• Offerings of Love in Our Midst

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” —John 14:27

    One of the privileges I have as a pastor of the First Congregational Church in Winchester is witnessing the love and care that is expressed within and around this congregation in small and large ways that many of you don’t see because of the quiet and confidential nature of the offerings. Still, they are movements of Spirit and offerings of peace that you should know are happening around this generous community all the time.

    Each Communion Sunday we invite people to contribute to the Pastor and Deacon Fund and this makes it possible for Rev. Judy and myself to draw immediately upon funds to help people in crisis. Over the last month we received two significant calls. One was from a single mother in need here in Winchester and the money helped her not only purchase an Easter meal but take care of a car issue that was complicating her life terribly. A few weeks earlier another family was stressed and overwhelmed by medical bills because of an illness difficult to diagnose and we were able to help them by covering the largest and most debilitating of the bills. The Pastor and Deacon fund is healthy because you are generous and it makes such immediate and helpful responses possible.

    But there is more than just money that is offered by our congregation in quiet expressions of care. Recently someone in our community had to make an immediate move out of their house and with very little effort on my part there were seven people from this congregation at the house packing boxes and schlepping stuff to the dump. Someone needs a ride to a hospital in New York City and people volunteer. Someone needs a translator at the local ICE detention center and another person in our midst steps up. Someone is in need of legal advice and a church member has a friend in that particular field who is happy to help. There is this remarkable and inspiring flow of Christ energy and love that threads through this community and addresses troubled hearts and helps people be less afraid. I hope you know this and if you have a need yourself that you will feel free to come to Rev. Judy, myself or any one of us on the Ministry Team or in the church leadership and experience yourself just how resourceful and generous this community can be.

    When the resurrected Christ appeared to his disciples he breathed on them, offered them peace, and through his Spirit called them together into communities of love to bear the good news of love to a fearful world. Up here on the hill in Winchester, we are serving Christ’s purposes by offering peace to a fearful and hurting world in a myriad of ways. Thank you for your faithfulness in being a community brought together and inspired by the resurrected Christ!

    Peace,

    —Rev. Will Burhans
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