A Weekly Newsletter
Thought for the Week
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. - C.S. Lewis
A few years ago, on a beautiful late-fall Sunday, my dad and I were standing on the road in front of our house, checking the oil in my car before I went to work and then drove back to Lancaster, where I was studying at the time. We finished the check and I was walking back into the house when, halfway across the yard, my dad yelled "STOP!" and I heard kids and a woman yelling something indistinct. I turned in time to see their dog barreling towards me, in time to only pull my arms up towards my face before the boxer latched itself onto my arm. I don't remember how I got the dog off my arm, that I was screaming, or how I got into the kitchen. What I remember is my heart pounding, pounding so hard it hurt, I remember yelling for my mom, yelling when she was right in front of me. I remember shaking, uncontrollably. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
It was scary because it hurt, physically and psychologically, but it was even scarier because it was absolutely unexpected. Nothing about the sunshine, blue skies, or sounds around me could have clued me into the fact that something was different. Life isn't like a movie - there was no key change to the soundtrack, no dimming of the lights to indicate that a trauma was about to happen.
Such is the case, I have found, with other aspects of life that don't involve physical injury. We all hate any variation on the "Hey, we need to talk" text because we just worry about it until we actually have the conversation. I think we should all agree to just not send those texts, honestly. Anyway, last week, when my sister responded to my innocent "want to take the puppy for a walk" text with "bad news when you get home" my brain went wild. What did I do? Did I forget something? What's going on? So I picked up the phone and felt the whole world stop moving.
Have you ever had one of those days? Yeah, maybe its a Monday, but you had a good day at school or work, you were productive, the weather is gorgeous, and you have a little free time before your next obligation. And then...something happens to derail everything. Nothing about that day had given me an indicator that someone close to our family, a friend, had passed away. Nothing. Not a change in the soundtrack or a shift in the winds.
Grief is like fear. It feels like fear, it wears like fear, and it lingers like fear. At least for me. Some fears - like grief - require patience and gentle confrontation before they begin to ebb away.
Today, when I think back to that fall day, my brain lifts up some insignificant things. Some part of my brain was upset that I got blood on my dad's clean t-shirt and the recently mopped kitchen floor. Another part of my brain insisted that I call into work on the way to the emergency room to tell them I wasn't going to make it in (true story, and my dad confiscated my phone after that and a frantic text). Another part was snarky with the nurse when she asked what the dog had in its mouth when it bit me (my answer: "MY ARM.") And today I can laugh about those things, and I share them because every time I do, I feel less afraid of dogs.
Touching memories and interacting with our neighbors - who have loved me and my family so well that they are like family - is painful for me and I cannot imagine how painful it is for them. But, already, in the midst of that pain we have laughed and carried on normal conversations. We share memories and thoughts as they come and sit in silence when they don't, we laugh as our friend's precocious toddler takes delight in the antics of our puppy, and we cry when she asks us probing questions.
I now have a mark on my arm that my fingers are drawn to. I touch it when I feel anxious. It is a pale reminder of a moment I couldn't control but one that shaped how I live and move in the world. Grief is like fear. Even if it heals, we will not be the same. And I think that's okay.
Sunday Morning Schedule
- Middle School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Youth Room)
- High School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Dale Hall Classroom)
- Contemporary Worship (Senior Recognition), 11:00 AM (Sanctuary)
Sunday Evening Schedule
- Middle School Youth Group, 5:00 PM (Youth Room)
- High School Praise Team, 5:30 (Sanctuary)
- Middle School Praise Team, 6:30 PM (Sanctuary)
- High School Youth Group, 7:00 PM (Youth Room)
Wednesday Evening Schedule
- VBS Craft Gathering, 7:00 PM (Youth Room)
VBS Wednesday Nights
Our Vacation Bible School Coordinator – Pam Orr – would like to invite you all to join the children of MPC on Wednesday nights in May (7:00 – 8:00 PM) to begin working on VBS crafts! They will meet downstairs and will have several projects to work on.
VBS is a special time for MPC – it is a huge outreach event to our community and the youth are always a very important part of that week! So, come and join the Children’s Ministry Team for crafts and fellowship to prepare for this summer event!
The Church sponsors the clean up of a portion of Baltimore Pike and the Mission Committee would love to have a few HIGH SCHOOL Youth volunteers to join them on Saturday, April 30 from 9:00 AM - 12 Noon!
If you are part of an organization that requires volunteer hours (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, National Honor Society...), these are great opportunities to volunteer in your community and meet your requirements. If you need official confirmation for those hours, please contact Liz!
Summer Job Opportunity
Kirkwood-Brainerd Camp has several Summer Job openings for camp counselors (male and female), an Aquatics Director, and a part-time Administrative Assistant! You must be 18+ to apply for these positions. They would be great opportunities for High School Seniors or College students!
Kirkwood describes its staff as: "College-age, energetic, compassionate Christian role models." They are a "unique team of leaders who are ready to welcome every child into our community."
If you love kids and the outdoors, then camping ministry might just be for you! You can find out more about the camp and employment opportunities by clicking here. If you are interested, please email Liz or contact the camp directly.
Youth Program of Media Presbyterian Church
The Youth Ministry programs at MPC has long been a place that welcomes teenagers to embrace their questions and their struggles with faith in a healthy and safe environment.
The Youth Program is led by Ms. Liz Remelius, Director of Youth Ministries. Liz nurtures a deep love of education and believes that there is "a divine beauty in learning." She hopes that anyone who participates in MPC's Youth Ministry will be equipped to ask questions, search for answers, and turn that knowledge into action, both in the Church and the world.