By Pastor Kathy Itzin
"For everything, there is a season, And a time for every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die, A time to plant, and a time to reap;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up."
This is from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, and it is the scripture for New Years’ Day.
What a perfect reading! We don’t know what the new year holds for us, as a church, as a country, or as individuals.
A new president will be inaugurated, and he has already named Cabinet members likely to change many of our previous policies. We don’t know what is in store for our country, or across the world.
Several of our beloved, long term members transitioned to eternal life this last year: Maxine Watson, Margaret Mulvihill, Ralph and Helen Seeley, and most recently, Carol Goetze.
We have been blessed with new members: Ro Shanklin, Todd Lipelt, Danny Mwesigwa, and Kathleen Hustad with her son, Cole Hester.
Patchwork Quilt, the after-school program, ran out of funding and ended in May, but the Neighborhood HUB just moved in two weeks ago, and has already been offering social and financial services to the neighborhood and to our members.
Meanwhile, the goodness of the Christ’s Church continues to grow! Last month, we extended ourselves and housed four families for a week, with a total of 17 individuals, (including a set of 10 month old twins), beginning on Christmas Eve afternoon. I don’t need to draw parallels between the Christmas story of the holy family looking for a place to stay, and us welcoming, feeding, visiting with, and housing families without homes over the week of Christmas. In many ways, this is nothing new. We host families three or four weeks a year.
On the other hand, how amazing is that? A small church, with limited resources, reaches out and welcomes homeless children and adults, people whom we don’t know, as the brothers and sisters that they are. And, at the same time, it is truly a community effort. Church Without Walls, who worships here after our service on Sundays, cooks a meal every week that we host. This year, our sister church Edina Morningside UCC has provided a meal and an evening activity for the children each time. They also gave $300 towards money that was donated for Christmas gifts for the families. Families, individuals, and friends all pitch in and help out. This is the work of Christmas. This is the growing goodness of Jesus’ church.
We can start the new year knowing that we are right where we need to be, and doing exactly what we are called to do. Good job, Parkway!
- Pastor Kathy