In Times Like These….
Recently, we witnessed in horror as the news reported more mass shootings in the United States. Innocent lives were cut short by acts of domestic terrorism fueled by evil, racism and hatred as innocent people were killed in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
“In the year 1943, Ruth Caye Jones, a pastor’s wife in Pennsylvania and the mother of five, was distressed by the headlines of her Pittsburgh newspaper. She saw the World War II casualty lists and she knew the Allies were making slow progress through the boot of Italy. Supplies were rationed at home, and everyone was living under incredible strain.
Opening her Bible to 2 Timothy 3, Ruth studied the page and pondered the opening words: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come." A song began composing itself in her mind. She jotted some lyrics on a small pad in her apron pocket. A series of notes also played in her mind. Only later did she realize they came from the old clock on the mantle with its iconic Westminster Chimes. Soon the notes and music congealed to become one of the most beloved Gospel songs of the 1940s and 1950s, “In Times Like These.”
In times like these we need a Savior;
In times like these we need an anchor.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
In Times like these, HOPE anchors our souls. We can also offer HOPE-filled actions through our relationship with Christ to our communities. Our churches have an opportunity to do more than mention these incidents in our “thoughts and prayers” during our Sunday Morning Worship Service. We are called to “Equip clergy and laity to connect with their communities”.
We want to provide clergy and laity with the resources to empower them to effectively connect with the needs and concerns surrounding our church communities. The links below are resources provided for churches by the Council of Bishop’s and our General Agencies of the United Methodist Church.
I hope you find some of these resources provided by the Council of Bishops, Discipleship Ministries, General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society helpful.
Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis
Superintendent, Gulf Central District