An important message for God’s people in difficult times. From Rev. P. Cobb
Beloved Montesano Presbyterian Church:
Grace and peace in the loving name of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
This letter has been a long time coming and in many regards is overdue. I have thought long and hard about the events of COVID19, riots in the streets of my home town, violence and outrageous behavior of people with little to no regard for the safety of others and how the precious lives of all people; of all ethnicities, cultures, belief systems and regions matter to the one and only Lord our God who laid down His life so that all could come and eat at His table. As your pastor and from the session members of Montesano Presbyterian Church, we have formulated a collective statement that share our thoughts and feelings of our present day and age. We would love to hear from you as well, in hopes that we can talk and share our feelings for healing and community wellbeing. Thank you for taking the time to read this statement of awareness.
A message to our Church community:
As a family, we have been experiencing difficult times and my endless prayer is that you feel the presence of Jesus in the unrest and sorrow, division and discrimination, and the overwhelming insecurity from secular forces which were thrust upon us as we watched the world unfold before our eyes almost two months ago. I can honestly say, I have been changed. I am not the same person that left San Antonio 6 months ago. Thankfully, my faith is stronger than ever before and my love for God’s people is growing into something I never could have imagined. I have prayed to see people as Christ sees them and lately I have had glimpses of grace for people I don’t know and want to help, I have reached out to strangers and prayed for people all over the world. The Lord is moving without a doubt. I share this with you because you are my church family and we can make a difference.
I genuinely believe that we are the Body of Christ. We are united in one Holy Spirit of faith and the only God our Creator who is love. We are a unified people founded in biblical values with Jesus the only begotten Son our Lord, as our Savior and exemplar. Therefore, everything we say does come from our relationship with him.
As the Pastor of Montesano Presbyterian Church, I feel it is my obligation and duty to share a biblical perspective that captures who we are as a church in the world, but not of the world.
These are biblical truths for you to cling to:
We will not be conformed but transformed into children of God (1 John 2:15 and Romans 12:2). We are holy and set apart for good works (1 Thess. 4:7).
We were called to be a cloud of witnesses, to a hurting world (Heb. 12:1).
We are examples of faith and hope, because of grace (Eph 2).
We are a city on a hill and the light of the world (Matt. 5:14-16).
As Christians, we are called to the one great hope of salvation: reconciliation in Christ’s blood. We were once separated because of sin, but now we are brought near because of Christ, we were once enemies of God, we are now faithful heirs of the glory of his kingdom because Jesus redeemed us through the cross. This is our peace.
I have used the word “Oikos” to describe our church family. Church Family, our world is being torn apart by many things. Personally, I feel hostility is to blame. A hostility and a ruthless indignation have poisoned every inch of our country and its people, our government, our cities, our relationships with friends and even family; even our churches are being attacked. The hostility that prides itself on hatred, intolerance, bigotry, bullying, abhorrence, dogmatism, intimidation, and the futility that comes with ignorance and a refusal to love humanity as one human race under God. God gave the world one rule in a universal language that crosses religious lines – “To do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We know this as the great commandment or the golden rule. It is heartbreaking and outrageous that humanity fails to understand the depth and width that love offers in this simple moral truth.
I have seen and loathe the videos from George Floyd to the looting and destruction history and livelihoods, of injustice committed against innocent people and against those who protect and serve; it has seared the minds of us all and must be confronted head on. The voice of reason must be heard, expressed in a stern “NO! this is not acceptable for a people who live in the land of liberty”. We as God’s people say “NO!” we will not allow this to be our way of life. Our faith and values explicitly call us to speak the truth with courage and stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable, working to REMOVE oppression, racism, and the injustices associated with hatred. In the wake of the looting, the riots, the suicides, the despair, I ask for all people to come together as one people under God, in the name of Jesus as our Lod, for the good of all people, the whole human race. Let all God’s people, Christian’s specifically, and even those who may not hold a faith, unite in love for humanity and respect for life; pray for healing and renew our commitment to doing what is right and good to all we meet along the path of life.
On top of all of this, the fear of COVID has multiplied these hostilities and exacerbated fears, anxieties, traumas, mental illnesses, and other problems within the human race. Humanity is being threatened in ways our minds cannot comprehend. The human race is being tested and tormented, tempted and assaulted by the powers of evil that have been at work since the garden of Eden. Satan is whispering in the ears of the human race like never before, and people are listening and taking the bait.
I come to you today to share biblical truths, hope, and ask for grace for all people. I ask in humility with sincerity of my heart, my body, and my soul that you pray for our country and its people, and our world. Pray for the wounded who have suffered oppression and abuse at the hands of tyranny. Pray for the children who are victims of horrors and atrocities of days gone by. Pray for our community, pray that we will be a beacon that shines bright enough for those who need to see who we are in Christ and the courage to ask Jesus to come into their lives.
Please remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. We as Christians, know that the hostility of this present is nothing compared to the glory of God and the omnipotence within Him. We know without a doubt, that the actions of the world grieve the Spirit; we too are grieving, we too are failing in our actions done and left undone; though we ask for forgiveness and know that grace abounds with mercy for all. Nevertheless, we are called to act as Christian faithful in obedience to Christ and out of love. We believe that all things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to his purpose. So, we worship, so we pray, so we meditate on God’s Holy and inerrant and never changing Word.
Beloved in Christ, please to do not lose hope. Please to do not fault others for not understanding your point of views. Please do not feel as though you are alone or abandoned in this time. We are the body of Christ. We are the church where love abides in God. Peace be with you all. ><>
- The overwhelming response for me to the racial conflict that has come to a head is sadness; sadness for all lives lost, for police lives lost, for the dissension in our society.
I don’t believe there is one statement we can make as a Church, because we don’t all agree on what needs to be said. I believe the best solution is what I experienced recently as a few of us worked alongside the crew moving the Cobbs belongings into their home. In that situation, working with the crew of different ethnicities including two young people who were Muslim, their was kindness, appreciation & respect shown. It moved me to tears. I think we can make the biggest difference in daily interactions as we
show kindness & respect. John and Peggy Gillespie
We condemn racism and the violent abuse of power, we call for justice for victims and their families, and exhort churches to combat attitudes and systems that perpetuate racism. We are grateful for law enforcement officers who honorably serve and protect our communities and urge our members to uphold them in prayer. ECO
Christians believe that racism is an affront to the value of individuals created in God’s image and to the divinely designed diversity of redeemed humanity. This denial of personhood and belonging runs contrary to the peace and unity that God intended in the beginning and that the Bible depicts as our destiny. ECO
The Congregation of MPC stands together <><