Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message
Grace and peace to you all!
Like all of you I come to the end of this week with a heavy spirit, after last Sunday’s terrible car crash that claimed the lives of five teens from Harwood High School and Kimball Union Academy. There are so many emotions: grief, shock, bewilderment, anger, and more grief.

All this week, these lyrics from the musical “Hamilton” have been echoing in my heart. In the song “It’s Quiet Uptown,” Alexander and Eliza Hamilton are grieving the dueling death of their 19-year old son:
There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name…
The Hamiltons…are going through the unimaginable.
In the midst of this unimaginable tragedy, there is nothing we can offer to make it go away. We can only go through this together.

Ruth Magill sent out an invitation this week to walk the labyrinth in prayer for the victim’s families. That’s a powerful way to offer ourselves to this great grief – praying with our hearts and our bodies, walking an ancient pattern to the labyrinth’s center.

As we pray – whether in the labyrinth or elsewhere – I believe that God’s Spirit prays with us and weeps with us. As we pray, I believe that we open a spiritual space where somehow God’s slow work of healing can begin, in our own broken hearts and in the broken hearts of others.
And so we pray. Individually and together. We pray. With God and each other, we somehow find a way to live with the unimaginable.

Last Sunday’s accident came on the heels of another tragedy: Hurricane Matthew, which caused devastation in Haiti and elsewhere. In this case, we can do more than pray; we can offer assistance to those whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. On Sunday we’ll take up a special offering that will be sent to the UCC and UMC disaster relief ministries which are already hard at work.

Thank you for the opportunity to journey together as we seek to embody God’s love in and for the world.

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Thoughts

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Thoughts

“Grace and peace to you all!

Today (Friday) my husband and I are planning to hike up Mt Abraham. We’ve not done that trail before, but we know that it’s well marked and I suspect there will be plenty of hikers who will be out there to point the way. And the foliage should be lovely! Twenty years ago, when we lived in the Adirondacks, we often would hike mountains that were much less well-traveled, and often the trails were sparsely marked, if at all. Part of the excitement was finding the way to the top without getting lost (or at least, not very lost). We had a topo map and a compass, and we knew how to use both to orient ourselves and find the best way forward. We have to cross unfamiliar territory in all kinds of ways, in our physical and our spiritual lives.

How do we keep our souls centered when events begin to spin beyond our control and there’s no clear path ahead? This Sunday I’ll be speaking about finding our Inner Compass, that solid, faithful core where we meet the Holy and where we can find guidance, healing, challenge and wisdom. It’s the beginning of a series of sermons focused on prayer and connection with the God who loves us and calls us to be more than we ever thought possible.”