December Clergy Report – Mother Darlene Kuhn 12.13.15
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The past couple months have been a busy, difficult and joyous time with the resignation of Nancy Weatherwax, the unexpected death and memorial for Patti Gazette, Diocesan Convention, Congregational Development, Jon and my visit to his parents and his mother’s continuing deterioration in health, Bishop Whayne Hougland’s visit to celebrate our 175th Anniversary and my continuing grief for my father. Isn’t the Bishop a great cheerleader of the National Church’s vision of Coming Out of the Church and joining the Jesus Movement!
Life is so fragile and beautiful that we must savor every moment of it. Life is a precious gift from our loving God, a gift to be truly thankful for. When did we lose hope? How did life become so meaningless and cheap that so many lives are lost in murder, suicide, war, terrorism, and drug and alcohol addiction? Not just human lives, but life on this planet, the destruction of forests, the extinction of animals and plants, the pollution of soil, air, water and ecosystems.
Why are we so fearful of the unknown, the stranger, the boogie man? Fear is a powerful and profitable tool for governments and businesses. Fear sells TV ad space, sells books and newspapers, justifies military budgets, promotes sales of guns, knives and other weapons, sells home security systems and so much more.
But God did not create us to live fearful lives barricaded behind closed doors afraid of our muslin neighbor, the man walking down the street, a thunderstorm or foreign governments. God created us to be in relationship and community. In Genesis 2:18 ‘The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”’ Then God brought the animals to Adam to name, but no suitable helper was found so God made woman. From the beginning we were made to be in relationship with God, with God’s creation and all creatures, with our neighbors and with ourselves. The great commandments are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Our God is an incarnational god who comes into the midst of His creation, God walks amongst us. I believe a divine spark exists in each of us waiting for the opportunity to burst into flame. Our challenge is to look for the Spirit of God shining forth from those we meet in our daily lives and to meet God. Our job is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our words and in our actions in the hope that our lives will touch another life and encourage that spark to spring into life.
In this Advent season, may you make time for quiet reflection of your life, of what is important to you and of your relationship with God, your family and your neighbor. And in the coming Christmas season may you love deeply and be loved in return.
In the love of Jesus Christ,
Rev. Darlene Kuhn,
A word from Mother Darlene