I’ve spent the past week getting to know my 19 month old grandson, Fred. Like any child of that age, he is adorable with an infectious laugh. For all of us, it’s been a long time of pandemic, of being cut off from seeing families who live near and far. Our joy at being able to see families again is worthy of celebration.
As I’ve also been considering the reading from Mark’s Gospel, my mind wanders to the many children in this world who do not have a safe and secure home, who suffer from food insecurity, whose parents are constantly worried about their ability to survive. I recognize how blessed I am that my grandson lives with his parents who are employed and therefore are able to keep him safely housed and clothed and fed. At his grandparents’ home in Arizona he has been able to swim every day in a private pool. He has books aplenty and he doesn’t lack for want of attention.
Children in the Gaza Strip live amongst bombed out ruins and the threat of bombs being dropped almost daily. Children in Yemen and Syrian refugee camps are starving and often their parents have been killed in an unrelenting war. Girls in Afghanistan can be killed because they want to go to school and be educated. Gangs in the Central American countries of Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Nicaragua threaten the lives of families and their children daily. In this country, children are traumatized by the active shooter drills. In the last ten years there have been 180 school shooting events and 356 victims in this country.
Where does our hope lie? Even as this pandemic ends in this country, those aforementioned countries are struggling to get the vaccines. Economic inequality continues to widen in this country and across the globe. The housing shortage is pricing people out of the market all over the US and homelessness continues to be on the rise. Many people are living on the edge.
Today’s prophets, William J. Barber II and Liz Theoharris from the Poor People’s Campaign are working continually to bring an end to this inequality. The pandemic was an interruption in their pursuit of lobbying congress to pass laws that will bring about economic reform.
The unnamed woman is an interruption in those moments of desperation felt by Jairus. Despite that interruption, because of their hope, the woman and Jairus’ daughter are healed, or saved.
What in your life is calling for an audacious hope? What does it look like in your life to trust God with that for which you most hope? Perhaps a step we could take as a community of faith to act on our hope would be to find out more about the Poor People’s Campaign and see if there is anything we can do to be a part of that organization.
As for me, my most audacious hope is that when Fred is 5, we will have taken steps to ensure that all children know the love of a grandmother (and their parents!). When he goes for his first day of school, I want to know that we have taken steps to prevent gun violence. I don’t want him to have to learn about active shooter’s drills. And if this happens for my beloved Fred, then it will be actuality for all the children of the world.
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Transcripts and audio recordings of recent sermons can be found on our website here. Audio recordings of older sermons are available here.
Youth Group Date Change
The tentative date for sailing has moved from August 15 to August 22. Please update your calendars!
Revised tentative dates for summer activities:
Saturday, July 10, 2:45-5 pm: Kayaking at Providence Kayak (downtown beside Fish Co and the Hot Club at 15 Bridge Street).
Sunday, August 22, 2-7 pm: Sailing and swimming with Captain Lin Fisher. Set sail from Rhode Island Yacht Club, 1 Ocean Ave, Cranston, RI 02905. Followed by pizza and ice cream.
Deacon's Meeting Cancelled
There will be no Deacon's meeting this Sunday.
The next PPC book group gathering will be on Saturday, July 31, from 10:00-11:30am to discuss Louise Erdrich’s recent novel, The Night Watchman. Erdrich was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for this book!