This is a curious moment. We have changed the patterns of our lives, staying home, wearing masks, distancing to keep one another healthy. As a curious side effect of all this, we are more conscious of how much we need one another.
And in this unsettled time, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. He is not the first Black man to die in police custody. In the past when these incidents have occurred, they have been in the news for a time and then our attention has moved on to something else.
Not this time. This time George Floyd’s death has caught the attention of people around the world. Black people, brown people, white people.
I cannot help but wonder if the Holy Spirit doesn’t have something to do with the openness of our hearts at this time. Somehow an opportunity has come to address the deep pain of racism in our country.
Many people from our church have told me that they know that racism is a serious problem, but they don’t know what to do.
Next week, from Sunday, June 14 through Sunday, June 21, we plan to take time each day to think about our role in addressing racism. We are calling this week “Open My Eyes,” from the title of an old hymn. There will be no Midweek Devotion next week. Instead each day, via email you will receive a short idea, or a prayer, or an activity to do to increase our understanding of our role in ending the injustice of racism. If you receive the Midweek through the mail, the daily activities are included in this mailing.
To get started, I would like you to view last Sunday’s worship service at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in Stuart. Their pastor is LaTonya Calderon. She is one of only two African American Elders in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Last Sunday her sermon addressed racism. You can follow this link to find the service.
You can advance through the service and simply listen to her sermon if you like. But I want to offer you another invitation. Pastor LaTonya also offered communion. You can join her in communion if you like. She encourages you to have a candle, bread, and juice ready. * Sharing communion with Pastor LaTonya might serve as the first step toward standing together against racism.
And then watch your email throughout the week next week for ways we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, can do our part in creating a kingdom where all are valued and loved.
Pastor LaTonya will tell you she worships a God who can do the impossible. Amen.
(*Offering communion has been a challenge for churches. We have received mixed messages as to whether we can offer communion in on-line services. Pastor Trevor and I will be talking about this.)
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org. And join us for on-line worship at 9:30 on Sunday mornings!
This week at WDMUMC!
Week Two of our Summer Hunger Program! Everybody Eats! 180 bags of food went out the door this week to 180 homes and 520 children. Hooray!
Honoring Our High School Seniors! Drop off your cards and well wishes for our high school grads. And on Sunday at 11 am we will gather in the parking lot to honor our high school grads. (Please remain in your cars! But honk those horns!)
Ringing the Bell in Remembrance! Every Monday at 10:30 we will ring the bell in remembrance of the people who have died due to COVID. Last Monday we rang the bell 69 times. If you would like to help, show up at the bell at 10:30 and wear a mask, please!
Survey! If you have not already filled out the survey about returning to church, please do so. This link will take you to the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/
Church Council Meeting Monday, June 15 at 6 pm via zoom. The church council will be reviewing the responses from the survey and planning our next steps in response to the pandemic. Keep our church and our leaders in your prayers.