Be Not Afraid

            In the opening chapter of his latest book Unafraid, best-selling author and UM pastor Adam Hamilton shares the findings of an informal survey that he took in his large suburban Kansas City church.  Of the 2,400 persons surveyed, nearly half reported living with a moderate amount of fear every day, and another 35% said that they lived each day with a significant amount of fear.  So in total, 85% of the people surveyed disclosed that fear was a factor in their everyday lives, affecting decisions they made, places they went (or didn’t go), and how they viewed their futures as well as many other aspects of their lives.   Due largely to these results, Rev. Hamilton decided to address the issue of fear first in a sermon series and now in his new book.

            There is little doubt that there is a lot to be afraid of these days.  Political and economic uncertainty, violence, and the terrorist acts we see on the news are among those events and issues that can keep even the most faithful of us awake at night.  And in the book, Rev. Hamilton covers just about every issue and situation that can cause us fear.  But he also writes of the ways that as followers of Christ, we have been gifted with spiritual resources upon which we can draw to better cope with the scary times of life.   In summary, I have found the book to be tremendously helpful and uplifting even amidst the chaos and craziness of the world around us.

            I am excited that during the month of September we are embarking on a church-wide study of Unafraid.  During our worship services, I will be highlighting some of the points in the book that are particularly relevant, and we will also be offering discussion groups at various times throughout the week for all persons who wish to delve deeper into this timeless topic.   Be watching during August for the opportunity to sign up for the group(s) that best fit your schedule.   We will have plenty of books available for any who wish to participate in these groups or simply read the book on their own.    These will be available in the church office also by mid-August.