Fear, and what comes next

The kids at Holy Cross let me bring out my Daniel Tiger doll every so often. And we all learn from the very young tiger who is learning things often for the very first time.

The adults at Holy Cross let me sometimes enter into discussions about the life of faith through the eyes of a very young tiger. Because I think we are all dealing with fear today. We cover it up – some of us ‘eat our fears and anxieties’ – mine are most appreciated when they are chocolate dipped. Some of us become angry people – shaking our fists in rage at the ‘fools’ who run things, or the ‘idiots’ who want change to come. Some of us, driven by fear, disappear into ecstasy – (yeah, this is hard to explain) – religious ecstasy is ancient, but modern ecstasy finds worship, prayer and the like to be a vehicle to back out of the conflict we see around us.

But we are transfigured. On the mountaintop in Matthew, Jesus tells the terrified disciples, ‘Get up. Do not be afraid.’ He’s been showing them in his ministry, by healing, and casting out demons, and feeding the people all along. His power is shown to them in a fearful display on Transfiguration, as Elijah and Moses join him in glorious light! But this power display is not to frighten, but to inspire. This life they are called to join is glorious – don’t minimize that – don’t let the fear take hold.

So, when we all get frightened, like Daniel Tiger does, we could learn from Daniels’ mother who tells him to think of something happy. And then what? move forward, step by step, do not be afraid. What might we accomplish if we could move beyond fear to action in the name of the King?

My friends, take a breath, go to that place inside yourselves where we worship our Lord – and change the world.

Pastor Patricia

You will be found

As the world’s news swirls around us these days – coronavirus, elections, disappointing behavior on the part of  elected members of the government. I continue to see hope, to be hopeful, that compassion is alive and well.

Compassion – Merriam Webster defines it this way – sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Being aware of how our  brothers and sisters struggle in our world, and the desire (and also the motivation) to enter into that struggle, on the side of those brothers and sisters. In my heart, this is the business of the church as well as individuals today.  Continue reading “You will be found”

Do Justice, love mercy, walk humbly

I had a conversation with a member of my church, Holy Cross, about 6 years ago. We were talking about the vote that was coming up from our congregation to agree to let me perform weddings in the church sanctuary – weddings for couples I had met for counseling and believed they wished to enter into a loving marriage – where they put the other partner first, and self interest to the side. And, if the couple consisted of two men, or two women, or one of each, it didn’t matter to me. The church was asked to consent. And then, I had this conversation with a member about it. He said, “You know in my life, Pastor, I’ve seen a lot of change. On the Navy ship I served, black men could only serve as cabin boys, or in the galley. I didn’t realize how wrong that was then. Seems to me that people wanting to get married where they are gay or homosexual or whatever, might be the same thing. You go ahead and do it.”  Continue reading “Do Justice, love mercy, walk humbly”

Space for conversation

I am hopeful these days. As a churchy person, the season of Epiphany (between the commemoration of the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem and the beginning of Lent) is a hopeful time – Jesus has been born, and his ministry is flourishing. We won’t talk much about his journey to the cross until Lent begins our march to Holy Week.

So, the season is about hope. Hope in the ministry of Jesus who comes to change lives, and repurpose the people of God into Joy.

But, I am hopeful also because of all the conversations. Continue reading “Space for conversation”

Kindness Noticed

Today’s guest blogger, is Beth Jackson, part of Holy Cross’ family. I hope you enjoy her blog.  

I, Beth Jackson, would like to thank everyone at Holy Cross for warmly welcoming our family. Our kids are full of life and can be busy in church. We are working with them, as we know sometimes they are quite active for the setting. What we want to share is they are in church because of how welcome we feel at Holy Cross. As a result of this, they hear the word of God. One Sunday Riley was coloring and seemed to be disengaged from the collaborative service when she looked up and excitedly said, “He (Pastor) said mustard seed!”

To share about us, I spent most of my childhood in Oklahoma. In 1996, my family moved to Oregon to be near my Grandpa George who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. He passed away in 1997. In December 1997, I met Jeff, who has always lived in Oregon. We married on a beautiful summer day in 2002 at Emmaus Lutheran in Eugene. We lived in Corvallis and Silverton before moving to Salem in 2005.Image (2)

Jeff and I planned to have no children, yet one day our hearts opened to the idea of having a child. Hunter was born in 2009. We felt very fulfilled with one child. Years later, we prayed for a second child. It is then we were shocked and grateful to learn of twins. Riley and Peyton were born in 2015. Our kids, along with our three dogs, keep us busy. We have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, a German Shorthaired Pointer, and a Miniature Dachshund.

Before kids, Jeff and I graduated from Oregon State University. Jeff is an accountant and has his own CPA firm in Salem. Until recently, I was a regional manager for a local intergovernmental agency for seven years. I stepped down for a better work-life balance. I am currently looking for a new position without frequent overtime.

Family and friends are important to us. We love food, travel, and the outdoors. Jeff spends a lot of time outdoors. Hunter loves to join him. We have hunting pictures with three generations. Their time together is so special.

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Thank you for welcoming us as we are each Sunday. I cannot help yet notice the many acts of kindness by Pastor Patricia and others. For example, one Sunday the kids were happily bouncing their way to communion and made it to kneel. Loran observed I was focused on them and did not grab a communion cup. He warmly offered me one. I was surprised by his kindness and appreciated it.

With respect,

Beth