Thoughts from the Wilderness

“This is a message of hope” began my previous article for A Voice in the Wilderness. Clearly we, I, this world, still needs hope. As I recently said via email to SJITW, “In the wake of another mass shooting, for which no words suffice, let us pray for all the victims, the wounded and their loved ones. And let us pray and act for sane gun control laws in this country.”

The corrupt power of the gun manufacturers, the NRA and the politicians beholden to them continues nonetheless. The unnecessary level of gun violence in this country remains exponentially greater than any other developed country. Nothing seems to change (except more guns being sold.) But we can’t give up. Things do change – sometimes surprisingly.

Closer to home, I request your prayers for an exacerbation of neck pain which I’m still working on. With the average age of this congregation, quite a few of us are dealing with aches and pains – let’s pray for each other – for healing and peace.

Yes, we all still need hope. Hope does not deny evil – denial makes things worse. Hope, along with faith and love, enables us to overcome evil with good – as Scripture says. Let’s seek God’s grace, God’s help – in prayer, meditation, reading holy wisdom, gathering in community and in worship – and let’s receive grace given in courageously living life. God’s love and grace encourage us – that is, give us courage.

We are joyful – not because we deny problems in the world or in our lives – but because God’s joy is our strength – as Scripture says. We remain determined to do good and to enjoy life. It’s late spring – a wonderful time of year in this beautiful area. Thank God for the beauty of God’s creation and the opportunities to enjoy it.

Indeed, hope and change are in the air and abundantly evident at St. John in the Wilderness.

For example: On September 17 SJITW is planning a Harvest Festival – thank you to the leadership of Jim and Patricia Wann and also Marjorie Hoog and others!

Another example of hope for the future: SJITW is moving forward with: a new accessibility entrance to the church, a new parking area and blacktop, a new shed/pavilion, a new woodland gathering/prayer circle and the restoration of the Pomeroy Graveyard. Wow! That’s a lot! This is thanks to the Capital Campaign Committee led by Brian Boom and Lucy Eldridge, the Building and Grounds Committee (which is blessed with not one but two architects: Chair, Marjorie Hoog and Dale Peterson) and the Vestry, and to all for your support.

-In peace, John+

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