Pray. Donate blood to the Red Cross. Take political action. Write a letter. Make a call.
Make a donation to an organization that provides refuge for victims of violence such as HAWC
http://www.hawcdv.org/ on the North Shore.
Be kind to the people you meet. Hug a friend.
Come to church on Sunday so we can be together and hear a word of love and compassion.
In the face of such violence, we bear witness to an alternative way of being.
We have work to do, you and me, together with the power of the Spirit, and the whole of the Church Universal.
I look forward top being with you on Sunday. I know I need some firm throaty worship with brothers and sisters, children and elders, with the grey-haired and the joyful. Janet and Sharon continue their leadership of the Beach-themed Summer Sunday School with help from others. We will have some wonderful music from the Foye Family Singers and Friend.
The sounds of new life are a powerful balm for so many hurts and ills. So, I am also looking forward to July 29th when we will share in the special joy and blessing of the baptism of four infants! You know me well enough by now to know that I love the sounds of children in our midst. Next week may be a test to see if there are any limits to that!
Some updates on other work underway: We have a team of folks, under the leadership of Peter Crowe, working to find our new Director of Christian Education. They are working on fine tuning the job description and getting ready to post the position and then hopefully, line up interviews. More will be forthcoming on that project as it develops. Stay tuned.
I have been doing some thinking, research and planning for the confirmation class and youth group programs. Do you have a teenager in your household that you would like to be involved? Please let me know. More details will follow on that too.
Lastly, Jim Snowfield and the properties team are doing some general maintenance on the building and grounds on Thursday evenings 6-8pm. Please join him in helping to keep our wonderful place spick and span.
May God Bless us all …. And see you soon.
Rev. Ian M. Holland,
The First Church in Swampscott, Congregational (UCC)
978 308 9426
40 Monument Ave, Swampscott MA 01907
Church phone 781 592 6081
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