Welcome Friends!

Welcome Friends!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Worship for a Community in Crisis

This Sunday, June 22 -- the community of Ursa, Illinois will be have a community Park Festival. A weekend event celebrating our Village of Ursa and several of the community organizations. There will be ball games, a car show, games for kids, baby contests and lots of good food. The Firemen are holding a fish fry, the Lions a pork chop dinner, and on Sunday the only other church in the town besides my Disciple church --(Zion United Church of Christ) will be having a ham dinner after our community worship. I have been asked to lead and plan that service and give the sermon for the day. We will be gathering underneath a big tent in the middle of our beautiful town park to worship and praise God.

Sounds like a wonderful and fun town event, doesn't it? Something to really bring our community together? And it will be, except for one big thing that is looming over us -- or as I should put it, rolling due West of the town of Ursa -- the Mighty Mississippi River and the Flood of 2008! As many of you have heard in the daily news throughout the country, the Mississippi River is at the high flood stages of 1993 when there was much distruction and disaster. This time the flood waters are still at bay in some places, however there has been a breach in the levee just across from Canton, MO and Culver-Stockton College on the Illinois side in the little town of Meyer. Homes have been long evacuated and personal belongings moved out -- but there a few homes that are now sitting full of flood waters. I myself have been down sandbagging when I haven't been tending to the Ursa flock.

As I think about all of the activities in this past week and as I look to prepare a sermon for the community worship service, I am going to leave you with some questions that I am facing this day?
  • How do you preach hope and celebrate community, when faced with impending disaster at your door step?

  • What rutual could you have in worship to help remind people that God is not punishing us with flood waters?

  • Why should you even have worship -- shouldn't you just tell people to head down to make sandbags and we will worship later when the crisis is over?
I look forward to hearing from you and your thoughts concerning this community in crisis. Please pray for the communities along the Mississippi River and the Midwest that are dealing with these same questions this day.

God Bless -- Linda


Nancy said...

The Sunday after Hurricane Katrina I struggled with what to say from the pulpit. Someone on DOCDISC mentioned that we should turn to Lamentations to help us learn how to mourn and how to have hope. So, that is what I did. I turned to Lamentations 2:10-13 & 3:21-24.

Here are some thoughts from that sermon that might help you.

Just as it is right to give God our thanks and praise, it is also right for us to give God our grief, to give God our pain, to lament and mourn the loss, the destruction, the pain of this world. With so much devastation, it would be easy for us to emotionally stay in anger, confusion, and pain. But, through our lamenting we can move on to action. Action that must come out of love, care, and concern for our fellow humans; action that is powered through God's grace and love for all people.

May God be with you and those of your community during this trying time.

Nancy Dunn

Linda Hunsaker said...

Thank you so much Nancy for your words of encouragement and especially for the scripture you found comforting. I really like the 3 chapter -- wonderful words of hope.

SpiritMists said...

This isn't a comment about this particular entry (sorry!) even though it was thought-provoking, but just to say "hello." I am a DoC person, and part of a new church start in California. One of our main interests is in how we do worship, and invite liturgical practices into worship that may not be seen in every DoC church most Sundays. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog!