Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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                                                                          May 1, 2019

Dear Friends,

The instructor said, "If it happens once, it can happen
again." I was in a traffic safety course as part of my
chaplaincy training for the local police and fire
departments. In the video there was a one car accident.
The vehicle was sitting in the median between two busy
roads. There were several emergency vehicles present.
You could also see a number of folks at the scene.

It was raining. The road was wet. Lights were flashing
and visibility was limited. Suddenly a pick up truck
slammed into the disabled vehicles sending the crew
running. Everyone gasped. I hadn't really understood
what the instructor was saying until a few minutes
later a second vehicle hit the parked cars and flipped
over injuring at least one worker.

The point he was making was that you have to be alert
and ready for anything when responding to an emergency
call. He told us that there are no routine incidents. Then
we watched a horrifying video that showed a simple fender
bender that turned deadly. A speeding tractor trailer
tried to stop, jackknifed, and flipped on its side and ended
up killing ten first responders.

If there is one thing I have learned over the last year and
a half, it's that these men and women who serve as police,
fire and EMT's go through a lot of training. They don't
just sign up and walk out and do what they do. They
spend hours going over various scenarios. They take the
time to learn how to use the equipment that is vital to
their job.

You wouldn't expect anything less. They have an important
job to do. They are called first responders because they are
often the first on the scene when help is needed. They
selflessly give their time and energy to do a job that most
of us could never do. I thank God for them.

There are very few vocations where ongoing training
isn't needed. That's true for our faith life as well. Too
many of us consider our education complete once we
graduate from Sunday School or complete our catechism.
Yet in order to grow in our faith we need to continue
reading the Bible, attending Bible studies and
participating in worship.

Life is unpredictable. You never know when your faith
will be tested. The Bible is our training manual. In
Matthew 7:24 Jesus says,  “Anyone who listens to my
teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds
a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents
and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that
house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock."

In a world where hope is hard to find, we have the answer.
Our hope is found in God. So let's commit to dive into our
Bibles as if it was our training manual. Then let's get out
and share the Good News to a world that is in desperate
need.

God bless! See you in church.
Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly
Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Pastor Cal's
Archived Epistles