How odd it is to live in this world where it seems when connecting with others is easier than ever from a technical sense, and yet just as hard—and maybe even a little harder—in others.
Smartphones social media and email all make it easier to help others know WHAT we are doing. And yet it still remains up to us to let people know how we ARE and what we NEED. All the bright and shiny baubles do not take away a basic choice—do we acknowledge and empower our interdependence with one another or do we put our energy into preserving a radical autonomy?
The messages we get every day reinforce that it is better to be a giver than a receiver, that people who are in need are somehow suspect and that we do NOT want to be one of those people. And yet to offer help from a place of authentic generosity requires that when we are in need, we can learn the lessons of receiving. Being able to receive help makes us a better helper.
Living our values means acting out of our sense of interconnection—recognizing that we are woven into the strands of that mutual web of connection. We have a million small ways in which we can offer help to someone—being a listening ear to someone who has no one to listen; giving a ride to someone who otherwise would not have been able to attend something that will provide inspiration or connection; fixing a computer for someone less savvy; or even doing some small practical task for someone like picking up groceries or needed medicine.
Our community has many ways to help. We offer support for those who have suffered a recent loss, caregivers, and people in life passages such as retirement or divorce or other life changes. We also have a Pastoral Visitors program for people who could use a trained and empathetic listening ear. Our Caring Committee offers help with Memorial Services, a knitting ministry, baby clothes for new arrivals and short-time times of difficulty and manages our Neighborhood Networks which are designed to provide transportation help. The Ministers’ Discretionary Fund offers financial assistance with housing, food, utilities, medical care and other urgent needs for members and friends of the congregation. If you want to be part of any of these activities, please let me know. If any of these ministries of the congregation would be helpful to you, please let me know.
None of these resources are helpful if you don’t let someone know you need them. If you have an urgent need, please CALL. Don’t ever worry about whether it is the right time or whether everyone is too busy to deal with your need. If you have a less time-sensitive need and aren’t sure where to start, email email@example.com. This address will go to me, to Rev. Neal Anderson and to our intern minister.
Let’s live our values and care for one another. Let’s offer care and ask for it when we need it.
Rev. Leslie Takahashi is the Lead Minister of the congregation. She can be reached at 925-934-3135 extension 112 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.