Let’s Ramp Up Mask Production!

Jayne Peterson tells us that masks are once again urgently needed by personnel who are taking care of COVID-19 patients. Earlier in the pandemic, a crew of Esperanza seamstresses started churning out masks made from medical fabric that has a high rating for blocking viruses. The masks were made from a pattern developed and tested at the University of Florida Department of Anesthesiology. They fit correctly for maximum effectiveness and are comfortable, so this is the best pattern to use when sewing with this precious fabric.

Find the pattern here: Mask Pattern – Banner University Medical Center

If you would like to join the team, please contact Liz Farquhar at liz.farquhar51@gmail.com. She can arrange to get you the fabric. If you have made cloth masks that you would like to donate, please contact Liz. She is collecting masks and delivering them to Jayne.

Supporting the Navajo Nation: Joy Amidst Sorrow

Jayne and Todd Peterson lead another successful trip the Navajo Nation on June 28 to deliver supplies and visit with a patient.

Supplies went to the Tuba City Medical Center Community Outreach program, which is under the direction of Dollie Smallcanyon, R.N. The group then visited a patient who was treated at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix. “She was fine one day, suddenly dizzy, then intubated on a ventilator for over 20 days,” Jayne said. “She is so thankful for the care she received from the ICU team and is happy to be back home and able to weave her wedding baskets again.”

“Thank you to Esperanza Lutheran Church for all of their donations,” Jayne added. “Dollie is also so thankful for those special masks to give to her community workers.” Doctors Kelvin Dan, Meena Sridhar, Naomi Newman and her friend Dustin helped to make this trip happen.

“What a joy amidst this sorrow!”

Connections and Energy

Esperanzans, our church is humming. You can read about some of the new things going on in this newsletter: a new Children’s Ministry Coordinator, an online conversation on racial justice, an update on planning for the new school year at Children of Hope, reminders about ongoing service opportunities, and more.

 

Beyond all that, the Inviting and Welcoming Team is meeting weekly, the chairs and carpet in the sanctuary and fellowship hall have just been cleaned, people are coming by church to keep things running and looking nice, the Fellowship Team is thinking about fun options for small in-person events, our Promesa de Esperanza choir just connected again online, and our community continues to collect donations of food, drink, clothing and school supplies for area service agencies. Apologies if I missed something or someone!

 

Remember, you can catch up with Esperanza friends and make new ones by joining in Sunday morning Communion and Coffee Hour. And, if you’re on Facebook, don’t forget to join the Non-news Esperanza group to stay in touch.

 

You can always get in touch with me, too. My contact information is at the end of this newsletter.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Carol

The Opposite of Talking

I was at the dentist’s long enough this past Monday to finish reading a new novel called “Weather” by Jenny Offill. In the novel, the narrator describes someone she knows as a good listener and says something like: She could listen to your story without responding with a story of her own.

 

It stuck with me because I catch myself doing that all the time, responding to someone’s story with the nearest version of the same thing I have in my repertoire. The intention, usually, is to build a bond, to share a common experience. But, of course, it can also turn the conversation 180 degrees. The writer Fran Lebowitz famously said, “The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting,” as in, waiting for my turn to talk.

 

One of the most challenging aspects of racial reconciliation—or, better, racial justice—is for people who are used to talking to listen truly and deeply and extensively to people who are used to being talked over. How hard it is for some of us who are in the habit of asserting our viewpoints in conversation and who are energized by a strenuous back-and-forth to, instead, keep our mouths shut and listen with patience and humility.

 

Many times, people in small groups have told me that they’re still formulating their thoughts while the more confident talkers have had their say and the conversation has moved on. Their frustration grows and the group doesn’t get the benefit of their input. It takes intentionality and an attentive facilitator to even out this dynamic, so everyone gets heard.

 

In our country now, the need goes beyond that. What has always been the case is becoming blazingly evident. And white people like me have a responsibility that goes beyond making sure other voices are heard along with ours. We have a moral—and, for believers, a Christian—responsibility to listen, listen, listen, without interjections of self-justification or complaints that our intention, personally, was never to cause harm. Listen without responding with our own stories, unless asked, because, in many cases, we don’t really have corresponding stories.

 

If you don’t have opportunity at the moment to listen in person, there are plenty of books and other resources you can read. A few resources are listed on our denomination’s website (https://www.elca.org/Resources/Racial-Justice).

Here are a few more suggestions:
  • A book by Lutheran pastor Lenny Duncan titled Dear Church is subtitled “A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US”
  • More broadly read are new classics “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehesi Coates and “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.
  • Also, “Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race” by Benjamin Watson
  • And for churches, “Roadmap to Reconciliation” by Brenda Salter McNeil and “Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church” by Soong-Chan Rah.
I encourage those of you who are on Facebook to share the resources you’ve found most enlightening and challenging to the Non-News Esperanza group.

 

This feels like a pivotal moment in the history of our country. Listening and reading are not the full extent of what we can do to be part of the change. But understanding provides fuel, and listening is the only way to get it.

 

Peace and good health to you,
Pastor Carol

Another New Team

Esperanza now has a Stewardship Team, a group focused on helping us think about our money, in the context of faith, and how we may grow in generosity. Thanks to Michael Paradise, Craig Peck, and Michelle Tinsley for getting this team underway.
Our new working teams are focusing on particular areas of our church and will ensure that things get done. But an additional benefit is that they are available to listen to your ideas and suggestions and to coordinate short-term volunteers and efforts. So, as a reminder, here is a list of current teams and their leaders:
Fellowship Team: Peggy Wagner
Finance Team: Mark Entsminger
Inviting & Welcoming Team: Paul Gerrish
Property Team: Randy Wright and Denzil Klein
Worship Team (8:30 service): Brad SomeroJim NelsonSpencer Fallgatter
Worship Team (10:30 service): Steve Newell
Stewardship Team: Michael Paradise
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