Notes from the Pastor – May 2023

When Brett told me that he was putting away the church’s snow shovels, I said “is that acting in faith or tempting fate?”

He replied, “a little of both!”

While I still haven’t forgotten the late-May snow that welcomed me to this city for the first time two years ago, I have decided to believe that winter is—really and truly—over. I welcome the warmth and look forward to more time outdoors, more sunlight, more fresh air, and hopefully a mild wildfire season.

Ice and snow will return, whether in a fluke storm later this month or perhaps not until autumn, but now the days are growing longer and the air is not as bitter.

Sometimes hope feels like tempting fate. Sometimes even longing for the world—our nation, our community, our families—to be better than they are feels like prematurely putting away the snow shovels. But we cannot live our lives forever in anticipation of the worst-case scenario.

To hope is not to dispense with realism, to tell ourselves that things aren’t really that bad. Hope is not braving a late-May snowstorm in shorts and a t-shirt just because it’s technically Spring.

Hope is a jacket.

If you can depend on the weather to be warm and sunny, you don’t need it.

If you’ve decided to stay inside rather than risk the chill, you don’t need it.

Hope is the resource that allows us to step out of our front doors while knowing it might not be as warm as we would like. Hope is more than a belief that everything will turn out okay; it is what enables us to move with courage in a world that is beyond our control.

Spring is here, for now. Come out into the sun—but don’t forget your jacket.

Cautiously optimistic and warmly yours,

Pastor Stephen.