Minister’s Musings October 2017

Dear Ones- Our worship theme for the month of October is “Touching the Sacred in All”

So how will you touch the sacred? How will you be a helper?

The other day on my Facebook feed, a friend wrote:

“As so much of the western hemisphere is being literally and physically ripped apart by successions of hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and heat waves, today we are in the midst of Rosh Hashanah and the autumnal equinox.

I won’t even get into the mess we’re in socially and politically, not just here in the U.S. but in much of the world.

Perhaps there is something to say that can make sense of all of this, something that everyone could agree on and take comfort in. If that insight exists, it escapes me. All I know is that everyday my heart is broken by the images I see of devastation and suffering in a world that feels so out of balance.

May this new year and this change of seasons bring with them the balance we so desperately need right now.”

I must admit, this mirrored exactly my own feelings as I have pondered the state of the world. It sometimes seems we are surrounded by pain, disaster, brokenness and tragedy.

But then someone brought this quotation from Fred Rogers into the discussion: “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.”

And it occurred to me that we must rest in that place- that place that says although we are surrounded by pain, disaster, brokenness and tragedy, we are also surrounded by people who care, and are willing to step up and do what they can.

Perhaps it’s a matter of focus. If we focus on the terrible events (and there are SO MANY!) we might not notice the people who are working to relieve the suffering.  If we focus on the boorish, nasty, violent behavior, we might not see the kindness, warmth, and generosity that is always there to be found.  The terrible things make the news, seem grab all the attention while news of the helpers sometimes seems like a footnote, an afterthought.

But we, as people of faith, are called to try and bring some hope into a world which seems hopeless, some comfort to a world in pain, some peace into a world which seems constantly at war. That is our job.  It’s a tough one, I admit.  And we all get tired, scared and discouraged.

But that is exactly when we most need to “look for the helpers”.

And it must be a decision. It won’t happen accidentally- the tragedy and pain are too distracting.  We must decide to look for those who are doing something positive in the world and join them!

Not only must we “look for the helpers”, but also we must become the helpers.

And so I ask: Are you looking for the helpers? Are you one of the helpers?

If not, why not?

How will you “touch the sacred in all”?


Wishing you peace and blessings,


One thought on “Minister’s Musings October 2017

  1. Ron Pagano JD

    Thank you for these thoughts, John. It is, indeed, easy for us to forget the ‘helpers’ during times of catastrophe, but they are always there; whether it’s an organization, government agency or simply a neighbor helping neighbor, they are there.

    And what I’ve found is that during these disasters, the barriers that divide us politically, economically and socially, are broken down. No one asks, “Did you vote for Trump?” or “How much money is in your bank account?” before they lend a hand.

    Perhaps, we need disasters to slap us in the face; to understand that when the facades we surround ourselves with are torn away, we are all, truly, brothers and sisters in this world.

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