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Newsletter Unity Updates

Upson Downs 7-4-2020

Dear friends, I just realized it’s been a while since I updated this post. I find myself often experiencing different aspects of grief that seem to drain motivation for certain endeavors. Nevertheless, I proclaim that God is good.  

Since May 25th, my last submission, I observed what would have been my 47th wedding anniversary with brothers and sisters, recalling too many wonderful memories to count, sharing joy and sorrow with my church family. Later,we also celebrated Father’s Day, remembering our last Father’s Day in the hospital with Rich, enjoying (?) takeout pizza in less than perfect circumstances. This year, as we celebrated Rich in absentia, we received many words of love and care from far off places from those who had experienced Rich as a father and friend. And we honored the dads (and expectant dads) who take seriously the responsibility of being Godly fathers. We are graciously blessed. 

The teachers here gratefully finished the weirdest school year in memory, adapting to remote teaching and missing daily face-to-face encounters with our students. Some of us adjusted considerably better than others (like me!) Although we don’t know what the future holds, we confidently affirm who holds our future. For that we should be abundantly thankful.

June has brought nationwide, even worldwide turmoil. Knowing that His Church must engage the world boldly and graciously, we have struggled with how best to respond. We know that God is a God of unity and reconciliation, always proclaiming that Jesus tore down the dividing walls; we must not rebuild them. This is a tough sea to navigate, knowing the way is strewn with many obstacles. At times those obstacles seem insurmountable, but we serve a mighty God. 

We participated in one peaceful protest, a walk for peace, with New Mount Calvary MBC which took place in downtown Los Angeles, coordinated with the mayor and LAPD. Even then we were trying to balance the need for safety in the midst of Coronavirus, protecting our most vulnerable, yet also striving to be peacemakers in the Kingdom. 

We also know that we are engaged daily in spiritual warfare. That may seem confusing to some reading this, but we believe that only with the weapons of the Spirit will the battle be won; we cannot rely on politics to save us. 

We had a new experience attending New Mount Calvary’s first drive-in gathered worship. We were thankful that Jack was asked to speak words of peace at that occasion. It was a poignant reminder of our first attempts at reconciliation in 1992, and our gracious welcome from Pastor Lonnie Dawson. We thank God for the many ways we are able to continue our partnership to the present. That’s the Spirit!

May you all have a great long holiday weekend, praying for the God of peace to triumph in these days of challenge.

Best Regards,
Regan Read

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