Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Vote!

 
Dear Beloved,

This week we witnessed the first presidential debate of the 2020 election year. For many, it produced anxiety because of the contentious nature of the exchange or disgust at the lack of civility between the two candidates. It may have left some feeling as though they just want to tune out of the debate and commercials or even the election itself.

Looking at the issue from a spiritual perspective, God gave humans dominion (Genesis 1:26-2). God who is Love entrusted us as stewards of all that is created. That Divine Love which cares for neighbor has given us not only this gift, but also the responsibility for its care. Likewise, we are not only blessed to live in a country characterized by freedom and plenty, but we are responsible for ensuring that ALL may partake of those gifts. We are responsible for participating in elections by exercising our right to vote.

The US fought in the Revolutionary War to gain autonomy over our lives. It took years for some classes of people to receive the right to participate by voting with women finally able to participate in 1920 and black people in 1965. Even though the Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to enable Native Americans to vote, there have been a number of efforts to suppress that vote through unjust requirements like literacy tests. In most states felons lose the right to vote while incarcerated. In NH that vote returns once they are released. Some teens wait excitedly to turn 18 so that they might participate in elections and yet some of us fail to exercise that precious right.

Recently deceased United States Representative John Lewis of Georgia said, 

"The right to vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy."

In the Bible, figures like Joseph, Esther, Mordecai and Paul used their influence for “the good of their people and for the welfare of all their descendants” (Esther 10:3). 

We at Wesley encourage you to vote, to exercise this precious, sacred tool for the good of yourself and your neighbors. 

If you have questions about how to register or vote, please contact the church office at 224-7413 so that we can help you.

God bless you.
Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen, Pastor
Wesley United Methodist Church
Concord NH

Join us for worship Sundays at 10:30
on YouTube at this link

Thursday, September 24, 2020

What does God smell like?

 Dear Beloved, 


It has been a difficult week with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the resulting political turmoil, the ongoing pandemic and increase of COVID cases, the severe drought and wildfires, no indictments meaning no justice for the killing of Breonna Taylor and the shooting of two police officers during a night of protest.

The topics of division, health and care of others, stewardship of our environment and justice are properly the subject of our prayer. They need not be politically divisive. They are the subject of our relationship with each other, with our earth and with God. God weeps with us. God deeply desires wholeness in the midst of such brokenness. 

While we are called to act in these areas through our prayer, our vote and our action, God desires wholeness and wellbeing for us as individuals too. In this very stressful time, we need to take care of ourselves and sometimes that means turning the news off and tuning into God instead. 


Tuning into God can be familiar if it's something you do often, but if you're out of practice, here's a meditation to help you focus on the divine. Sitting quietly, look around at your surroundings and take note of five things you can see. Appreciate each thing as being created by God and think of its significance in your life and how it manifests love and connection. Next note four things you can hear.Think about the memories each thing invokes. Next are three things that you can touch. What emotions rise in you as you engage this sense? Next are two things that you can smell. After you've appreciated these two things currently in your surroundings, contempate the question, "What does God smell like?" (For me, it's spring mud, earthy and full of the expectation of new life blooming.) Finally, think of one thing you can taste right now. Think of why it's important and then reflect on the words of the hymn "Taste and see that the Lord is good" as they pertain to Holy Communion. How have you experienced God in this exercise? Have you found a brief respite from the news? If so, try it again tomorrow and be blessed.

God bless you.

Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen, Pastor
Wesley United Methodist Church
Concord NH

Join us for worship Sundays at 10:30 

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