It has been a difficult week, between the horror of the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the terrible explosion down near Waco, TX. If you are on Facebook or some other social media, you have probably already seen this quote from a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Fred Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
I have found a lot of consolation in those words. Yes, there are a few evil individuals in this world and unpredictable dreadful things can happen, but there are many, many more people who run towards the suffering doing all that they can to rescue, heal, comfort and care for those who are in need. It is also a challenge. My hope and prayer is that I will always be among the ones running towards the disaster, rather than running away.
One of the caring helpers in this world was Kathy Young, a longtime member of our congregation, a Sunday School teacher, youth leader, elder, clerk of session and involved in so many ways in the life of our church. She was a guidance counselor out at Linn-Mar high school for twenty nine years. Kathy passed away last Saturday afternoon after a five year battle with cancer. We will have a memorial service for her on Saturday at 11:00. A lunch will follow and there will be a private family burial.
With all this going on it seems so appropriate that this Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday. We need a reminder of the love and care of our good shepherd. The Chancel Bells will be playing in the first service and the Middle School youth will be providing some special music. Pastor Beth is preaching and her texts are Psalm 23 and John 10:22-30. Her sermon title is “The Song of the Shepherd.” Also, on Sunday morning there is a marathon race being run through Marion. The route comes up 12th Street and then turns east on 8th Ave, so some of the streets will be shut off. You should be able to get into the church parking lot from the north.
Finally, there are some other things going on that you should be aware of. Tomorrow, at 7:00, Friday the 19th, there will be the Joyful Noises concert at St. Paul’s Methodist Church on the corner of 3rd Ave and 14th St in Cedar Rapids. A free will offering will be collected and all the proceeds will benefit Family Promise. From 4:00 to 7:00 there will be a pasta dinner at Marion High School to benefit Marion Cares. And if you really like pasta or if you are unable to make it on Saturday night, stick around after worship on Sunday for the high school youth will be putting on a pasta dinner in our social room and the proceeds will benefit their summer mission trip.
Stay in One Peace,