March 25, 2022

Dear Calvary Family, 

As we are still grieving the recent shooting in Buffalo, NY, we heard yesterday of another mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. My heart is broken for these families. May our hearts never grow callous or accustomed to these tragedies. We are compelled to grieve with those who are grieving. We pray to the God who hears and sees our suffering and the one who promises to be near the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. May the God of all comfort shower mercy on those who are experiencing this horrific evil. Make no mistake, these acts are evil. Evil must be addressed with the light only God provides. As children of the light we want to be people who put our faith in action and shine our light before others. 

If our study in the book of James this year has taught us one thing, it is that our faith and prayers are not passive but active. As we wait patiently on the resolution only God can ultimately bring, we seek to participate in the kingdom work of mercy and justice now. In times of tragedy and suffering people often feel hopeless, angry, and disoriented. We want them to feel seen, heard, and loved because God sees them, hears them, and loves them deeply. These are more than flesh and blood issues, they are spiritual issues. Let us be the people who are wiling to engage the spiritual, the light, and the darkness issues our country and communities are facing.

My encouragement to us all is to be more interested in the people around us. To have eyes to see those who are struggling, who are feeling hopeless, who are hurting. Especially with younger people. I am so grateful for our student ministry teams who come alongside young men and women with the hope of Jesus Christ. Let each one of us be lifting our youth ministry leaders and students up in prayer. Let us ask God how he might use us to come alongside a young student or young adult who is filled with anger or hopelessness. 

Let us be the people of God who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. 

Praying and acting with you, 

Thomas Milburn
Erie Campus Pastor