"Anchored in God's Love"
Suttons Bay Congregational Church
See below for the video of Sunday's worship service.  
October 17, 2017

​Dear Friends,

I love everything about autumn EXCEPT our church snow birds leaving for their winter homes. It really gets me down. If I had it my way, no one would leave and we'd all be here all winter except for the odd trip here and there to warm up a bit. But, I don't get to have it my way. Indeed, none of us really get to have it our way when it comes to how other people live their lives, do we? Even though I am well-aware of the futility of trying to control someone else's life, I confess that I still sometimes wish I could. And yet, I know that the only thing that comes from trying to manage or control someone else is that I end up frustrated, resentful, and anxious. 

Perhaps that is why I resonate with the way Rob Bell talks about "entrusting" others to God instead of trying to control others in his latest book, What Is the Bible? "We entrust others to God because if we don't, we will inevitably deal with our anxiety and worry and fear by trying to control and manipulate them . . . People with a high need to control others are generally doing it as a way of dealing with the lack of control they're experiencing within themselves." And friends, isn't that just so true. When the change and upheaval in our own lives feels like it is out of our control, some of us turn to trying to control others in an attempt to regain control. The key to untangling ourselves from this vicious cycle is to focus on accepting and dealing with the change in our own lives and giving other people the space to do the same in theirs. 

So much of this comes down to how we respond to change. Do we fight it and try to control it or do we accept it for what it is . . . inevitable. Our kids are going to grow up. Our bodies are going to fail us. Our homes are going to become too much for us to manage. There will be changes in our nation and world that deeply disturb us. Change is a constant. BUT, so is God's presence with us in the midst of the change. And so we trust God to lead us through it. AND, we entrust others to the same loving and merciful God with the knowledge that, in the end, everything really is going to be okay.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Robin

Dear friends,

              People are like stained glass windows:
              They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
              but when the darkness sets in,
              their true beauty is revealed
              only if there is a light within.
                                              - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This past Sunday was CROP Walk in Leelanau County. What a crappy day. Rain. (yuk) Wind. (double yuk) Multi-layered-clothing weather at best. (no more swimming) Hearing the rain and wind lash my bedroom windows early that morning, my hopes for the day dribbled away, just like the raindrops tracking down the window pane. Just this one day of the week, Lord. Just one day for you to turn that sun on to full brightness for all the people who were planning to CROP walk. And - to be fair - for everyone else anticipating a hike in the woods or an outdoor activity to end their weekend. 

Okay, we got to Omena Presbyterian Church in a drizzle, got everything set up, and the walkers started to filter in. Singles, pairs, groups, men, women, children, young adults. My hopes rose when I heard friends greeting friends. We registered, we prayed, we were cheered on by the Michigan CROP Walk manager, Lary Jackson. And we set out on our walk, our steps eager. And the rain stopped. The wind blew but we were sheltered by all the trees on Omena Point. It was a bit chilly, but our brisk pace kept us all warm. Apples and water refreshed us along the way. The sun came out briefly, and each of those walkers sparkled and shone like pieces of stained glass. Even when the clouds tumbled in, each of those walkers sparkled and shone because they had an inner light. They walked on Sunday because thousands of people around the world walk every day for employment, for education, for food and water. And a threat of a little rain in Leelanau County didn't darken their spirits. 

Dear God,
Thank you for all the people who walk:
to sustain their very lives
or to raise funds to help others.
"Shine, Jesus, Shine"
and make us shine with your inner light.

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Thank you to Linda Miller for providing the weekly reflection and prayer.