In Paul’s letter to the Galatians
he shares some incredibly
important counsel that brings
powerful blessings to the
community of faith. “Carry each
other’s burdens, and in this way
you will fulfill the law of
Christ” (6:2). This counsel is
very important in the context of
a loving church family. When
we truly have ‘disciple level’ love for each other, as
we discussed in last week’s study, we will happily
participate in lightening the burdens that our fellow
church family members carry.

I am reminded of an old Swedish Proverb that says,
“A joy that is shared is double joy, but a sorrow
that is shared is half a sorrow.” This simply underscores
the value of community and the blessing of
sharing both our joys and our sorrows.

While we can’t truly remove the burdens that
others carry, when we share in the reality of their
challenges, we affirm their journey and remind
them that they are not alone. I love the words of Bill
and Gloria Gaither’s song, The Family of God,
“When one has a heartache we all share the tears,
it’s because we’re a family and these folks are so
dear.” This is the kind of family we all long for and I
am grateful to see this modeled in the members of
our congregation.

In keeping with this theme I am glad to share with
you that last Sabbath the Church Board voted to
support a Grief Recovery Ministry that will soon
begin here in our church. Over the past 12-18
months there have been quite a number of you who
have personally experienced the painful loss of
loved ones from a variety of causes. It is clear that
there is a wonderful opportunity for us to come
alongside these members of our family and extend
our hearts and our support during this tender time.

In early July we will begin a six week series of
sessions meeting once a week to share a video
presentation followed by a discussion time to debrief
the topic of the evening. This series was
created by Pastor Mike Tucker and has been a
great blessing for many who have participated in
these times of care and support. You will soon see
registration instructions which will be as simple as
a call to the church office to confirm your interest.

It will be our blessing to experience God’s Spirit of
comfort and hope together.

Pastor Phil, Interim Pastor