Words of Encouragement & Hope
Submitted by Donna Peckinpaugh

We have been blessed to have an online church service each week in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. In preparation for our first virtual communion, we were asked to have a piece of bread or a cracker and a small glass of juice readily available. I selected a cabinet in a closet near my computer and arranged the needed items on it. Above it, I hung a cherished cross to complete my prayer nook.

The hand-carved oak cross is 10 x 5 inches embellished with a few carved flowers. This was made by Bill Werner, a member of our church. At the time of his death, his wife, Jackie, had a few of these crosses which had not yet been finished with paint or stain. I kept one of them, planning to put the finishing touches on it, although it is quite attractive without doing anything.

Still unfinished, this cross has been a wonderful reminder that I have unfinished things that need to be done for God and His people. It is especially timely and symbolic for me as I resume working on our racial divide that has been in existence for many years.

Another unfinished issue is a treatment for Covid-19. While only a few of us are medically qualified to find a cure, we need not sit silently waiting impatiently for a solution. We can all lift our voices in prayer for divine help for our scientists so that they may finish their task quickly and safely.

For over 20 years, I have felt the warmth, caring and concern of everyone in our congregation. With the leadership of our Pastors, staff, music department, nurse and committee members,I know from experience we can move forward with whatever we need to do. Along the way, perhaps we can also find encouragement and hope in the words and music of a favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross.