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Be With Us

“I lift my eyes up to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth…The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time and forevermore.” [Psalm 121:1, 8]


Dear congregation, I leave you with this message as I embark on my three-month sabbatical in a couple of days. Our help comes from God. Our God keeps our going out and coming in. God will be with you while I am away. God will be with me as I spend this time deeply drinking from the font of living water, free of the responsibilities of daily ministry. In this wide-open space of time, I will focus on what feeds my soul – silence, nature, and family. Although these things are part of my everyday experience, the tyranny of the urgent often displaces their importance. In scripture we are reminded that, “God rested on the seventh day,” and that we should let the land rest and lie fallow in the seventh year. Rest is needed for renewal and restoration. And like the land, pastors are most effective when they are given the opportunity to lie fallow after seven years of ministry, which I completed on January 16thof this year. I will be praying for you, and I ask that you pray for me. In my absence, be about the work of noticing what feeds your soul. Notice also what feeds our congregational soul. Be about the work of making space so that God can shape and reshape us for ministry in our challenging 21st century context. May God abundantly bless these next three months for all of us.



Holy One, be with me. Be with us. Hone my attentiveness to your Spirit at work within me. Help me to see you at work in me, in us, and in our community. Thank you for your promise to always be with me, to always be with us, your church. Amen.


Pastor Cheryl

First Presbyterian Church of Redlands

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