A Message from Pastor Kaji

July 20th,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Church: 

With abundant gratitude to our Elders and Deacons, today marks the start of our summer worship series. I continue to be inspired by the ways you are willing to adapt and innovate to bring the church’s gifts – exactly as they are, right now – to bear as we live according to our means. For this reason, we will have a new form of summer worship. For each week, church leaders – the ministers of the church! – will lead worship with sermons I have already prepared for you.Let me tell you about them! Over the course of the next seven weeks, we will be reflecting on the theme: Restore & Elevate.

For the introductory reflection, we’ll start at the bottom: shielding – the place from which we need restoration and elevation, by digging into Psalm 46 from the perspective of the teen mental health crisis. We will include resources for emergency support in the socials, but I’ll include them here, too. And while we may not, ourselves, be teenagers, and while we might not even have teenagers in our lives, they have much to teach us about how we approach mental health, as well. I commend to you this article from the New Yorker as preparation, along with the Psalm.

And if you or anyone you know needs emergency mental health support, I’m linking a few resources that I’ve helped some in our community to use.

Anywhere in the US, if you are in mental crisis, you can text or call 988.

I pray that our collective reflections on this crucial topic can be of help.

Pax Christi,
Pastor Kaji

Scripture for the Week – Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.’
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.