Friday, February 03, 2006

Church Fires

From the Birmingham News:

Fires damaged or destroyed six rural Alabama churches late Thursday or early this morning, and investigators suspect arson in five of them.

I was saddened to hear this news this morning. What made me feel better was an email that was forwarded to me just a little while earlier. The email was from Bishop William Willimon. While none of the churches that were damaged were Methodist churches, he asked for prayers and support for these churches from the North Alabama Conference. He also stated that we would be donating money toward these churches.

I've had a rough week. World events are never fun to read about, it seems. Sometimes, it can get you down. I've been in somewhat of a snippy mood since Monday. I've been busy, having more on my plate than usual. And it seems like every time I sit down to get it done, something else butts in to take away from my valuable and irreplaceable time.

But the email from Bishop Willimon was welcome. It was nice. It brought a smile to my face. The news isn't always great, but there are those out there who just display love and encouragement from their every word and action no matter what seems to be working against them. Those people, I believe, are the ones that hold us together while the world falls apart around us. While the bishop didn't offer anything particularly extraordinary or unusual for his position as a Christian leader, just the fact that he made the suggestion was enough to warm my heart. Thanks, Will. I needed that.

Here is the text of the email:

This morning there is news that at least six churches in Bibb and Chilton counties have been damaged or destroyed by fires in the last 24 hours. Although, none were United Methodist congregations, we join in the grief of our Christian brothers and sister at the damage to their church buildings. Today I have asked Conference Treasurer Scott Selman and his staff to send a donation from the North Alabama Conference to each of these affected congregations. I also ask each of you to lift up these congregations in prayer. During the last year North Alabama United Methodists have been extremely generous in their support to those who face disasters. We seek to continue this spirit of generosity as our prayers and donations go to these churches here in central Alabama.

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