Centerport United Methodist Church
            The Pastors' messages comes from the June issue of our monthly church newsletter - The Focus.

One Easter at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., a woman named Diane told her story. It was a
story of rebellion and attempted rejection, but also a tale of the power of unremitting love. Diane grew up in
a good, loving home – family outings, birthday parties, softball games, dance classes, even church. But for
some reason Diane never felt good about herself, especially when she reached adolescence. In high school
the symptoms appeared: drugs, alcohol, staying out all night, lying and stealing.
The family was increasingly in crisis as they tried to reach out to Diane while at the same time attempting to
maintain some stability in their life together, to hold on to the values that they believed in as a family. There
were the rounds of counseling sessions, rehab for Diane, tough love, tears and prayers. But the more her
parents reached out to her, the more rebellious Diane became.
Finally, she ran away from home. She started living the kind of life that she now says she doesn’t even want to
talk about. In her late twenties, things began to change. Diane talked about what had happened to her.
“At first, I felt my parents’ love was unnecessary. It was smothering love. Then as things got worse, I began to
feel unlovable. I think I resented my parents because if I was unlovable, then I could do what I wanted, and it
wouldn’t matter. But as long as I knew I was loved, I wasn’t free to do my thing. So I needed to destroy their
love in order to be free. But they never stopped loving me. Even when I got arrested, and they refused to bail
me out of jail, I could see the pain of love in their eyes. Now I realize how much I needed their love, and that
it was their love and prayers that kept me alive all those years. What amazes me most of all is that my worst
could not destroy their love for me.”
Easter operates on many levels—the rebirth of hope, the triumph of life over death, the opportunity to begin
again, and again, and again.
But Easter also displays a God whose love for us is like a parent’s love for a prodigal child. Even if we reject
God, God will never reject us, never turn away from us. Even when we do evil things, God, out of pure love,
will find a way to make something good come from it. “What amazes me most of all is that my worst could
not destroy their love for me.”
As Mother’s Day approaches, let us remember those whose love for us was never in question, no matter
how far we roamed from home. And let us pledge to be bearers of this unshakeable love for others.
During this Resurrection season, let us remember the God whose love for us never diminishes, never
wavers, never dies. And let us turn to this God to find what good can be born from the worst things we do.
Mother’s Day, Easter season, endless life—just imagine that God can feel about us the way we feel about our
own children, and you begin to get a sense of just how far our loving Heavenly Parent will go for us. It’s really
pretty amazing.
MOVING FORWARD

A brief confession, which Connie Kozlowski can verify: I have not always been on time with my Newsletter articles. I have, however, been much better of late. I’ve even been early a few times! But this time is a struggle.


Today I am reluctant to write—because this is my last Focus Article before I move to Milford. I was reluctant yesterday, too. I told myself I was just too busy until a few minutes ago, but that’s not exactly true. I was doing other things, because I didn’t want to write this.


This is one of many “lasts” I will encounter over the next few weeks. I’ll serve communion in our sanctuary
as your pastor for the last time. I’ve already led my last Bible study, and I will attend my last choir practice
and band practice. I’ll preach as your pastor for the last time. We will meet as ministry teams for the last
time. I have to believe that at some point I’ll put the last book into a box, and watch the last box go onto the
moving truck.


Although I found out at the end of January that we will be moving, it still seems to be happening so fast.
When I came to Centerport, everything was unfamiliar and uncertain; I didn’t know how anything worked; I
didn’t know where anything was. But you were patient and showed me love. And we have shared God’s Love
together for 9 years. Now it’s time to go.


But it’s going to be fine. God is at work here, and we don’t have to know the whole story. We do know how
it turns out: God wins! All we have to do is the next right thing. We will say goodbye, and then we will say
hello, and then we will take up our work again.


I hope you will all be able to come to church on June 19th, so that we can celebrate our time together and
share thoughts and best wishes following worship. On June 26th, you will worship together with a special
service as you prepare for your new pastor.


