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Sanctuary in the City News: August/September 2021 Vol69

As long as the earth endures…

There is a deep assurance in the cycle of life reflected in this text from Genesis 8. It comes toward the end of the ark story as Noah, his family, and the animals emerge to begin the next season of their lives. Just a few verses later in Genesis 9:9, God says “I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you” and all the creatures with you. Then God set a rainbow in the clouds to be a sign to them of God’s faithfulness in covenant with God’s people. As our story unfolds over time, our covenant with God is re-affirmed again and again. We break the covenant and God renews it because God loves the world so much. “Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night never cease,” and God’s love beckons us forward.

This is, of course, a sweeping assurance about God’s faithfulness through all time. And it is the covenant that carries us through all things, great and small, every change in our lives, the Church, and the world. I feel the power of this covenant as I complete this time of ministry with you, as I move into a new season in my life, and as you move into a new season of growth into the Beloved Community of Christ’s Church. I give thanks for all that has been planted and harvested, the seasons we have shared together, the long way we have come, and the reminder that God is in it all –including this time of new opportunity and vision.

These 25 years as pastor of this congregation have been such a gift in my life. I give thanks for those who were here when Dave and I joined you, and who have since become a part of that Great Cloud of Witnesses. I give thanks for each person who has worked and lived into this ministry together over this time. And I give thanks for those who are new to the congregation, whom I may not get to know well, but who have already blessed us with your presence and your gifts! This is a congregation that is always becoming new, while holding on to the spirit of grace and justice in God’s love that has grounded you over time. This is a rare gift of steadfastness in faith that not all congregations have; you are not blown about by every wind. I am excited for your future, for the ministry you will live out in this community and the world. I love you and will cherish these next 5 weeks with you.

I will always hold you in prayer.
May God’s Peace be with you now and always! Jacque

Prayers of the Community

Please hold in prayer: Audrey T., John P., Howard M., Katherine K.’s granddaughter, Esha, Cathy H.’s Mom.
Those who are working to help people feel comfortable being vaccinated. Those in countries without vaccine available, where terrible surges of the pandemic continue. Those who have lost dear ones, homes, and businesses in tornadoes and storms. Those who are suffering financial stress, emotional stress, and mental stress. We pray safety for families and communities who get together after a long time apart.

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