Christian Education

August 27, 2021

Carolyn Matthews

August 27, 2021

Restoration in a Pandemic

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord…”

Jeremiah 30:17a

Our Lakeshore all church family retreat took place August 6-8, at Red-wood Glen. It was healing just being able to meet and greet one another in that very familiar setting. Our theme was based on a “Forever Young” session earlier in the year. How do we deal with all that has happened in this past year and a half? How do we even begin to come back together and continue to build community in-person and together again?

We had an opportunity to confront those things that some of us may have dismissed, ignored, or put in the background so we would not have to deal with the reality of the “now.” The image above served as a picture of how we can con-front and take the broken pieces of our lives and bring them together into some-thing beautiful. God is the one who adds the “gold” to those broken places to bring restoration and healing. Dr. Terri Brenneman led us in a series of exercises and helped us to tie together, “God’s Story, My Story, and Our Story.” One thing we realized that as we shared our stories with one another, we recognized that our experiences were not ours alone.

Under the guidance of Ms. Johanna Wilkinson, our children and youth were blessed to consider their restoration and the restoration of others. They learned and discussed ways to restore: their faith, themselves, community and others. In the worship service on Sunday they taught us that prayer, blessing others, self-care, making a commitment to service, dealing in a positive way with anger (taking a step back, breathing), and maybe realizing that sometimes God trusts us to do the work and deal with some of life’s situations.

Many thanks to Mr. Paul Wilkinson for making it possible for the parents of one of our youngest members to be in attendance at the adult sessions.

We would like to bring this experience to more of the Lakeshore community. Confronting our losses, rejoicing in our victories, sharing our stories, and look-ing ahead with hope is something that we agreed would be beneficial for all of our church family and friends. Our hope is to continue these reflections/lessons with the Lakeshore family.

In the words of Bill Gaither: “Something beautiful, something good/ All my confusion He understood/ All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife/ But he made something beautiful of my life.”

Together in Faith,
Pastor Carolyn