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Chaplain Joanne Martindale remembers:
On Sept. 11, 2001, I, as well as all the other chaplains and chaplain assistants of the New Jersey and New York Army National Guards were called to active duty.
Eighteen years ago, our nation was stunned by attacks that took place against thousands of innocent souls. People of various economic classes, educational attainment, races, genders, countries of origin, religions and nearly any other distinction we can identify were senselessly wounded and killed. Millions are still affected by the aftermath of what we now call 9/11.
When we wade into Job 1:1, 2:1–10, the theological waters get deep very quickly. So many challenging questions float up to the surface, and any one of them can threaten to upset our balance. This part of the Scriptures might as well come with the warning “here be dragons,” which was a phrase used by 18th century mapmakers to warn risk-averse sailors away from uncharted, dangerous waters. Yet the Revised Common Lectionary asks us to swim along in this passage’s currents — and on World Communion Sunday, no less.
Seventeen years ago, our nation was stunned by attacks that took place against thousands of innocent souls. People of all economic classes, educational attainment, races, genders, countries of origin, religions and nearly any other discriminator we can identify were senselessly wounded and killed. Our nation has been at war since that day with many millions affected by the aftermath of what we now call 9/11.
Stewardship season was in full swing at Healdsburg (California) Community Church last fall when tragedy struck. Raging wildfires in Sonoma County wiped out vast residential areas within 20 miles of the church. Every church member — even those whose own homes were safe — knew people affected by the fires.
Presbyterian youth worker Michelle Phillips felt the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“Recently some students skipped high school,” she said, her voice trailing off. Then she explained: Speeding, the students were in a tragic car accident. One of the passengers died; the other was in critical condition. The driver walked away without any physical injuries. None of the students were involved at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas, where Phillips serves as the director of youth and family ministry. But students in Overland Park wanted answers. They came to her asking, “Why did this happen? Why wasn’t the driver hurt?”
When keynote leader the Rev. Dr. Betty Deas Clark began to share her story on the second day of the 2017 College Conference at Montreat, a reverent hush fell over the packed auditorium.
Discernment to determine heart and commitment to disaster support The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team gathered recently in Jacksonville, Fla., to consider adding a group of new members. The so-called “Discernment… Read more »