From the Pastor

I have been following the news about the outbreak of Ebola in Africa. There has been a fear that has developed reminiscent of the AIDS epidemic a few decades ago. I was interested in the following poem/prayer that was written by Beth Richardson. She is the editor of the Alive Now devotional magazine which is published by Upper Room. We now have these available on the table by the stairs to the Narthex. Her prayer is a response to the crisis which has gripped so much of the world.

What is our anchor?
When Ebola fears close schools,
Shut down flights,
Ostracize people.
What is our anchor?

Where is our anchor?
When terror closes borders,
Closes minds,
Closes hearts,
Where is our anchor?

Who is our anchor?
When fear grips our hearts,
Freezes our guts,
Stunts our prayers?
Who is our anchor?

Our strength comes from God,
The maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)

May we anchor ourselves,
Our hearts, minds, and spirits
In you, Mighty God. Amen.

– Beth A. Richardson

Her question is a good one and appropriate as we hear the news and reflect on the crisis. In this crisis and all crises of life, the bumps in the road, what is our anchor? To what do we cling for assurance and hope? As Christians we are an Easter people who believe in hope even after the horror of Good Friday. Why, we even have the audacity to call the day on which Jesus was crucified good! Our strength and hope is in God our Creator, in Christ our Redeemer, and in the Holy Spirit our Sustainer. That is true with Ebola and all of the challenges and difficulties of life.

If you would like to contribute financially to the Ebola crisis, you can give through the United Methodist Advance. This can be done through UMCC or you can give online at umcmission.org. The appropriate designation is: Disaster Response, International – Projects, #982450 for quick response to meet emergency needs around the world. Note that number if you give through UMCC and you will find this category online. You can also donate to this fund on Giving Tuesday in December-there is more information about Giving Tuesday elsewhere in this issue of the Chugiak Crier.

There are special worship services at UMCC this month. We will be sharing together in Grow-One Sunday on November 16. The following Sunday is Thanksgiving Sunday and I will be sharing with you my tradition to build, to raise my Ebenezer, based on 1 Samuel 7:12. The last day and Sunday of November, November 30, is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin the Advent season as we prepare our hearts and lives for the coming of God.

I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday and each and every Sunday.

Gary