Tuesday, November 14, 2017

October "Adventures" from "The Quincy Quill"

While I began writing an article singing the praises of Fall, especially after celebrating the baptism of Anna Scovell and welcoming her into membership of the church, along with Gaye Porter restoring her membership on September 10, things took a whole different direction when our lives were shaken by the unexpected and sudden passing of Londa Lehman on September 16.  Londa’s passing has affected all of us and my heart especially breaks for Marilyn.  Londa was also an active member of our bell choir and her smile and presence are really going to be missed among our ringers.  Her presence will also be missed among the volunteers and the cats she cared for at PAWS.  Her loving spirit was everywhere and brightened all of our lives, especially the many children who had her and Marilyn’s classes for Kindergarten at Pioneer Elementary School.  Even in the relatively short time I’ve known her and Marilyn, I always enjoyed sitting together at the theater, or the delightful conversations we had whenever she and Marilyn would join me for ‘coffice hours.’ I also admired how Londa stood strongly and demonstrated for causes she believed in, down to her very last day.  However, any loss that we experience in the life of our church leaves a void and it has been very strange to look out over the congregation and not see her and Marilyn in their usual spot and I know that I am going to miss her a lot.  At the same time, I am very proud of our church family for coming together and supporting Marilyn in love and in acts of love the way we have and know we will continue doing so. 

Along with Londa’s passing, my heart is with the people of Houston, TX and all throughout Florida in the midst of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and my many friends and colleagues who were affected in both places.  Amidst the disaster and devastation that took place because of the wind and rain, we can see God through the people who are helping, through the people who gave their time, their resources, and through the companies that gave away water, food, and other materials.  I am especially grateful to our congregation for taking up our Bishop, Minerva CarcaƱo’s call for special offerings for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), plus we still have opportunities to make hygiene and cleaning kits for the long-term relief effort which will be picked up from South Reno UMC on October 15.  AND, we are even considering putting together a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) team to go to Houston or Florida to help rebuild from the devastated areas.  I look forward to sharing more information about VIM in the near future to see how we can get on the ground and roll up our sleeves in the recovery effort.  Had our church or town been damaged in the Minerva Fire, UMCOR and VIM would have been here helping us recover, as UMCOR is often the first to arrive and among the last to leave in a disaster!!  UMCOR is also working with the places affected by the wildfires in the Northwest too, as well as VIM so there may be opportunities in those places too.

While this second half of 2017 has had its challenges, I look forward to these final months of 2017, including the beautiful colors, the excellent fishing, the Great Northern District celebration on the 7th, our planning day on October 21 (see Pastor Ray’s article), and being with my childhood church, Rio Linda Community UMC on October 8th as they celebrate their 100th anniversary.  And I especially look forward to seeing YOU on Sunday or out about in the community!!                                  

Peace & Blessings ~ Pastor Andrew

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