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Rev. Rhonda Kouterick

First United Methodist Church in Horseheads

1034 W. Broad St.

Horseheads, N. Y.  14845

Telephone: (607) 739-1943




    umc logo from pastors desk                       

From the Pastor's Desk

     These past 3 ½ months have been challenging, to say the least. Navigating through them has taken patience, thought, acquiring new skills, dealing with anxiety and upset caused by innumerable unasked for changes in our lives. Our daily routines, the ways we order our lives, have been so disrupted that many folks have described a feeling of being disoriented, up-in-the-air, uncertain, lost.

            Simply going out for groceries has become a production, if not an ordeal –

Remembering masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and disinfecting wipes has added a layer of “things to do before going out the door” which is anything but routine, as yet.

            Gaining some measure of mastery, comfort and acceptance of these changes helps us be more at ease and to cope and function well in this ‘new normal’, which has become the norm for the foreseeable future. We continue to pray for an effective vaccine without side effects to be developed.

            During these months I’ve found assurance and strength in scripture, devotional reading and prayer. Taking time to pause and reflect changes my perspective, releases energy, and helps me move forward – past what seemed insurmountable boulders in my path. I’ve found it reassuring as I talk with others to discover, that they, too, are experiencing many of the same things.

            This week in Bible study we examined a single verse for its meaning for how to live our lives. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in divine and human favor.” (Luke 2:52)   Just as Jesus grew, so we, too, as followers of Christ are called to grow and change and live effectively. To that end, I share this devotion from Words to Live By, by E. Easwaran, p.177.

            “In order to climb the Himalayas within us, we have to train ourselves, little by little, day by day. Sir Edmund Hillary, who climbed Mount Everest for the first time, did not just stand at the bottom, take one leap, and land on top. He practiced climbing for a long time to learn the required skills; and for you and me to climb the spiritual mountain, we, too, have to strengthen our muscles over a long, long period of time.

            Most of us get our training experience in the heart of family. In mountain climbing, you tie yourself to others with ropes and when somebody slips you haul him up and save him. Similarly, in living with family and friends, if somebody slips you do not say, “Aha! Served him right!” You pull him up. And when you slip, she pulls you up. It is a loving exchange. So there is greater safety when people live together and help one another.”





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