From the Pastor’s Desk: May 11

There is an unofficial society at Grace, a society that no one wants to be part of, yet many are. It’s a group loosely bound together because they’ve experienced the death of a child. They do not get together for meetings, but once one recognizes another, and the connection is made, there is a bond.

Last year a colleague, Yvi, shared with me that she had led a worship service in her church, For Those Who’ve Loved and Lost. The service was open to anyone and everyone recognizing that some loss is not visible, whether it is a miscarriage, infertility, or a death one tries to forget. It’s also true that loss is felt by those who may not be parents. I certainly grieve for the adult children in this church whom I’ve buried. Perhaps you’ve grieved alongside a friend or family member.

Yvi said that she planned a simple service for a weeknight and that only three people came, but that it was still important, and she was glad she did it. She noted that part of the service involved a tree branch in a vase on the communion table. During the service people were invited to come and tie a ribbon on a part of the branch for those they had loved and lost. She left that branch on the table for the week, and during that time others made their way into that space. By the end of the week, the branch was covered in ribbons. While some did not come to the service they still longed for a way to express their loss.

Yvi shared the details of her the worship service with me, and I will lead a similar service on Tuesday, May 19, at 6:30 pm in the chapel. You are all invited, and please invite anyone who you think might find this meaningful.

It’s hard in a 500 word column to transition smoothly from something so somber, but I also want to mentions something else. As I’m writing this on April 14, I’ve just come from the Grace Tutoring Celebration. Every August I hold my breath wondering if we’ll manage to get enough tutors to make the program happen, and every year (so far) we do, and I am grateful.

At the celebration I described the tutoring program comparing it to the Colorado River carving out the Grand Canyon. It’s hard to believe that a river could turn mountainous rocks into majestic canyons, and it’s hard to believe that an hour of one on one reading with an adult twice a week could improve a child’s reading so much, but it does. This ministry is an amazing gift to our community. Maybe you should be a tutor next year!

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