"Should I Laugh or Should I Cry"
Wednesday afternoon I sat in the office of my new primary care physician seeking help for pain I have had in my left hip since an unfortunate incident that occurred in March. An abundance of caution and respect for coronavirus had kept me from her office, but my own efforts at physical therapy had not been effective, and frustration with chronic discomfort and fitful sleep had worn down my resolve.

The nurse came in and started her routine, medical history, meds (none), blood pressure (so perfect as to be worthy of boasting) and a belated birthday congratulations on hitting 50. I answered her triage questions and explained to her how I had become injured. You see, we have a kitchen table in our home that is made of wood and steel. It offers "cafeteria seating" - four round, wooden seats swivel out, one from each corner, reducing the footprint in our tiny breakfast area. The seats are not just made of any old wood; they have been crafted from super fine, high quality wood. I am certain this is a true statement because if you are wearing pants that lack texture, those seats are slicker than the greased pig my Uncle Johnny frequently referenced.

So, one day back in March, I was sitting on one of these fine perches when my beloved offspring suddenly came running toward me, arms extended, legs spinning as if she was the road runner chasing ol' Wylie Coyote. "I LOVE you, MOTHER!" she exclaimed as she hit me with the full force of her mass at full speed. I pivoted to receive her, not realizing that I was about to be driven right off my seat. I was ejected from my perch and landed directly on my hip as I hit the hard tile floor. BOOM! Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I did not get my hands (and wrists) down to break my fall since I was trying to keep the the four year old linebacker now falling with me from crashing face first. Disaster averted, we clamored up. Erin apologized and I assured her I was fine, but my hip hasn't been quite right since.

Fast forward to the doctor's office. The nurse leaves, the doc comes in. She's a sweet person, about 35 years old. "Happy birthday," she says. "I want you to make sure you get a shingles shot now that you are fifty, and there will be some other things we need to do as well. For today, let's see what we can do about this hip. You know, bursitis secondary to a fall is pretty common as we age." WHAT?? HELLO??? IS THAT WHAT YOUR NURSE WROTE OR DID YOU NOT READ??? I did NOT FALL...I was PUSHED!!! Honestly, even now I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Life is like that a lot these days. There is so much uncertainty, disappointment, anger, fear, and regret - so many opportunities to be defensive and indignant, and with good reason. Even in the life of the church, as we give thanks for how we continue to gather effectively in worship and small groups through the miracle of technology while protecting ourselves and one another from the reality that 1 in 10 Texans is now testing positive, we also grieve the loss of so much. The proverbial "bursa of our hearts" is inflamed and irritated, and the result is a sort of chronic discomfort and fitfulness as three months has become four, and five is on the horizon with no foreseeable end in sight. Add to the equation that so many of our fellow citizens seem not to have actually read the details that the rate of infection is headed at warp speed in the wrong direction...well, do we laugh in disbelief or succumb to a good cry?

I don't have any miraculous words that will make it all better, the seat less slick, the world more sane, the threat less virulent. What I do have is a deep and abiding faith in a God incarnate in Jesus Christ who meets us wherever it is that we find ourselves. God's grace is sufficient for all our needs, even when difficulties and indignities catch us off guard.

As a final thought and in the interest of abiding humor in the face of continued hardship, I offer you the following adaptation of the great words of John Wesley, founder of our Methodist tradition. In the late 1700's he wrote, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

Were Wesley writing for us today, he might well say it this way:
May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds (and hips) in Christ Jesus.

I am so very blessed to be your pastor.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Lara
aka "The Vicar"

Worship at home. Save lives.
Love God. Love your neighbor
Beginning June 6th and continuing throughout the summer, Martin UMC will be offering one time opportunities via Zoom or Facebook Live to connect with one another, learn something new and have a bit of fun doing it! Be sure to check this new ZOOM INTO SUMMER section of the newsletter each week to stay in the know about Who and What is coming up and When!
Currently, we are serving 40 families/individuals a week. We appreciate all the cooks for providing a fresh meal for our community friends. We are short 5-8 casseroles a week having enough to meet our 40 number. If you would like to increase your commitment per week or if you would like to be added to our casserole cooks schedule, please contact Teresa Cochran. Don't forget to either add the recipe with cooking instructions or add ingredients list with cooking instructions to your casserole.
REMEMBER that Farms to Families will NOT have a distribution on July 4, so we will NOT deliver casseroles that day. Anyone scheduled for July 4th can take the day off!  
We want to thank our Saturday team for their time and energy making sure our community friends get all their items. Deanna continues to do an amazing job boxing up the pantry items each week to distribute. Anne Unrue and her team of helpers are calling clients each week to confirm our numbers, and Doug continues to oversee and work at pick-up and distribution of Farm to Families food boxes. We are very appreciative of the Saturday Team for making this ministry flow and assisting our community friends.
If you have any questions feel free to call Teresa Cochran at 817-685-0713 or 817-929-0013 or email her at slpmom@sbcglobal.net .
Apple Corps meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning for casual fellowship. Class begins at 9:45.
The Zoom Meeting ID is 293-856-379 or click the link below to go directly to Zoom.
Branches meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 213-928-173 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
Genesis meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 904-595-472 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
"I CONNECT" meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 963-430-720 or click the link below for Zoom.
Journey meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 429-051-096 or click the link below for Zoom.
New Beginnings meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 387-197-129 or click the link below for Zoom.
The Way meets via Zoom at NOON every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 450-965-323 or click the link below for Zoom.
Sunday School for preschool and elementary school meets via Zoom at 9:45. To maintain a secure site for our children, please email Ms. Robin for login information before Sunday.
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates of concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:

Martin Community: Nancy Cowain and family, Glen Dow, Barb Herbison, Johnny Kelley, Kathi Kohler, Doug Northup, Melissa Norton, Dottie Rust, Priscilla Shipe, Marcie Smith, Lee Swann, Joe Turner

Family & Friends: Barbara Bradford , Skip Bradford, Ryan Campanaro, Donna & Taryn Cates, Gwen Caylor, Cory Chalk, Barbara Gorden, Art Grimes, Pat Hern, Barbara Hertz, Brenda Hurlbut, June Ivey, Cindy Jackson, Gloria Jackson, Diane Kunce, Marilyn Long, Emily Manning, Jan Nelson, Monica Miles, Robert Shouse, Bill & Dorothy Standley, Madelyn Toland, Deb & Al Viney

Names remain for two weeks unless otherwise requested.