Pastor's Corner

6 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

This past Sunday, Nancy Pelosi gaveled in the 117th Congress.  Two weeks from today Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.  If the trends in Georgia continue today, the balance of power will shift in the US Senate giving control of the Congress and White House to the Democrat Party. We have already seen the changes they promised to make.  Earlier this week Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern unveiled the rules for the 117th Congress.  A major change that has been made is in the area of language; specifically gender language.  All documentation will delete gender-specific terms such as “father,” “mother,” “himself” and “herself” and replace them with gender-neutral language like “parent” and “themself.”  The new rules will also erase all pronouns. In its place is a new definition of “relative”: “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, step-child, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild.”  They have also promised tax, climate change, universal health care and law enforcement reform. 

Chairman McGovern said in a release, “Through months of consultation across our caucus and Congress, we have developed a rules package that makes the People’s House more accountable and responsive to all Americans. This proposal doesn’t tinker around the edges of ethics reform. It contains historic ideas to protect whistleblowers and prevent everything from the undue influence of lawbreakers on the House Floor to the dissemination of deepfakes on government accounts. This proposal also shines a light on those struggling to get ahead in America today and ensures we remain focused on the most pressing issues facing our nation. I want to thank my colleagues, outside stakeholders, and all those who helped us develop these transformative ideas.”

With the leadership change in Washington, major change is coming to our nation.  Over the next few months we will see a transformation in all sectors of our lives.  So what are we to do to prepare for the changes that are to come? It is no secret that change is a leading cause of stress and mental breakdown across all groups of people in our country.   After a very difficult 2020, Americans report that their mental health was at its lowest point in over 20 years.  Since 2001, Gallup has asked Americans to rate their own mental health or emotional wellbeing. The percentage who said it was good or excellent has ranged between 81% to 89% until dropping to 76% this year. Those describing their mental health as excellent has been between 42% and 51% since 2001. In 2020, that fell to 34%.  There was little change in the self-reporting of Americans’ physical health.  In other words, we are at our weakest mentally and physically as we approach the changes headed our way over the next few years.  But as I read Gallup’s annual report I noticed that there was one group that stood in contrast to the declines across the board—weekly churchgoers. Weekly churchgoers are the only demographic group in which more say their mental health this year is better than 2019. Just under half (46%) say their mental health is excellent in 2020, compared to 42% in 2019.

The findings do not suggest that those who go to church do not struggle with mental or physical health issues, but they do suggest that those who attend church regularly handle the stresses and changes of life better than those who do not attend regularly.  So what are we to take away from all of this?  Change is part of life.  Even major change, but it’s all in how you respond to it.  People without hope and support are left to navigate the ups and downs of life on their own.  Alone is no place to be.  That is why it is so important to make church attendance a priority in the New Year.  We don’t know what’s coming, but we don’t have to face it alone.  

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  Matthew 16:18

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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