I received this email on Friday morning, July 8 and considered sharing it with the congregation yesterday.
Ultimately, I opted not to.
Perhaps the written form is better.
(My regular sermon rewind post will appear on Tuesday.)
On this day when my heart is so very full from sorrow, grief, confusion, frustration and even helplessness as a mother of an African American son; I have to stop and pray and one of the things I prayed for was my church family. I have been attending Good Shepherd for the past 5 years and was embraced from day one. The moment that I showed up for First Serve for the first time and felt like part of a team that didn’t care who I was, where I came from or if I was a member but was happy I was there and ready to work side by side with me; I knew that this would be my home church. When my faith starts to waiver, I get a random call from one of the Pastors checking on me. When I’m overwhelmed with life, I get a call or text out the blue from one of my Life Group members asking how they can pray for me that day or how they can serve me that week. When I’m saddened by how my son may be affected by this all, the Nursery Volunteers send me kind notes on how he is a blessing and how much they enjoy having him there. And just when I’ve forced myself to go to service on some Sundays after a long work week or not feeling up to being around others, I hear a powerful message that has me sending the sermon link to all my family and friends the next day. With all that said, I truly have felt God’s presence through his people outside the walls of the church. Pastor Talbot, if you have ever felt that there is more to do in which I know there is, just know that there has also been so much done already. The family of Good Shepherd “gets it” and the presence of the Lord is TRULY in this place. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for equipping true Leaders, inviting ALL people and sharing God’s word. In the midst of unrest and racial tensions in this country, I could easily give up and lose faith but instead my faith and trust in God is stronger than ever and I accredit a huge part of that to walking side by side with the people of Good Shepherd and how God is using each and every one of us.