Pastor Mindy Huffman's Memo

April 2022

Urgent Thoughts and Prayers for Mass Shooting at Robb Elementary School

URGENT

Thoughts and Prayers Mass Shooting at Robb Elementary School in Ulvade, Texas

Like all of you, I am shocked, deeply saddened and troubled by yesterday’s senseless act of evil at Robb Elementary School in Ulvalde Texas. I like most of you, cannot fathom how someone could take the lives of 19 innocent children and 2 of their teachers. How does such evil and such darkness go unnoticed, until it rears its head in such a horrific way. In light of what has transpired let us be the followers of Christ we are supposed to be – let us strive to share the light of Jesus Christ and the never-ending love and grace of God with the world. Let us follow Jesus’ example and friend the friendless, notice the unnoticed, love the unloved. Maybe if enough Christians step up to truly be light shiners we can lessen the darkness around us. 

Let us be in prayer for all those who have lost children, sisters, brothers, neighbors, friends, loved ones in this tragedy. Let us be in prayer for the police and first responders who responded. Let us be in prayer for children everywhere. 

I leave you with the following prayer, written by my good friend Retired, Rev. Tom True.

Pastor Mindy

Good Morning God.

The night seemed short and the morning seems slow to awaken, however YOU ARE GOD! YOU ARE GOD and that alone is the foundation of life, love and good! Thank You God! First God, for all of those touched by the mass murders yesterday in Texas, please surround them with Your people of grace, comfort, and a peace that passes our human level of understanding. Draw them close in Your arms Holy God and comfort them in Your Holy Presence.


 Now gracious God unleash Your Spirit in all of us so that Your Light IN each of us might do its part to eradicate the darkness that seems to be growing in the world today. Please utilize each and everyone of us – your children – your disciples to extend Your Love and Your Grace in ways that enhance inclusion rather than hatred and violence. Forgive us God for the times we fail to act with respect, caring and grace and renew a right spirit in us, Amen.
 

THOUGHT: God IS STILL GOD! Let us bond together with embracing inclusion rather than fighting and destroying each other with permanent exclusion.



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Wednesday, June 1

Let the Transformation Begin

“I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus.”          Philippians 1:6

In the Gospels and the Book of Acts, there are several stories that relate different people and or groups encounters with the Risen Jesus. There are 3 common threads running through all of them.  The 1st thread is transformation. Jesus’ followers’ lives had already been changed by knowing, watching, and learning from Jesus, but after their encounters with the Risen Jesus – they were not merely changed – they were transformed and filled with the Holy Spirit and never ever the same. Watching their beloved Jesus be crucified left them scared, dejected and disillusioned. Encountering the Risen Jesus startled them, surprised, renewed and resurrected them. They went from cowering behind locked doors to eager, tireless kingdom workers.

The 2nd thread is that Jesus met each of them where they were and moved them to where they needed to be. He came to Mary in her heap of grief and tears and moved her to the 1st proclaimer of the resurrection. The disciples were frightened and dejected, and Jesus came to them and moved them to missionaries and evangelists. He moved Peter from guilt-ridden to the rock of the church. He moved Paul from a persecutor of Christians to an evangelist to the gentiles. The great news for us is that Jesus is ALWAYS willing to come and meet us not where we should be, not where he desires us to be, but where we are and then he will lovingly move us to where he desires us to be. We have the opportunity to encounter the Risen Jesus every day, if we will just turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and let the transformation begin!

The 3rd thread is we don’t have to be our past. Paul’s encounter with the Risen Jesus changed his thinking, his outlook, who and what he was so much so he spent the rest of his life not hunting down Christians but spreading the Good News. Like Paul, we can change our outlook, how we think, we can change who we are on the inside and outside, we can become new creations in Christ. When we encounter the Risen Jesus we are transformed and never ever the same.

