How does it feel to be pushed to the margins? One of my three children started out life as a sports fanatic, but by high school was more drawn to performing arts. The high school was sports-centric, and my child felt uncomfortable and undervalued about pursuing a less popular path of art. As a parent, there was nothing I could do, except to hurt and empathize and try to reassure. Be who you are! Pursue your dreams. I kept wondering though, how does it feel to walk down the hallway of the high school feeling like you are derided by your peers?

One of my cousins is a leading scientific researcher. With our rural Texas roots, there were some things just not talked about. Sexual orientation was one of those. Looking back now I can imagine that for my cousin, rising academic acclaim was tempered by worry and fear. My cousin never married and had a partner of the same gender. Now I wonder. How did it feel to hide yourself even from your closest kin?

This summer we looked on in horror when the global news reported that a ship full of refugees sank in the Mediterranean Sea while rescue vessels nearby failed to intervene. How can we, who were created to love one another, watch our brothers and sisters drown just because they were born behind a man-made border?

First John, chapter four says:
Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.

In the upcoming “Considering Matthew Shepherd” concert on Oct. 6 and 7 in our Sanctuary, we will reflect on how we might create a more loving world. The concert recalls the tragic beating and murder of a 21-year-old gay man in Wyoming 25 years ago. But it’s not just about being gay. It’s about every one of us.

One of the songs in the concert has this line:
We tell each other stories so that we will remember.
Try and find the meaning in the living of our days.

If you attend the 11am worship this Sunday you will hear a preview of the concert as that song will be sung as part of the service.