Guest blog post by
Ann Schmid, Member of New Hope Presbyterian
Presbyterian Women Midwest, South Metro Cluster Communicator

I imagine, like many people during this lengthy pandemic, I decided to straighten my bookcase and working area.  As I processed materials, some saved and some recycled, I found a journal I began in 1971 with a focus on recording thoughts to increase understanding of my beliefs.  One of my first entries responded to a sermon given by Reverend Dr. David McDowell, one of the first pastors of Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, St. Louis County, MO.  His “Pastoral Notes” emphasized the guidance given in Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” (KJV).   Sometimes the challenges we have are getting through the “moment by moment, day after dragging day”, where we need to be reminded of God’s promise.  “Faith is purposeful, hopeful expectancy.”  In my journal, I wrote that faith was “purposeful waiting!”  As I was planning the Presbyterian Women Giddings-Lovejoy Midwest/South Metro Cluster Winter Gathering, I knew that this message from Isaiah and the concept of “purposeful waiting” applies to challenges people all over the world have been experiencing throughout this pandemic.  We all have to continue to be reminded that we receive our strength from God through our faith!

Our Cluster Gathering was held on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, on Zoom.  Rev. Karen Blanchard, Honorably Retired at the Presbytery, added depth of understanding to this Bible verse through personally reminding everyone how difficult it is to wait, but God is always with us!  She cited Walter Brueggemann’s writings on “orientation, disorientation, and reorientation” to offer insight into what people have been dealing with these past two years!  Rev. Liz Kanerva, Associate Presbytery Leader, shared news from the Presbytery and introduced our new Presbytery Leader, Rev. Ryan Landino.  As Rev. Kanerva spoke about the challenges faced in this world, especially with the immediacy in Ukraine, she said that she knew that PW women have always been “Prayer Warriors”!  May we all take that message to heart!

Becky Ruether, from the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, explained all the services supplied by this valuable mission that offers a short-term, safe haven for children experiencing illness, homelessness, domestic violence, and parental stress.  Their organization has been open throughout the pandemic and intends to continue its mission!  At the close of this Cluster Gathering, I realized how blessed we are to have the support of our Presbytery and that each and every day we all must remember that faith is “purposeful waiting” with God at our side!

Blessings to all,

Ann Schmid
Member of New Hope Presbyterian
Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery
Presbyterian Women Midwest, South Metro Cluster Communicator

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