A Pastoral Note During the Federal Government Shutdown

Grace and Peace,We know that many of you in our congregation are faithful public servants, contract workers, and others who have dedicated your lives in service to your country. We understand that the extended partial shutdown has put undue stress on people who are forced to stay at home, or who continue to serve our country without pay.We want to thank our federal employees for their commitment to serve the people of this country with enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work. We also want to be of service to you during this moment of uncertainty, particularly for those who are furloughed.Beginning Wednesday, January 23 at 10 a.m., and Wednesdays for the duration of the shutdown, all are welcome to join the pastors for a weekly Bible study with coffee, pastries, and prayer at the church. This will be a way to put your time to good use, and to hold one another and our country in prayer.We also know that many are facing stress, anxiety, and financial difficulties.Your pastors always have an open door for counseling. We also ask that you reach out if you are facing acute financial difficulty. As with all pastoral concerns, your needs will be kept confidential.Finally, if you are just looking to make good use of your time off, we have plenty of volunteer and service work for you! Just give us a call.Together, we are committed to serving our region, and we pray for an end to this shutdown through compassion, compromise, and unity. Join us as we unite in prayer to God.Lord, you are sovereign over all nations and people, guiding our steps and deliberations for your glory, and for the service of your people. We pray that a spirit of wisdom would come upon those in power, and that your hand would guide them for a just and quick end to this shutdown. We pray especially for those who work with the federal government who are directly affected - help us to join together to aid those in need. We also lift up all those whose futures seem uncertain because of this impasse, and we pray that the end of this shutdown might be a beginning for reconciliation. We pray these things not by our own power, but by the power of your Spirit that dwells with and within us. Amen.Peace,Pastors Camille, Rachel, and Chris