By Angela Moyer Walter
I am a bi-vocational pastor living and ministering in the city of Allentown, PA. I work as a healthcare provider in pediatric home care. It is hard to articulate what the past two and a half years of a global pandemic have been like for me, but I will try.
Uncertainty is my word to describe 2020. It was challenging to figure out how to provide occupational therapy services to families via telehealth and make wise choices with my co-pastors regarding worship, ministry, and safety.
I describe 2021 with the word fatigue. The constant and unending changes and desperation drained me. My usual places of calm and refreshment were no longer sufficient. Many things required double the energy and unexpected complications became the norm.
When 2022 came, I experienced anxiety in a way that I never had before. It is one thing to walk alongside folks experiencing overwhelming anxiety, but it is another trying to manage your own.
Despite the uncertainty, fatigue, and anxiety, I can testify through it all, God’s Chesed (loving kindness) has sustained me.
At our church, Ripple, the children enjoy singing, “Jesus is the rock, the rock that lasts, Jesus is the rock that lasts. My soul has found a resting place.” When we are tossed repeatedly by the ever-changing crashing waves, Jesus is our rock. God never leaves us. God is present with us in the storm.
I have used these images in scripture often to encourage and support others. But with the pandemic and our country’s social-political polarization over the past two years, these images have become ingrained more deeply into my own being and understanding of God.
During this season of uncertainty, fatigue, and anxiety, many have experienced God in new and profound ways. I have found myself singing a favorite chorus recently, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Despite our challenges and discomfort in life, God’s continual presence changes and transforms all of us through reconciling love.
I welcome the opportunity to gather at fall Assembly with you and celebrate chesed, God’s loving kindness that has sustained humanity though all the hardships of all time. God is good, abundant, and so gracious with us. When the world around us is in chaos, we can take deep breaths and know that God’s Spirit, ruah, is near to us, pulsing through us. This is good news!
Think of God in a very big way.
And if you do, that’s too small!
You can’t think of anything more wonderful than this God.
And you can’t figure out anything about God without a special grace.
God is so marvelously good, there is no word for it.
So gentle. So considerate. So kind.
So tender – so everything marvelous.
That is God. And whatever you say about God is far less than it is.
– THOMAS KEATING
As we prepare for Assembly, I encourage you to read Psalm 116 in The Message. Verses 1-11 describe my experience well, and I’m not alone in that. Verses 12-14 summarize what I am anticipating at Assembly:
What can I give back to God
for the blessings he’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it together with his people.
Mosaic’s inaugural two years have brought challenges and celebrations, and God has been moving through it all. We have wept and prayed together, shared with one another, and learned from one another, and, Chesed has sustained us. What can we give back to God? We will lift high the cup of God’s salvation!
Angela Moyer Walter
Angela Moyer Walter is Assistant Moderator of Mosaic Conference, Co-pastor at Ripple Church in Allentown, PA, and an occupational therapist at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation. She enjoys long summer evenings with family and friends and watching the Philadelphia Phillies.