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Pastor’s Letter – July 15, 2022

Dear Granby,

Please take the time to read this letter because it is full of important information!

First, this Sunday we will take up our monthly offering for Ukraine. If you have had the time to read the latest letter from Tania, you will know how urgent the need is, and how powerful. Keep praying each day at noon for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine that ALL people may be lifted up to dwell in harmony. Allow yourselves to be moved by generosity in your giving.

Second, since I came on as your Bridge Pastor I have been hoping to create a more conscious prayer ministry. You all do so beautifully with the pray list and pray cards during service. But that list doesn’t really have a head “pray-er.” And that’s where Helen comes in! I’ve asked Helen Butcher to become the Lead Prayer Minister. That means, if you have a pray need or know someone who needs pray, in addition to putting it on the prayer list, please call Helen. She will actively be praying for those needs every day and will be prayerfully receiving those needs to give them loving, thoughtful attention. We will list her name and phone number in the bulletin as a resource for prayer needs.

You will notice on Sunday that I will wear a mask while preaching and will not be hanging out indoors. I did test positive for Covid. I am feeling much better!

Looking forward to August, I truly encourage you to attend church in South Hadley. A collaboration like the one you have seems like a matter of convenience during a hot summer–but it is much more than that. Cross-pollination is essential for healthy growth. What’s it like to go to another church? How about if you have never been there and you go? Well, if you do that, then you will have some sense of what it’s like for those who come for the first time to OUR church. Particularly for those of who feel like our church is “family,” you need to experience other places to appreciate anew what you have but also to feel yourself that “new person” feeling. Not everyone feels the immediate “family” experience when they walk in to our church, no matter how hard we try. That kind of feeling generally takes time to grow. You will learn something about yourself if you go. You will get new ideas for our church. You will encourage an important relationship. Churches cannot operate in isolation; we truly need one another. You will also get new ideas about hospitality and how best to welcome the stranger, the newcomer, the “only sometimes” church-goer.

Many blessings,

Sam