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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

August 2009

Dear Friends,

Reassurance abounds in the Prophet’s words.  There is comfort to be found in Isaiah, particularly the passages known as Second Isaiah, which are found in chapters 40-66.  These profoundly significant sections present a moving vision of the assured hope of God’s people in a world whose times are in God’s hands.  It is precisely the same hope – of like texture and identical fiber – that abounds here these days at Bower Hill Community Church. 

Consider Isaiah 58:11: 

And the Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your desire with good things,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water,
whose waters fail not.

Throughout his writings, the Prophet Isaiah carefully chooses his metaphors, and one of his most choice images establishes God’s people as God’s pleasant plantings in God’s pleasant Garden.  Envision then, if you will, Bower Hill Community Church as God’s Garden of Love: a place where God’s love prospers and grows as we share our bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into our house, when we see the naked, and cover them.  Such imagery rises up in direct contrast to William Blake’s oppressive experience, and God’s divine edict of compassion flies in the face of rigid religiosity:

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green               

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And “Thou shalt not” writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were making their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

Our Pastor Nominating Committee is working with indefatigable assiduity to present to you a pastor who, in my own words, will recognize this congregation as one that serves God in a Garden of Love, a pastor that affirms each individual as one of God’s pleasant plantings, a pastor who refuses to bind with briars your joys and desires but, rather, will encourage the Lord to guide you continually, to satisfy your desire with good things, to make your bones strong, so that you shall be like a watered garden, a Garden of Love where the gates of the Chapel are wide open, where God’s love grows as our deeds of love and mercy abound.     

Yours in Christ, faithfully and gratefully,

Calvin C. Wilson