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Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,

Eastertide blessings to you!

In a recent counseling session, the discussion centered around where the person sensed the palpable presence of the Divine. Since then, I have also reflected on this topic.

Chipaloo taking a peanut from my hand

A mink scampering around the shore of a lake

Praying with a family as their loved one’s life slowly ebbs toward God

A black-capped chickadee coming to rest on Jamie’s foot

Laying my hand on a person’s forehead and pronouncing the Aaronic blessing for end of life

The call of a loon from across a lake

The rushing and roaring of a waterfall as the snowpack melts down the mountain

Simple, yet profound moments that remind me I am not alone nor am I my own, but belong — body and soul — to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, as does everything in all of creation. In these tumultuous times, I believe we need these simple reminders to ground us for the work of love and justice to which we are called as followers of Jesus.

So many distractions; so much divisiveness. But a visit from a chipmunk or moments spent with a family who is saying a painful goodbye to a loved one reminds us what is most important — taking the time to be aware of the presence of God in order to gather strength for the journey ahead.

Richard Rohr writes, “We cannot attain the presence of God because we are already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness” (Everything Belongs).

Come to worship this Sixth Sunday of Easter at 10:30 AM as we set time aside to be aware of the presence of God. We have special music from Sarah Hanvey, Brian Kolins, and Tom Martucci. They will be blessing us with the songs “King of My Heart”; “The Reason We Sing”; “Praise You Anywhere”; and “River of Life.” I am preaching from 1 Corinthians 13.1-13 — it’s not a wedding text! — and my sermon title is If I Do Not Have Love. As this is the first Sunday of the month, we will come to God’s table of grace and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. After worship, come up the hill to the Education Building for our First Sunday Brunch prepared by our ever faithful Kitchen Team. A free-will offering will be received at the brunch to support the ministries of the church.

For those who registered for our Pride Pasta Dinner, I look forward to welcoming you tomorrow night at 6 PM to celebrate God’s inclusive love and grace for all people!

In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish