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in Care

The Power of Silence

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Can silence be comforting?

I can recount multiple times in my life that I have faced hardships that caused me to wonder where God was in my suffering? I prayed, I read my Bible, I meditated; But, all I could hear was silence. While I am not sure if God chose to be silent in those instances, or whether my grief rendered me spiritually deaf, either way I was overcome with pain and helplessness.
There is much we can learn from the suffering Job encountered when he faced calamity in his life. Initially, Job heard nothing from God either. Fortunately, three of his good friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite) came to comfort him in his time of need.

Job 2: 12-13:
12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

What’s striking about this passage is that his friends remained silent for entire first week because they could sense the depth of his pain. They didn’t offer empty platitudes such as, “God is preparing you for something greater” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Nor did they over identify. “I know exactly what you are going through”.

I believe that one of the best things we can do to care for someone in deep distress is to offer a non-judgmental presence. A willingness to show up and BE present can be more valuable for the afflicted than hearing clumsy assumptions and anxious projections. Job’s friends were doing great until they opened their mouths. They should have remained silent.

What do you think?

in Care

Ministry Spotlight

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You’re new to New York Covenant. You walk into the sanctuary, knowing no one. While our congregation is a friendly, welcoming one, there is a ministry whose mission is to welcome friends and to strictly adhere to our church’s mission: To make disciples by cultivating relationships. That ministry is known as EMBRACE.

Formed just a few years ago, the EMBRACE ministry’s acronym stands for Encouraging Multitudes by Raising Affection, Concern and Empathy. The members of the ministry are honored to be on the “front lines” of showing love to newcomers and existing members, by following their mission: To love, care, and show empathy for the church body by cultivating, widening and deepening relationships.

How does the ministry accomplish this? They take many different paths to simply loving on others. Led by Sister Melissa Jackson, the members of the ministry gather the names of those members and visitors who fill out the Connect Cards and are in need of prayer, support, or other information. Those requests are met each week, by ministry members. Additionally, EMBRACE members send cards, or offer visits and prayers to those who are ill or bereaved. The ministry’s members include a variety of spiritual gifts, including Evangelism, Exhortation, Encouragement, Mercy, Pastoring, Teaching, Administration, Compassion and Service. The EMBRACE team is the ministry to turn to simply if you need to know more about NYCC, need a helping hand, or simply a friend to pray with you.

The EMBRACE team is here to serve YOU, by displaying the love of the Lord.

For more information about EMBRACE, please see Sister Melissa Jackson or any of the other team members: Gerald Jackson, Princess Jackson, Valerie Coleman, Janelle Roundtree, Cal Gray, Michelle Wilson or Gayle Williams.

Posted by Gayle Williams with 1 Comments