Pastor Rich Allen arrives the week of July 1, and he is very excited to worship and serve Christ with you. I
know you will welcome him, and that your ministry together will bear sweet fruit for God. You are
awesome! Gina, Cali, and I were so blessed to share in ministry with all of you. And we will continue to pray
for you; please pray for us as we move forward together for Christ. We love you, we will miss you, and we
hope to see you again!


May God shower blessings on you always!


Love,
Pastor Roy, Gina, and Cali



 

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SOCIAL JUSTICE - SO, WHAT CAN I DO?

 

 

Continue the dialogue. For now, one thing you can do is share your thoughts and feelings about what is happening. Talk to your family, your neighbors, fellow church members, and friends about what is going on in our society. What does Scripture say? What is our call?

 

 

You ca Learn more. A few resources are listed here: http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/ERASE_Racism-long-island-district-facts.pdf.

 

 

https://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/diversity-workshop-guide-to-discussing-identity-power-and-privilege/.

 

 

McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Independent School 49, no. 2 (1990): 31-35. https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf

 

 

3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets, Marc Silver, dir. (2015). http://www.takepart.com/three-and-a-half -minutes-ten-bullets.

 

 

http://www.indigenouspeople.net/blackwht.htm.

 

 

Glaude Jr., Eddie J. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2016.

 

 

O’Neil, Cathy, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. New York: Crown Publishers, 2016.

 

 

Wilson-Hartgrove, Jonathon. Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion. Westmont, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2018.

 

 

Join our efforts to eradicate racism. Our church is working to join groups and find more resources in our community to continue the efforts to listen, learn, connect, and take action. Stay tuned for more information to come.

 


Continue the dialogue. For now, one thing you can do is share your thoughts and feelings about what is
happening. Talk to your family, your neighbors, fellow church members, and friends about what is going on in
our society. What does Scripture say? What is our call?
You can learn more. A few resources are listed here:
http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/ERASE_Racism-long-island-district-facts.pdf.
https://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/diversity-workshop-guide-to-discussing-identity-power-and-
privilege/.
McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Independent
School 49, no. 2 (1990): 31-35.
https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf
3 1⁄2 Minutes 10 Bullets, Marc Silver, dir. (2015). http://www.takepart.com/three-and-a-half-minutes-
ten-bullets.
http://www.indigenouspeople.net/blackwht.htm.
Glaude Jr., Eddie J. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. New York: Crown
Publishing Group, 2016.
O’Neil, Cathy, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality
and Threatens Democracy. New York: Crown Publishers, 2016.
Wilson-Hartgrove, Jonathon. Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion.
Westmont, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2018.
Join our efforts to eradicate racism. Our church is working to join groups and find more resources in our
SO, WHAT CAN I DO?
Continue the dialogue. For now, one thing you can do is share your thoughts and feelings about what is
happening. Talk to your family, your neighbors, fellow church members, and friends about what is going on in
our society. What does Scripture say? What is our call?
You can learn more. A few resources are listed here:
http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/ERASE_Racism-long-island-district-facts.pdf.
https://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/diversity-workshop-guide-to-discussing-identity-power-and-
privilege/.
McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Independent
School 49, no. 2 (1990): 31-35.
https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf
3 1⁄2 Minutes 10 Bullets, Marc Silver, dir. (2015). http://www.takepart.com/three-and-a-half-minutes-
ten-bullets.
http://www.indigenouspeople.net/blackwht.htm.
Glaude Jr., Eddie J. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. New York: Crown
Publishing Group, 2016.
O’Neil, Cathy, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality
and Threatens Democracy. New York: Crown Publishers, 2016.
Wilson-Hartgrove, Jonathon. Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion.
Westmont, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2018.
Join our efforts to eradicate racism. Our church is working to join groups and find more resources in our
community to continue the efforts to listen, learn, connect, and take action. Stay tuned for more information
to come