Saul had a plan. He thought he had it all figured out. He was going to be the Super-Pharisee that saved the day for Israel. But his plan was interrupted because Jesus had other plans for Paul. Paul is evidence of the amazing ways God can change a person’s life. He was one of the least likely persons to become a follower of Jesus. He was a persecutor of Jesus and His followers. Paul knew he didn’t deserve the grace and forgiveness of God. He deserved God’s judgment. But then none of us deserve grace and forgiveness. It is undeserved, an unearned gift from God. No matter what we’ve done, no matter where we’ve been, no matter who we’ve hurt, no matter how many times we have turned our back on God, no matter how resistant we have been to God’s love – God can change us.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus – encounter the Risen Christ each and every day – let him meet you where you are – let the transformation begin so that you too will never be the same. Encountering the Risen Jesus will change your thinking, it will change your outlook, it will change who and what you were from thee inside out. Put Jesus at your center, make him your focus and you will be changed – not instantly – not even in ways you imagined or dreamed. Dare to be transformed and never ever be the same.

Pastor Mindy



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Wednesday, June 15

God has wonderful things in store

 

            I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.              Jeremiah 29:11

 

With COVID and the political and economic unrest in our country it seems as if we have been in transition and change mode for eons. And unfortunately, we are about to be in transition again.  And with all change and transition, there is uncertainty, a little angst, and a lot of wondering.  But I hope that as you reflect on this verse from Jeremiah, you will have a sense of calm and spirit of peace, as you get ready to begin journeying with Pastor Paul.  In July of 2021, God brought our paths together.  In this last year, we have journeyed together as faithful followers of Jesus.  We have journeyed together through a few community dinners, a Nelson’s fundraiser, a Christmas and Easter Season, a trunk-or-treat, a couple of Boat-Ins, a few mission projects.  We’ve laughed and we have shared tears together as we said final goodbyes to some very special people. We shared meals together and lots of coffee.  I sit here now in the quiet of the church reflecting on our time together and all the new friends I have made and all the memories I will forever treasure in my heart.   When I graduated from Seminary someone gave me a beautiful frame.  In the frame is this:

Valuable Treasures

There are many private treasures to be found among everyday things – the cherished memories we keep in our hearts… the quiet times when, alone without thoughts we feel comfortable and content…  the smiles of loved ones and the joys we share…. The people we’re lucky enough to meet, who then become friends. It’s the deep satisfaction in all of these that make everyday things into the most valuable treasures of all.

In our year together, we have shared much.  We have laughed together and cried together.  We’ve gone through some great times and a few trying times.  We have known joy and sadness.  We have had high moments and low ones.  We have had eventful moments.  All of these things will forever be in my treasure chest of memories, but it will be in the simple everyday things; the things that occurred during routine Sunday morning times; sitting and talking on porches or in living rooms or over coffee.  These are the things I will continue to find comfort and joy in.  These were the times of sharing, of fellowship of getting to know one another. There is so much to remember and to be thankful for.  You all have filled my treasure chest with many precious memories.  I came anxious and nervous – I brought new ways of doing things - but thanks to your patience, your tolerance, your prayers, support and love, I am leaving confident and secure and ready for the new challenges and opportunities that God has for me.  

     I owe you all so much that thank you seems somehow inadequate.  But I thank you for supporting me, for sharing yourselves and your families with me, for praying for me and with me, for loving me (and my cats) and for being more than just parishioners, for being friends and neighbors.  God bless each and everyone of you today and always.

Some people come into our lives and quietly go.  Others stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.” Anonymous

Thanks for all the footprints you’ve left upon my heart.  It has been an honor and a privilege to be your pastor and friend.  

            Pastor Mindy Huffman



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Wednesday, June 22

A final thank you from your Former Pastor

“Thank you seems somehow inadequate- but thank you all for your prayers & and support in our time together. Thank you for the awesome breakfast Sunday. Thanks for all your hugs. We'll wishes, cards and gifts. Thanks to SPRC, Pam, Marty, Kay and Roz for organizing and orchestrating the breakfast. But most of all thank you for welcoming me, loving me, and all the precious memories you have added to my treasure chest.”

- Pastor Mindy



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