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Words of Hope — A Reflection

March 15, 2020
PCCR Chapel set up for Virtual Evening Prayer — March 15, 2020

Tonight we had our first “Virtual” Worship when members and friends of Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies gathered together by video or phone for a Zoom gathering.

Denise and I attended worship via this platform with the good folks of St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Boulder, CO. It was a wonderful service and the Rev Jacqueline Decker Vanderpol, the pastor of St Andrews, offered a message of hope and community during these difficult times.

It also was a great help to Denise and I as we spent the day working up PCCR’s Evening Prayer. As Jacqueline said in an email, It’s a new growth experience!  Definitely a brave new world.

It offered hope in the midst of the chaos which includes panic leading to toilet paper and anti-bacterial gel shortages to say the least! Sadly, we are seeing the worst of humanity in far too many places. The Church, Mosque, Synagogue, and other places of worship have the sacred duty to bring hope to the world and remind the people of the better way to live with one another in Peace (English), Shalom (Hebrew), Salam (Arabic), Shanti (Hindi), Pax (Latin), Paix (French), Bangan (Ojibwe)…

As we continue to navigate this new reality, these words of Thomas Merton came to my mind: You are not big enough to accuse the whole age effectively, but let us say you are in dissent. You are in no position to issue commands, but you can speak words of hope. Shall this be the substance of your message? Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of [humankind] for it is the image of God.
– Thomas Merton (Raids on the Unspeakable, Prologue)

May we journey together in love, mercy, hope, and peace.

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