Pastor’s Corner: In for the Long Haul

May 2, 2018

As I write this, some days before its publication (I’m visiting family as you read it), my head is spinning with sights of suffering and sin:

  • Chemical weapons in Syria,
  • American bombs falling in Syria,
  • The entire island of Puerto Rico without electricity (again),
  • Political proposals that could criminalize homelessness,
  • Kaua’i’s damaged homes and washed-out roads,
  • Flood damage to the Wai’oli Hui’ia Church UCC in Hanalei, and
  • Flint, Michigan, still does not have a reliable water system.
  • It’s enough to make a pastor weep, when he’s not banging his head against his desk.

Which is why I have to remind myself that we’re in this for the long haul, not the short term. The UCC provides relatively little assistance from its national agencies in the first hours or days of a disaster. Local churches do – Church of the Pacific UCC welcomed displaced neighbors – and they get financial support through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

It’s the months and years afterwards when our churches and people get involved and stay involved. When homes need to be repaired or rebuilt, when churches need to be mopped and mended, when people wonder if they’ve been forgotten, UCC people will be there.

We’re in for the long haul.

We’re in for the long haul with this world as well. The evils that people do to each other continue to appall us, but we still declare that greed, power, and self-love are the worst way, not the best way, to live. There are days when that message seems barely audible, but we keep saying it anyway.

We’re in for the long haul, because God is with us for the long haul as well.

The stars guided the ancient mariners on their long ocean voyages. When the clouds of our dismay break apart, and we look up, we will see God’s grace beaming down on us as surely as the stars, to bring us home.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Photo of Wai’oli Hui’ia Church by Fuzzy Gerdes – originally posted to Flickr as Waioli Hui’ia Church, CC BY 2.0,

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , | Posted on May 16, 2018

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