Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pastors Live with Alaska Risks

Our pastors who serve faithfully in Alaska are exposed to the same risks facing all Alaskans.  Several years ago Pastor Tori Hicks and her family were involved in a serious auto accident.  Tori still feels the effects today.  On Sunday Pastor Ron Myers of First UMC, Anchorage, was transporting a homeless couple to Girdwood (30 miles from Anchorage) in snowy, slushy weather.  Another car lost control and slammed into Ron's car.  Ron had to be extricated and taken to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage where he is being treated for a dislocated left hip, broken right femur, and shattered right knee.  Doctors say he will be in the hospital for two weeks and won't return to work for three months.

These are major depth events that carry their own intrinsic meanings that those who experience them will spend the rest of their lives pondering its meaning.  When I walked into MatSu Regional Hospital years ago Robert Hicks was visibly shaken and said to me, "I almost lost my family today."  

When I walked into Alaska Regional Hospital yesterday Ron was somber as he shared what had happened to him.  He said, "I am so grateful to be alive."  

We are tempted to impose meanings onto the depth experiences of life.  Sometimes we impose meanings on our own experiences.  Sometimes we allow others to impose meanings onto our experiences.  But such traumatic experiences suffered by Tori and Ron have their own intrinsic meaning when they are given space and time to contemplate them. 

Tori was on her way to lead worship when her accident happened.  Ron was helping a couple get home. 

As you move forward with your lives and ministry in this great land of Alaska please be safe.  Breathe deeply the breath of God today.  Let go of your anger.  Let the Advent peace of the Christ Child surround you.  Continue to take the risks of being a disciple of Christ. 

Grace Always,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

United Methodism is Alive on Kenai Peninsula

I just returned from a 600 mile trip visiting our 7 UM churches.  Congratulations to the central peninsula churches for a combined event at the Kenai church.  Celebrations of what God has been doing was shared by all.  I was able to speak to the large group about missional communities and conference vision.  Here is a video clip of some of the sharing.

On Sunday I preached at St. Peter the Fisherman in Ninilchik.  This photo is of their chime choir.
Then off to Homer and finally Moose Pass and Seward.  God is feeding the hungry, teaching the saints, visiting those in prison, and loving neighbors.  Thanks be to God for this witness!

Grace Always,