Heart Warming, Radical Beginnings

I’m going to ask you to take a trip with me. You won’t need your passports, just use your imagination. We live in London. Not the one you see on the news today, with the Duchess showing off her newborn to the adoring public. We are going to London in the 18th Century. Imagine living in an urban, ramshackle slum, with primitive sanitation—dumped into streets and rivers and left to decay. Imagine the stench and the rats. Drinking water is scarce. Nourishing food is expensive and in short supply. Disease is rampant. Life is insecure and tenuous. Alcohol, violence, prostitution, and gambling are prevalent means of escape feelings of desperation and hopelessness. You work 14-hour days, every day, but wages are so low, you still can’t feed yourself or your family. Imagine sending your children as young as four and five years old to work. Tiny bodies can fit into tiny places—dangerous places like chimneys, mines, and factories. In rural areas, life is not as precarious. You can at least grow something to eat, but still, it’s difficult. Likely, you will never escape the pittance of your existence.1

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Our Stories are Important

“No story sits by itself. Sometimes they meet at corners, and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.”1 The past two weeks I’ve been reading the history about First United Methodist Church-Omaha, and truly am in awe and humbled to be part of the narrative of this church family. Being part of this congregation is like entering a living library full of people with exceptional stories, and I very much look forward to learning the stories of each of you all.

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