Susan and I became friends eight years ago when she was appointed as the associate pastor at the church my husband serves. We didn't get together for coffee, but conversations between church services and at church events kept us connected.
Susan moved three years ago to another church. Her husband died in April, and now she is moving again to a church closer to family, especially her elderly mother.
Susan told me about the new pastor, a woman, moving to her church. I knew that this pastor had moved under two years ago to a great church in a town of 22,000. When I asked Susan why the other woman had to move so soon, she told me, "The congregation did not accept a woman as pastor. In addition, neither the church or community embraced the pastor's two adopted bi-racial children who were in elementary school."
I was heart-broken and angry. I thought that any negative feelings toward women pastors was way in the past -- but not embracing bi-racial children -- children are children -- people are people. I wanted to jump in my car, drive to the community and read the gospel to them -- and maybe I also need to add prayer.
God there are times that we hear about those who are prejudiced and unwelcoming to all who live in your kingdom. Enter their hearts, soften their emotions, so that all may feel your presence. Amen.