Hi! This is your Director of Congregational Ministries speaking. I’ve hijacked Pastor Trey’s column for this month. Partly because he’s got a lot on his plate right now. But also because I wanted to tell you something. I wanted to tell you how amazing you are and how appreciative we are to be a part of this loving and welcoming community.
Our church has been quite the hub of activity for the last two weeks. I have welcomed the increase in activity and I feel like this is exactly how the church should be used.
The other week I posted something about the immigration raid on my Facebook page. One old friend from a previous congregation asked, “Why can’t they come here legally?” To which I answered, “Perhaps some of them have and perhaps some of them are in the process which can take years. But my first response is to help when help is needed. We’ll ask questions later.”
Immigration can be such a touchy subject with so many different thoughts and opinions surrounding this topic. I urge us all to respect each other’s opinions but I also urge us to be open to changing our own opinions. Trey and I have learned so much about the immigration process over the past two weeks. We’ve also learned so much about the families affected by the raid. And what I’m most thankful for is that our church - the Session, our elected leaders - decided years ago that this place was going to be a safe place, a place of refuge.
One of my favorite stories from the Bible is that of Esther. Her journey came down to a single moment that could have changed the course of her story forever. Esther had the opportunity to save her people, and she could have easily walked away, scared of the risk she would need to take. Esther 4:14 says, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” For such a time as this! We have been called to this place and to this time for such a time as this. And maybe we are like Esther, still trying to make sense of all of this. Still trying to make sense of God’s calling on our lives and in this church. And that’s okay. But, for such a time as this, we are helping where help is needed. We are being a beacon of hope.
When I was a senior at Iowa State University I student taught for eight weeks in the Czech Republic. This was a foreign land in every sense of the word. The language was difficult. The food was different. And there were a couple of times when hatred was spewed in my direction simply because I was American. But what I remember even more were the people that loved me and welcomed me into their community.
We are called for such a time as this!
Rev. Sarah F. Hegar