The tale of Esther is one of only two books in the Bible as we have received it, which never mentions God.  This might lead us to imagine that God has no role in the story at all, but God is very present in the events, the characters, and the choices they make.  While dramatic in its own right, the story is a vital way that we are reminded that God is always with us – “in the building,” as it’s popular to say in current parlance, wherever we find ourselves.

God does not always appear in our lives like a burning bush, or hit us like a lightning bolt or clap of thunder.  But God is never on the sidelines.  God loves us too much for that.  If you think God is on the sidelines in your life, think again.  How do you know love, courage, and faithfulness?  By whom and through whom are you touched and sustained?  That is God present, God at work, and when we recognize that, we know deep peace and joy.  Make it a spiritual discipline each day to remain attuned to ways in which God is present, touching your life – in perhaps very, very unexpected people and ways.  And give thanks.

Peace and grace to you in all things,

Pastor Carol

Neighbors in Need – Sunday October 11

Neighbors in Need helps make another world possible. The special offering we take every October supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by Justice and Witness Ministries to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects.

This year bulletin inserts describe the powerful witness of our American Indian partners in ministry. Information will also be presented about UCC’ s resolution to “Repudiate the doctrine of Discovery which authorized the Genocide of Native Peoples and the Theft of Native Lands”.

We at IUC will take our special Neighbors in Need offering on Sunday, October 11. It needs your support. Please give generously. Thank you.