The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock. -Matthew 7:25 CEB

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Driving to breakfast with a counselor and friend after the ferocious rain and winds of last night and this morning, I saw tree branches down and fences blown over, but all of the houses standing strong. I realized the analogy in my life, and our church's life, right now.

In consecutive weeks we had to downsize beloved staff, grapple with our denomination's legislative act of exclusion of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, and now cry over the unexpected death of Rachel Escamilla - our church's beloved Intern last year. We have felt rocked by these storms and wind. The damage is visible, and we are left reeling trying to take it all in.

Yet, even as I shared these losses with my friend, counselor and believer over muffins and coffee, the storm outside had begun to subside, the winds were calming, and my load was feeling a bit lighter. Our 33-year friendship is founded on the rock of our shared faith in Jesus Christ. The sun will come out again.

I am praying for Rachel's family, for you – my church family, for our denomination, and for myself. I am thankful that we remain firmly set on bedrock as we move ahead together through the storms and into the light of a new day.

Grateful for each of you,

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Matt Gaston
Lead Pastor