October 13, 2013

Pastoral Letter

Greetings everyone,

I am excited to worship with you on this special Children's Sabbath. Across the country Children's Sabbaths bring together Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahá'í communities, as well as multi-faith coalitions that lift up children in need and answer their own faith tradition’s call to pursue justice, mercy, and compassion. It is exciting to be a part of such a broad movement, and one that is so clearly and deeply supported here at Los Altos UMC. Again and again, my heart is full as I learn about how deeply rooted our church's commitment is to caring for and supporting young people.

As a new kindergarten mom, I witness how our schools today are working (often) with a children to teacher ratio of 25-30-40:1 in the classrooms. I don't know how our teachers do it! Pediatricians, social workers, counselors have caregiver to child patient ratios that are similarly astounding. When I pray over these numbers, I think of the child’s prayer that is ... now the prayer of the Children's Sabbath organization:

"Dear Lord,
Be good to me.
The sea is so wide and my boat is so small."

I will share with you that this little prayer knocks me to my core each time I read it. But, I know, as a disciple of Christ, as an Easter people (yes, in the middle of fall!), that we are a people of hope, called to share God's story of resurrection. A daunting task, but one that is more necessary than ever as our seas of caring, nurture and support are ever-widening, and our safety nets ever decreasing. As a community of faith, we respond to these overwhelming ratios that I shared above — through our many ministries throughout the seasons — and in our day-to-day lives as Christ's disciples. Missions and ministries such as “Get on the Bus,’ “Everyone’s Inn,” “Homework Club,’ and “Door of Faith” empower us to respond as Christ’s disciples to a world in need. So, how are we continuing to support and grow these ministries that provide a caring network for the lives of God's children and young people? I would suggest that how we answer this question -- is the answer to how we are following Jesus. Let’s work together as Christ’s disciples to make our boat ever bigger and the seas much less narrow.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Melinda