Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39
Greetings to all in the Love of Jesus Christ:
Saying goodbye to people or places we love is never easy. We experience loss in so many ways – from death, to the loss of abilities as we age, to the loss of home and friends when we move — and it is never easy. And I’m glad it’s not easy, because the grief we feel is a sign that the love was real.
Like many of you, I am grieving several losses this month. I was SO looking forward to gathering us all together in October for our first full-Region in-person event since I arrived here two years ago. That loss is symbolic of what we all share – loss of time with family and friends, loss of experiences, loss of community.
I am also grieving the immanent loss of one of our Region’s pastors: Rev. Abigail Conley. We celebrate with Abby as she moves to begin a new ministry in Lincoln, NE; but we also grieve, losing a colleague and friend. And although her partner Matthew Clark will remain as our Regional Ministry Administrator, thanks to the technologies of Zoom, email, air travel, and the like, we will miss his constant physical presence in the Region.
And I am also grieving the loss of one of our Region’s congregations: Capilla del Sol Christian Church. Capilla del Sol made the difficult decision to close their visible ministry as of September 19, 2021. While I take comfort in knowing that I will maintain relationships with many of the wonderful people at Capilla del Sol who will become members at other Disciples congregations, I join with all of them and many of you in grieving the loss of one of our sister congregations.
Amidst all the loss, however, I take comfort in the words of scripture. God made a covenant with the Israelites, promising to never forsake them. Jesus promises to be with us always, until the end of the age. And Paul emphatically states his conviction that NOTHING in all creation can ever separate us from the love of God. When I read scripture, I KNOW that we will stay connected in God’s love. Life is not permanent. But God’s love is eternal and keeps us eternally connect to each other and to the Source of all being. Praise be to God!
Dios les bendiga!
Regional Minister and President
We invite you to pray for the following congregations in the months of August and September. Visit our Regional Calendar of Weekly Prayers for our annual list.
29 – Chalice Christian Church as they enter a time of transition & Pastor Abigail Conley (and Matt) as she accepts a call to a congregation in Nebraska
5 – First Christian Church (Mesa) and Pastor Liz DeWeese.
12 – Foothills Christian Church (Glendale) celebrating the return of Pastor Bekah Krevens from sabbatical
19 – First Christian Church (Tucson) celebrating the return of Pastor Ailsa Guardiola-Gonzalez from sabbatical
26 – Coolwater Christian Church (Scottsdale) and Pastor Rick Gates