I’ve been here a year now and have settled in to pastoring the folks at the old gothic revival church with its incredible stained-glass windows. What’s even more incredible is the mission work that goes on in our basement. Eight local churches continue to step up and serve at the Lunch Together Soup Kitchen for what will soon be 25 years.
As I write this, I’m just in from the Holiday Inn and an Easter Seals event recognizing that work, where Fran Ford accepted the Wyoming Award. It is this willingness to work together, to be inclusive, to stay the course in the face of human need, to offer hospitality always, that makes such a difference. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, but our history too often reflects the opposite.
This Saturday, 30 of our church members and interested folks from the Sheridan community will travel on a bus to Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, where people of Japanese heritage were “relocated” during World War II. This will not be a “fun” trip, and so I am proud of those who express a willingness to revisit some of our wonderful country’s less glorious moments. We will be asking ourselves whether this Japanese camp was a concentration camp, an internment camp or a prison. We will be asking ourselves why it got to the point that even a Japanese baby with “white” adoptive parents was relocated to the camp. Fear does that sort of thing. It’s hard to take a look at ugliness, especially when we are surrounded by such beauty.
I’ve grown to love your mountains, and I guess they are my mountains too now. The mountains and all you folks remind me of my home in Scotland. This is a good place to be.
I am very thankful to all the local musicians who have donated their considerable talents at our Last Friday at First free concerts. Providing music to the community is so good for the soul. We make a point of having a variety of genres so as to have a little something for everybody. The September Last Friday at First free concert will be a special one with the addition of a silent auction to raise money for the refurbishment of our more than 100-year-old stained-glass windows. Please join us from 5-7 p.m.
With much love for the Sheridan community, I look forward to seeing you around town.
Rev. Sheila Naismith works with First Congregational United Church of Christ.