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Dear friends,

I was cleaning out some files yesterday and came upon this:

Plane Ticket Information

It’s a record of a plane ticket I purchased in 2005 to come see my parents on Sunday, August 28 after church and return to the DC area on Tuesday, August 30.

That never happened.

This year the anniversary of Katrina is weighing heavy on my heart and mind. I am thinking about my mother and grandmother, who never got to return, and my father, who returned to a vastly different reality. I miss them all tremendously.

Perhaps you also find yourself thinking of how much things have changed in 17 years. Maybe you find yourself wondering how it could possibly be that long ago. 

On August 28, 2005, our opening hymn at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, VA was “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” I vividly remember standing before a congregation of people who were not yet tuned in to the giant storm in the Gulf of Mexico, tears streaming down my face, singing:

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home.

Those are some of my favorite words in all of hymnody. Much changed that day. Much is changing now – in this church, in this city, in the nation and world. In your life and mine. The need for comfort remains: God is our eternal home. God IS our eternal home.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Kim