As many times as we try to answer this question, it never seems to lessen the blow of sudden loss or suffering. I wonder if part of the reason this question is so difficult to answer is because it assumes that there is some reason bad things happen at all, to anyone. That for some reason, God is causing bad things to happen and in the same breath claiming to love us. But if we look at the worst moments of life, we find that bad things happen to all people. Life simply happens, and there is no amount of good deeds that could shield us from the hard parts of life. This doesn’t necessarily mean that God doesn’t have a plan for us, or that there is no hope in the world. Maybe God’s plan for us is less about what happens to us and more about how we respond to it? Maybe there is hope in the thought that even the worst sinner can experience some joy in life? – Vicar Sharai Jacob
For many of our students, this is their first time away from home. What better way to gain confidence and independence than at a camp that focuses on grounding them in who they are in Christ. I don’t know what they say about camp when they get home, but I know what I see when we are here- students learning that they are more than just what they can do, more than whatever words are used to describe them, more than their role in their friend groups or families. They are beloved, unique children of God. Maybe we could all use camp to remind us that we are as well. Since most folks can’t take time off to head out to Oregon, Illinois…step outside and listen for the birds, feel the ground under your feet and the breeze on your face. You are part of this amazing creation. – Pastor Trudy Stoffel
We all face things that we can’t handle, or that overwhelm us. Sometimes the world throws things at us that are simply unfair. It is okay to need help and to ask for help. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes about how the church is like a body, in which all the different parts are equally important because each part of the body needs all of the others. He even declares that when one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers together! This means that we don’t need to do hard things alone. If you’re going through a difficult time, and need someone to come alongside you, contact Pastor Trudy about Stephen Ministry. If you are in urgent need of help call 988 for the The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 911 for Emergency Services. You are a beloved member of the body of Christ. – Vicar Sharai Jacob
Life happens. Jesus’ life shows us a way to engage with others in healing ways and to trust that resurrection is always possible in the middle of life happening. It also gives us companions to walk with us who aren’t afraid. Thanks be to God.