A Message from Pastor Rachel

"Did you watch Chris Pratt's Generation Award speech at the MTV Movie Awards this week?!" ...is a sentence that I never thought I'd say. But here we are. Pratt (character-actor-turned-super-star) won something called the "Generation Award" this week. His speech was disarming, charming, heart-felt and faithful. He used his four minutes and his influence to inspire viewers. You can watch it here. [Fair warning, the speech isn't overly crude, but I would rate it PG.]
Recently the country has had to deal with more than its share of death, suicide, depression, and trauma. This week, Latesha, Pastor Chris and I have heard more than a few people saying, "I'm tired," "I don't want to be here anymore," "I want to give up," "I just don't know the point," "It doesn't make any difference." I suffer from depression and anxiety ("brain allergies" as my kids call them!), and I know what it feels like to just want to give up. There are times when our human limitations are painfully apparent, and during these times the church is more important than ever. We support and we are supported by our brothers and sisters in our community. 
In his speech, Pratt said, "If you're strong, be a protector and if you're smart be a humble influencer." I was encouraged by Sunday's witness to our church's decades-long commitment to refugees. I've read articles by members and friends of GPC urging justice and prudence and compassion; I've followed the demonstrations and rulings at our denomination's General Assembly; I've prayed alongside fellow religious leaders and GPC members. As Christians we use our influence to point towards our gracious savior. As children of the promise, we can proclaim that the suffering of this world is unacceptable, and that evil and death will not have the last word. Scripture reminds us that nothing--not even death--can separate us from the love of Christ. And that is something worth talking about.