Enduring Shutdown

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If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.
— 1st Corinthians 12

As any pastor does, I feel a great responsibility for the wellbeing of the people in our congregation, whether they are longtime members or have just entered our doors for the first time.

When I was a kid living in Flint, Michigan I remember how strain in the auto industry affected nearly every other industry in the city. A majority of the people in the congregation where my Dad was a pastor worked for General Motors, and when it struggled, so did our church.

Ronald Reagan often spoke of something called, “trickle-down economics.” I’m not sure what I think about that as an economic philosophy, but he was right about one thing. The decisions made at the top absolutely trickle down to the bottom— even the bad ones.

Today, I live in a city where a majority of our congregants work in government or work in an industry that is directly tied to it, And still, all these years later, I see the same struggle that I saw as a kid in those auto workers, their families, and our church.

All that to say, I have been thinking about so many of you and what this prolonged lapse in government must feel like for you each day. Uncertain, unsettled, infuriating, and apathetic are some words that come to mind.

My hope is that a few things ring loud and clear through our words and actions as a church as we continue waiting for a solution from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill.

  • We are praying for God to give you peculiar courage and strength as you wake up each day, and as you go to bed each night without any answers.

  • We are praying for your families, your departments, and your leaders.

  • Most importantly, we want you to know that you are not in this alone. Our church is here to assist you any way that we possibly can. If there is anything that we can do for you during this difficult season, please send us an email, stop by our offices during the week, or call us at 301-654-4159.

Perhaps the best metaphor for the word “church” (when it functions as it should) is the word, “family.” And to us, you are family. We are proud of the work that you do, even if you are being held back from doing it right now.

Know that today, tomorrow, and as long as this shutdown lasts that you are seen, loved, heard, and are important to us.


 
Ryan Phipps is the Senior Minister at Church In Bethesda.  Raised in the church, becoming a pastor was the one thing Ryan vowed he would never do. After spending many years away from faith, he found that for all of its flaws, the church can still occupy a unique place of good in the world if it is willing to evolve with reason and empathy.  Ryan has a special place in his heart for those who have been damaged or disillusioned by the church, and longs to lead those within it toward a more just and generous expression of itself.  Ryan is an  INTJ  on the MBTI and a  5w4  on the Enneagram.

Ryan Phipps is the Senior Minister at Church In Bethesda.

Raised in the church, becoming a pastor was the one thing Ryan vowed he would never do. After spending many years away from faith, he found that for all of its flaws, the church can still occupy a unique place of good in the world if it is willing to evolve with reason and empathy.

Ryan has a special place in his heart for those who have been damaged or disillusioned by the church, and longs to lead those within it toward a more just and generous expression of itself.

Ryan is an INTJ on the MBTI and a 5w4 on the Enneagram.

Ryan Phipps