Carla Long of Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord… -Psalm 148:1-5a
I am the pastor of the Salt Lake City Congregation. For the most part, my congregants are new members or friends of Community of Christ and haven’t had a lot of access to the greater World Church. Many of them have not visited the Temple and Auditorium or even another congregation. Since the pandemic started, all of that has changed. I have seen and heard of congregants going to other worship services all over the United States and all over the world! They are seeing new people (formerly just names on a social media page to them!), seeing new ways to worship, and understanding theology in a new and different way. It’s been amazing! I am so excited to learn what they have learned and hear what they have heard.
This pandemic has been dreadful, and I hope that we never need to deal with something like this again. But it has also given us some space to slow down and open up to things we might never have been exposed to otherwise. We now have the time and space to try something new! To meet someone new! To become new! To minister in a new way! To trust that God is with us, even though at times we feel alone.
It has shown me again how important community is-how important it is to be blessed by that community. The community in Salt Lake City is a special one, but because of the pandemic, we have the chance to see what community looks like all over the church. We get to see that community is bigger and wider and deeper than perhaps we ever thought! What a blessing it is to truly be a part of a worldwide community!
I pray that we can continue to take advantage of these opportunities where they present themselves to view community in a new way.
“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240
The Light of God
Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.