Letter from Pastor Dave Bateman
Mid-September and my mind is a cacophony of memories amid the changing of the seasons. The stark remembrance of 9/11 still haunts us while we also remember the eerie silence as the world stood still and no planes flew. Yet in the midst of grief and tragedy, compassion arose to remind us of our better selves. We would do well to revisit some of the compassion evidenced in those days as we came together as a people, praying and caring for each other.
In a couple of days, summer will officially turn to fall, and the Autumnal beauty will manifest itself with brilliant colors and bountiful harvest. While I, with my farmer background, always look forward to spring and the emergence of crops newly planted, the freshness of spring rains, and the promise of a new season, I find fall to be exhilarating.
Fall is the culmination of seeds planted, crops tended, and efforts expended to experience the fruits of our labor and the blessings of the Creator. The smell of fresh cut silage rivals the scent of new mown hay as a harbinger of the changing seasons. Soon combines will devour acres of corn and beans as bushels become the measure of success. We are blessed in abundance!
We promised those who died in that awful tragedy that we would never forget, yet years dim the starkness of reality and a new generation, unborn on 9/11, have new challenges, and history is yesterday. When asked “where were you on 9/11?”, they were not yet born, while those of us a little older can tell you exactly where we were as we watched on TV the tragedy unfold.
Today, through the lens of instant communication, we watch a different tragedy unfold, in the Ukraine, as Russia continues to decimate that once beautiful landscape. Greed and power are incredible motivators and ruthless allies.
As I write this and the clock strikes the changing to another day, I am reminded of our twofold obligation, to never forget, yet always look forward. God calls us to remember, but also to look to the future. The great bard, Gracie Allen, reminded us to never put a period where God put a comma. God is not finished! That became the symbol for The United Church of Christ. There is yet more to come, more to do, more to dream, if we dare to dream.
Blessings and Love, Pastor Dave
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