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Pastoral Letter, October 3, 2023

To the Saints in San Carlos, the city of Saint Charles Borromeo:

Our psalm for next Sunday begins:


I stretch out my hands to thee;

my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land. 

Make haste to answer me, O LORD!

My spirit fails!  Hide not thy face from me,

lest I be like those who go down to the Pit.

Let me hear in the morning of thy steadfast love,

for in thee I put my trust.

Every Sunday we conclude our service by singing in Samoan:

Lo’u agaga e, sulufa’i naunau mo oe le Alii

Which means, in English:

My soul longs for refuge in you, O Lord.


No matter who or how or where we are; no matter how strong and powerful, no matter how well things are going for us and our loved ones; we long for refuge in God.  Our hearts abide restless until they abide in Thee, says the psalmist in so many different ways.


This week we have seen the narrow aversion of a shutdown of the federal government, followed by the decision of eleven members of the House of Representatives to shut down their own speaker of the house.  As of this writing, no one knows who the new speaker will be or when the house will return to work.


Every Sunday in church we pray for those who are near and dear to us and, among others, for those who serve us in public office.  We all need help, perhaps no one more than the people elected to office.  


Or Old Testament lesson is from Isaiah; words repeated by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry:


The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me

    because God anointed me.

He sent me to preach good news to the poor,

    heal the heartbroken . . .

To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,

    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,

Messages of joy instead of news of doom,

    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.


The Good News of the Gospel is good every day; good all the time.  There is so much for which to be grateful, no matter what other news we hear.


We gather every Sunday to read stories from the Bible we have heard before, sing hymns we have sung before, utter prayers we have prayed before.  It stills our restless hearts and frees us to keep moving.


It will be the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, at the end of a week of unseasonable warmth in the Bay Area, another taste of summer before the winter rains.


Do let me know of any special prayers, intentions and concerns in the weeks and months ahead.  As Garrison Keillor concludes his Writer's Almanac:  


Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


- Pastor Richard Hyde

Community Church of San Carlos

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