When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:34
I have to give a “shout out” to everyone involved in organizing the first of our “Welcome Back Wednesdays” at WFPC. This week things kicked off with Cinco de Mayo, where over 100 enthusiastic Presbyterians gathered to eat together, to learn about the origins of the celebration, to hear a powerful first-hand story about what it is like to be a “Latino” immigrant as a child, and – most of all – just to be together as a church family.
There is such a hunger for community, and there is no place like church when it comes to nurturing and encouraging one another.
This morning I read an article about the widespread incidence – nationwide – of anxiety, of clouded thinking, of unproductively, of hopelessness, and of exhaustion. Mostly, this is about isolation and the limited – restricted – outlook that comes with either being removed or removing ourselves from social engagement.
As a church, we have worked really hard to keep people connected; small groups and classes meeting via ZOOM have thrived – as well as hands-on ministries such as the community garden and other hunger programs. But now we can worship together in person again (still modified), and attend mid-week church suppers (outside), it is like the beating heart of this community has received CPR and a huge shot of adrenaline all at the same time!
We are quite literally saturated with gratitude and bursting with love.
I know I cannot speak for everyone in this world, but I am at least going to dare to say this: If you have any inkling that you need some restoration in your spirit, and that you want to find a way out of the very real sense of isolation, anxiety, clouded thinking, lost productivity, hopelessness, and exhaustion that have crept in and taken residence in your being over the past year and a half, then take a step toward coming home by making your way to church.
You can still do it on line if you’re not ready for in-person (check out “WFPC on the Web”). But however you do it, do it.
The only way to effectively activate our deepest and truest sense of purpose as beings created in the image of God, in my belief, is to become an active part of an authentic, vibrant faith-based community.
God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them. – Genesis 1:27
In love, and because love makes all things possible – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.