“Faith walks simply, childlike, between the darkness of human life and the hope of what is to come.” – Catherine de Hueck Doherty, 20th century
Dear Members and Friends,
It has been quite a week on the political front. In the seven days since his inauguration President Donald Trump has begun taking action to fulfill many of his campaign promises. Many people celebrate this and rejoice at someone taking firm, decisive action. Many other people see this as a time of great upheaval and a turning upside down of much of what they thought the United States stood for as a nation. It is certainly a time that has many of our heads spinning.
But perhaps this past week is really just a symptom of our human condition, which in many ways throughout our personal histories, we experience. Theologian and Roman Catholic priest W. Paul Jones suggests this truth when he wrote:
Most theologians agree that the “feel” of existence is anxiety. Acknowledged or not, to be finite is in each moment to dangle over the abyss of nothingness. This is frightening. We try to escape by projecting our anxiety onto persons or groups we can subjugate or destroy. Escape is never permanent. There is always something to trigger our primal insecurity. When paranoia regarding others is unsuccessful, our blame is projected inward into neurosis as an aversion to one’s self. On and on goes the vicious circle.
This is why courage, the only adequate resolution of our primal predicament, is the road less taken. Courage requires a steadfast, honest gaze at the human condition, but we are paralyzed by the thought of doing it alone. Isolated we come into the world; and isolated we will leave.
But we don’t have to be isolated and go it alone! That is the message of Jesus, whose first action of ministry was to call four fishermen to follow him. He reached out and began building a community from the very beginning. The Church continues to exist as his community of companionship. In the Church we find partners in ministry, to support one another and to work together to make a difference in the world.
This Sunday we will celebrate our Church as we gather for our Annual Meeting. Together we will celebrate the ministry we have engaged in as a community of faith during the past year. Together we will remember those loved ones who have left our community through death to join the wider Communion of Saints in God’s presence forever. Together we will rejoice as those New Members who have joined with us in ministry this past year. Together we will review our stewardship of our financial resources and elect leaders for the coming year.
Did you catch the refrain? Together! You don’t have to do it alone in life. We can do it together!
R. Steven Hudder
Pastor, Christ Congregational United Church of Christ
Palmetto Bay, Florida