David deFreese
David deFreese, Former Vice President of Church Relations and International Programs

Appreciating Our Pastor Partners

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

Why do we have a “Clergy Appreciation Month”? And what is it we appreciate? And why does Mosaic participate in this expression of gratitude?

When I was ordained, after the service, a faithful member walked through the receiving line and announced to me something incredibly profound: “Now, David, you are a pastor. Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I am always thankful for that charge of consoling and challenging.

As stewards of the mystery of Christ and the Church, what is it that pastors are to be about?

To do justice. What does that look like?

The people Mosaic supports hunger for opportunities and possibilities, as do we all. They do not want to be kept in a condescended position, solely dependent upon others. They want the dignity to become all that God created them to be.

Justice is the hard work of pulling everyone up and of giving respect and the honor deserving of people created in the image of God; children of God that can grow and become.

To do justice means a pastor must stand in the gaps with the marginalized, the forgotten, the neglected and the bullied. Jesus’ first sermon in his hometown did not go so well, and where did he stand?

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18)

Mosaic has experienced many pastors who have stepped forward to lift up people who have been pushed to the side in our society. Leaders who have spoken up and acted in ways that enabled and empowered others to live a better life. We are most grateful for their efforts.

To love kindness. This means expressing God’s love and grace by being with people in the midst of all circumstances.

Story after story could be told of pastors who have made the time to be with people supported by Mosaic and staff in times of need and sorrow. Pastors sitting in waiting rooms, around kitchen tables, in coffee shops, listening and wondering about biopsies, about surgeries, about death, about unemployment, about hearts broken and life’s great discouragements.

And they have also been with folks during some of the great celebrations of life—birthdays, baptisms, new jobs, graduations, promotions, weddings, anniversaries and homecomings—participating in the joys of life’s journey and reminding others of God’s kindness and care.

To walk humbly with your God, which means helping others in their walk.

Pastors who have stood before people, not spouting simplistic platitudes, but rather teaching and deepening faith that is real by pointing to the Source of hope and goodness. The mysteries of life and of God are complex and intricate. We all deserve more than a Hallmark greeting card or bumper sticker theology.

Human sin, forces of evil, human frailties and hurtfulness are real. Mosaic has partnered with wise pastors in many of our agencies who have wrestled to articulate the challenges of living in this time in as understandable a way as possible. They may not always have answers, but they walk alongside us, pondering together and reminding us that God’s grace is also very real.

Mosaic appreciates our pastor partners who do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with us and our God!

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