From the Pastor

A Message From Pastor Miranda Denler

I, like many of you, have been spending much more time in my home than I am used to. I am going to be honest, long days stuck in the house have never been good for my mental health. But this time, it’s different. Notice, I didn’t say easy, just different. For one thing, with Rob working from home and then being furloughed, I haven’t spent much time alone. For another, I know that I am not the only person who is struggling with seeing the same four walls every day and is worried that they’re making a dent in their couch cushion.

For others of you, staying home hasn’t been an option. You’ve been working long hours in less than optimal conditions. We are all especially grateful to those who have continued to work in order to keep society running smoothly. Even if you have continued to work, things are different. The social pressure to keep store shelves stocked and medical care available is not easy to work under.

Wherever you are on the scale of dealing with this crisis, there are several things I know to be true:

  1. You are loved. God loves you completely and fully whether you are an essential worker or not.
  2. You are not alone. I don’t mean this in the way advertisers have started using it to claim that we are all in the same boat. The truth is, every single one of us is having a different experience during this crisis. While my entire job has changed into something I can only title a “media director,” I have a friend who was hired and lost her job all during and because of the crisis. Her experience is different from mine, and yet both of our experiences are undeniable. I mean you are not alone because God is with you wherever you are. God surrounds you as you struggle with the quiet or as you put on your mask to go out and do your job. You are not alone.
  3. Northwest is a family. Thank you to every single one of you who have stepped up to show how much you love your family at Northwest! When I make phone calls, several of you have already called our most vulnerable and lonely members. So many of you have offered your services to those who are in need. You continue to show up for worship even though it is so different from what we are all used to. You have made me feel loved as your pastor. I am so grateful for the privilege to be called your pastor.
  4. We will be together again. We have not reached the end of the world. We will certainly know it when we have. God is continuing to work in this world despite this virus. Our church is continuing to do the work God has called us to. We are the Church even now. I can’t give you a date when we will be in worship together again. I can say with certainty that we will worship in the same building again. When that day comes, we will mourn the losses endured and changes in the world. We will also rejoice in the presence of God together!

So, I leave you with a bit of good news. The parsonage kitchen remodel is complete! Thank you to everyone who gave to the project. Your gifts have made the parsonage safer, warmer, more efficient, and beautiful. You have given me this wonderful gift, and it will be well-used not just by my family, but by all the pastors who follow me. Thank you! We are still accepting donations to the project. When we began sheltering in place, we were $7,000 short of our goal. If you would like to give you can do so by check or online. Be sure to write “parsonage kitchen” on your check or choose “trustees” in the drop-down menu when you give online.

Rob and I would like to invite you to a virtual dinner party in the new parsonage kitchen on Friday, May 8th at 5:30 p.m. Join us on the Northwest Facebook page as we make dinner. You will get a tour of the new kitchen as well as the thrill of never knowing what will happen live! In preparation, you may want to “like” our Facebook page so you will get notifications when we post information. Until we meet for dinner (or whenever I may see you virtually for Bible study, live prayer, or worship), I am praying for you!

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Miranda