First UMC Gonzales

Pastor's Note
From the desk of Rev. Steve Berger, Senior Pastor

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Healing Hands/Helping Hands

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, 

My faith will stand”

– from “Oceans” by Hillsong Music

June Thomas led our handbell choir in presenting this song on the third Sunday of April, as I preached that morning on how Peter not only proclaimed healing on the handicapped man but reached and pulled him up by the hand. After church I received a text message from June reminding me that Peter himself had once needed a “hand up” as he tried to walk on water with his Master. It was Jesus’ strong hand of power and healing that lifted him up out of the waves and wind (Matthew 14:22-32). What a meaningful connection between these accounts!

We all need a helping hand from time to time to lift us out of our troubled lives, to move us into the place of peace and joy and to help us over the bumps of life. I am thankful that some at FUMC have that spirit of reaching out to touch and heal! I saw this in action one Friday at the home of one of our church members who is still struggling to repair and restore her family home after the 2016 flood. I saw the faces and hands of members, male and female, whose lives had been disrupted by the flood and now are helping someone else to return to wholeness. That willingness to help in very physical, tangent ways seems to be part of the “DNA” of this church.

We may not come to multiple opportunities for fellowship and study during the week but will go and do when things need to be done. The ideal thing would be to have all working- a growing, learning, serving, loving and worshiping community! But for now, we need to recognize and celebrate those who work so hard to lend a hand through our Helping Hands Ministry, as well as all who feed the needy each week, help grow food for the same, carry meals to St. Vincent DePaul, create handmade pieces, work each week at the Fellowship Center, visit the sick, teach the Bible, support Missions here and abroad and serve in so many different ways that I can’t name them all here! May God bless this church as we confirm our newest members in May and celebrate those going from our fellowship and into college and other career paths. 

Pastor Steve