Post date: May 27, 2022 2:20:42 PM

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,

Well, beloved one, I will say it for all of us — It has been a week.

As we were mourning the racially motivated shooting at the Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo and another shooting at the Taiwanese Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, then came another mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, casting, once again, our country into collective grief and disbelief. In addition to the turmoil in our country, we’ve had sorrow in our church family. One of our young ones in the New Jericho Choir lost his father to a tragic and unexpected death and four of our members are sick with COVID.

It has been a week.

And yet, through all of this turmoil I have been holding to this truth: God is still sovereign. Even though all signs seem to indicate the opposite at this point, I know, or rather, I have to know that God’s steadfast love continues to be with us and hold us in our mourning. To be sure, our faith teaches us that God mourns with us (Psalm 56.8). This claim of mine is not to make light of, ignore, or trivialize the absolute horror and pain of this week. There is a time for lament and this is certainly it (Lamentations 2.11-12). But, if I did not have the hope that God is in charge of this world, I don’t think I would be able to pray, work, advocate, and act toward the peace that God wants us to live in with one another. Even in my grief for our world and our church family; indeed, because of my grief, I cling to the promise of the reign of God, when there will be no more mourning or crying or death or disease or gun violence.

Come, let us gather for worship this Ascension Sunday in person or on Facebook live. I am preaching from Luke 24.44-53 and my sermon title is What is To Come. Tom Martucci will play the anthem, “Awesome is the Lord Most High” and will lead us in our other musical offerings. We will have a special time of prayer, to mourn and acknowledge our sorrow, and then seek what God is calling us to do as witnesses of God’s love in our world.

It has been a week, but God is still sovereign, beloved of God. God is still sovereign.

In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish