Upcoming Events

*We are meeting in-person for worship and other activities but certain safety protocols remain in place.

Check with office or group leader if you think there may be changes.

Worship

Sundays, 10am

In-Person & Facebook Live

FALL BACK 1 Hr.

Nov. 6th

Bye Daylight Savings

ELECTION DAY

Nov. 8th

Your Polling Place

Food Pantry

Nov. 11th & 18th

10am-12Noon
Call 517-646-6183
Call 2 days ahead

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Nov. 24th

Knitting,Crocheting,etc.for Homeless

Every Monday

3:00 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous

Every Monday & Wednesday

7pm

Men's Dining Out

1st Wed of month

various restaurants


 

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  • Pastor Scott

    From the Pastor

    Rev. Scott Crane

    Diversity and Unity...

    I was heading over to the church on a recent, brisk morning and was captivated by the beautiful tree near the back parking lot drive. It was so full of colorful orange leaves, surrounded by a carpet of the same. It was so picturesque amid the abundance of falling leaves. Yet, as I turned, there stood this other tree, not far away. Its leaves were almost gone, as if winter has already set in. As I was comparing these two trees, I saw a third tree with its own uniqueness. It was still dressed with its green little needles. What a contrast in viewing the three trees despite the fact they were all going through the exact same weather circumstances, all within visual distance of each other.

    There are lessons that nature gives us and this was a perfect one. Each tree was distinct in its look and its color. Yet they were all trees, growing in the same soil and the same circumstances. People are like trees. We can all have our own unique personalities and our own perspectives even though we may be journeying through similar circumstances, and living right next to each other.

    We live in a world that focuses so much on the individual uniqueness that we can easily lose sight of what we have in common. And we can so focus on those individuals that shine or stand out, we can overlook others that are nearby. Yet, we all are created by God. We all have gifts that should be recognized. And each of those gifts can add to the larger community and world around us.

    In a world that has great diversity, and is often polarized, how do we learn to live in unity and community? How do we learn to live in our world that neither diminishes individual humanity or community? Both are necessary. Perhaps we can learn again from nature.

    I do not expect a pine or fir tree to give me brilliant orange colors in the fall. I do not expect an oak tree to appear or be like that of a black walnut tree. I recognize that each tree has its own uniqueness of what is best for it and its growth. So too must we realize that each individual, depending on their identity, personality and needs, have distinct ways in which to be healthy and grow. They donít all have to be exactly like me, nor I like them.

    All trees need to be rooted in soil, to receive water and be exposed to sunlight. The amount of each of those necessities may vary depending on the type of tree but each tree cannot grow without these same nutrients that provide a healthy environment. What are those nutrients that every human needs to provide a safe place to grow?

    In educational circles, Maslowís Hierarchy of Needs is taught. It says that all people need air, water, food, and shelter. Those are the primary and basic needs that all people need. Once those needs are met, there can be a focus on safety and security, then of love and belonging, then on respect and self-esteem, and finally, self-actualization (becoming the most one can be). These are all important things. But if the basics are not met, it is hard for the other things like safety and love to be realized.

    The reality is seen in the classroom where a student is hungry or lives in a shelter. It is hard for them to concentrate on class work if their primary needs are not met. Some may blame the parents while others may become surrogates, finding a way to assist and support for growth and learning. Realistically, we all need others to assist us along the way at one point or another on this journey of life. And the more we assist and support others on the way to full potential, regardless of who they are or what their background, the greater capacity for health and productivity within the larger community.

    Are there ways that we can lift individuals in their diverse circumstances so that their basic needs are met and, at the same time, realize that we all are a part of a common humanity, and all have worth? Can we value both diversity and unity? It seems that the rest of nature finds ways to live within a larger ecosystem. Even trees are known, through their root system, to share nutrients, even with far-away neighbors. Why canít we as humans do the same? This, indeed, is one of the foundations of the Christian faith: loving God and loving neighbor.

    Grace & Peace,
    Pastor Scott