Rejoice and give thanks.

I have witnessed the goodness in people in many ways in recent weeks.

There is the family who gathered around to help in the last days of a loved one. The love and good humor has been extraordinary.

I have seen families make sacrifices for each other.

I witnessed a man at the UK football game, who was so mad at the man sitting next to him that I thought he was going to punch him. I could tell the man who was the target of his vitriol, was planning how to reconcile and while I could not hear what they were saying, early in the fourth quarter, there were two hands shaking and slight smiles exchanged.

More than one person has said they are planning to make a pledge or gift to “The Future is Now” campaign in the near future, but not right now. Each one of these people are struggling through tough times but thinking of the church all the while.

When the Hospice nurse asked Ed Williams what he missed the most, he said in a voice slightly above a whisper, “I miss my church.”

People have purchased beautiful flowers to remember loved ones and have allowed us to share in the remembrance by providing them for church.

Property Committee members have stepped forward in Jerry Price’s absence, to contract with companies to repair the roof, fix the holes in the parking lot and install new, efficient heat and air conditioning on the second floor. The HVAC will be completed by Friday. The paving is done and the removal of the 10th Street entrance is almost complete.

Eleven youth came to be trained to work at Operation Food Basket and learned about not only hunger, but “food insecurity”. We talked about the SNAP program (The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or as it is commonly known “food stamps.” We talked about the WIC program, which is “Women Infants and Children” program to feed young children.

A new young person has come to our church. He rides his bike and is one of the first people to arrive on Sunday morning.

I am sitting talking to a person who we used to see frequently at the church, but haven’t seen for a while. She was comfortable here that she came in and poured a cup of coffee and is now talking about many things with us.

Carrol Callebs came in and told us she and Harry had been married 50 years this Friday. What a glorious accomplishment – a celebration of enduring love.

There are many things that trouble us and have us asking “why? But there are also many reasons to rejoice and give thanks for the goodness in the world.

Moving to the deeper places,