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Pastor Paul: 'We/Us' Bethany's preferred pronoun

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Dear Bethanians,

Pronouns are important.  Frequently we see at the bottom of communications the pronouns preferred by the author (he/him; she/her; they/they).  This is an identifier, a way of a person expressing how they would like to be seen and addressed. It promotes respectful and clear communication (once we get used to the preferences). 

In these days of COVID 19 concerns, I would like to suggest another approach to pronouns. Perhaps we can focus on “us/we/them” as our preferred pronoun.  In a time when living as community is so important, the “I” as it refers to accomplishments, mandates, leadership, feels more distancing than communal, but the “we/us” feels inviting and connecting.  Oh, please continue to use the “I/me” when you are sharing your sorrow or fear, your aches or your disappointments; let us not lost our ability to express our personal emotions in such an uncertain time. But as we move forward through days of intentional isolation and challenges that are both individual and communal, let us be together, let us claim our pronoun, our preferred pronoun, as “We/Us,” as in “we are the Body of Christ.”

Pastor Paul (he/him)

Posted by Paul Stumme-Diers with

Pastor Paul: Each quarantine concludes with a blessing

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Continuing with the 40 days theme (“Quarantine”), remember how the biblical 40 day journeys concluded, each with a sense of renewal: Noah and the dry land punctuated by a rainbow; Moses delivering his people an affirmation from God and a guide to community; for the Israelites, the “promised land;” for Elijah, a mission; and with Jesus, his proclamation in the Temple, echoing Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he was anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to set the captive free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Each quarantine concludes with a blessing from God, and in that the realization that God has accompanied us all along. In Lent, we also see the tears of Jesus falling upon us in our suffering, all the way to the cross of Good Friday…but then the Alleluia of Easter!

In our tears of this moment, let us tune our ears to the alleluia.

Pastor Paul

Posted by Paul Stumme-Diers with

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