Pastor Blake Cromwell
I wanted to express my support to my brothers and sisters who are members of the Catholic churches in the Kings County. As a Pastor who has served in this community for 19 years I have observed the devotion of these Priests and have been challenged by their commitment to their flocks.
Over the years I have been a member of the Ministerial Association of Hanford and worked together with all denominations and churches in our city. Currently the President of the Ministerial Association is Father Dan of Saint Bridges Church. He is doing a wonderful job as our current President. I have come to appreciate him for his love for God and people.
On occasions I have shared with Father Dan responsibilities in funerals and community projects. I have found Dan to be a man gifted to serve the church and this community. I know of no other minister in town who is as busy as he is and still he keeps a joyful attitude about his work.
It seems in the last few weeks every time I pick up a paper or turn the news on there is talk of the problems within the Priesthood. No doubt we all are glad that those who have done wrong are removed from places of influence. The Bible says, “Judgment must begin at the house of God.”
My concern is that those who have devoted their lives to God not be judged with those who should be. The simplistic solution given that the problem is a Priest’s vow of celibacy is just foolishness. The fact is those who are sexual predators are more often married than not. The Bible clearly states that an unmarried man can serve the Lord undistracted and that celibacy is a high calling.
I have just read a book on unselfish teamwork that used the example of geese flying in a V formation. These insights can help us stand with others who are going through difficult times.
First, it has been learned that as each goose flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird following. Flying in a “V” formation adds at least 71 percent greater flying distance than if each bird flew on its own.
In other words, people who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. I appreciate all the churches in Hanford that believe that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. Each church is headed in the same direction and in that we help each other.
Secondly, geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. As for myself and my church we desire to be cheerleaders to the other churches in Hanford. To often Christians become critics instead of encouragers when accusation and gossip is flying.
Thirdly, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly again or until he dies. Then they launch out together again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone were as committed as geese. It is an infamous saying that Christians are the only people who shoot their wounded.
The church is all about bringing people to Christ. Jesus prayed that Christians would be supportive of one another and through that mutual commitment to each other the world would have a witness of who Jesus Christ is.
As for me I am going to keep honking to all those who are humbly serving in churches in the Kings County. Why not give a honk to your local church this weekend and encourage your Pastor?