Trinity is committed to the principles of “year-round stewardship”. At our January meeting, the Stewardship team selected monthly themes for 2021. Some months fell into place quite easily. March would be Stewardship of Our Building, with the annual pre-Easter church Spring Cleaning/Work Day. May would be Stewardship Benefiting People Around the World, coinciding with our ELCA God’s Global Barnyard fundraising campaign. June would be Stewardship of Time and Talents, in preparation for resuming in-person worship in the sanctuary (hopefully) this fall. Our most pressing task, though, was to choose the February theme. The question was posed, “what do people really need right now?” Without hesitation, Phil Cronk responded “CALM! We all need to take it down a notch.” So true!
On a personal, a family, a local, a national, and a global level, there is so very much that leads caring people to worry – to feel anxious – to feel fearful. A certain amount of worry is inevitable and even beneficial; for example, worry makes us drive more carefully when the roads are icy. But constant and pervasive anxiety is damaging to our physical and mental health, and to our relationships with those around us. So we selected Stewardship of Our Anxiety as our February theme. We will encourage people to engage in activities that provide “serenity breaks”, if only for a few minutes, each day……things like music, nature sounds, art, visualizing beautiful places, physical activities, and spiritual practices…..things that give our brains some time-off from being bombarded with anxiety-triggering thoughts.
Scripture speaks to finding calm in a world that is dishing out fear.
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.
Philippians 4:6, 7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 94:19 – When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.
Each of us is a unique individual. It may be very different things that bring calm to each of us. For some, proactively “choosing calm” may be a new experience, but many of us already know what “works” to bring us to a place of calm. Knowing it is one thing; making a practice of DOING it is something else entirely! February 2021 may be the perfect time to stop neglecting these helpful practices, or, perhaps, to try something new. And to remember, as in the Cherokee tale, the wolf that wins is the wolf you feed.
The Tale of Two Wolves – A Cherokee Indian Legend
Loving God, as I bring my worries to you, please bring your peace to my mind and your healing to my soul. Amen.