A Pastoral Message from The Rev. Martha McKeeby Rev. Martha McKee on May 26, 2022
There are times when we feel that God is not on the job – not protecting those children, adults, and families in Uvalde, not healing those we love, not giving us the answers we want. Even Mary cried out to Jesus when her brother died: “If only you had been here…” These are the moments we most need to cling to God’s promises and rely on the faith of the Church and our companions in Christ.
Friday, May 26th is Ascension Day, a major feast celebrating the departure of the risen Christ to heaven after forty days of appearing to his followers on earth. “It is the final elevation of his human nature to divine glory and the near presence of God.” In church time, we are between Jesus’ departure and our celebration of the arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Sunday, June 5th. Even the calendar expresses those cycles of experiencing God’s distance from us and presence with us.
Bishop Reed offered wise counsel in his letter to the Diocese in response to the school shooting in Uvalde (click here to read the full letter):
“We must pray. Ignore the cynics, and pray with all your heart. Let your cries reach to the heavens. Let your anger and despair be your prayer. And listen to God answering in return. Look for God’s tears revealed and listen for his perfect and righteous anger. Prayer alone is not enough.”
Our children need us to provide safe spaces for them to learn and grow. Schools and churches can provide a foundation for them to flourish. St. Elizabeth must continue to strive to be that kind of sanctuary for families who need a church to support them with love, friends, and Christian education. We must be the kind of people who work for our schools to be places where children are able to learn and grow into the people God intends for them to become. We will not always agree on how this should be done, but we must work together for the sake of the children. As Bishop Reed stated in his letter, “Give yourself over to opportunities to join in the Spirit’s work of binding up and healing. Love with all you’ve got, and never, ever surrender to the darkness”
On a personal level, this is a time to offer a listening ear to those who are hurt by the news around us. Just listen; it is enough. We offer to stand with the people around us, as God stands near to us. If you need to talk, please call me and I will stand with you and listen. Continue to pray, continue to love, and know that God is with us and will see us through it all. With blessings for you all.
A Special Offering for Uvalde
The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas invites congregations to collect a special offering to benefit individuals and families affected by the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. Donations sent to the Diocesan office will be given to St. Philip's Church in Uvalde to disperse as needed for the relief and healing of individuals and their community.
Congregations and individuals can give online (by clicking here); by texting the word "Uvalde" to (210) 796-6805; or by mailing a check made out to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas with "Uvalde Response" on the memo line to the address below:
Episcopal Diocese of West Texas
Attn: Uvalde Response
P.O. Box 6885
San Antonio, TX 78209