From the Pastor's Pen 6/22/23


Dear Friends,

On Sunday morning we talked a bit about lament. Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, and is found throughout scripture, a hint to us that lament is both a part of life and is an appropriate response when calling out to God in the midst of grief and sorrow. Hagar lamented on at least two occasions when she was out in the desert, fearful for her life and the life of her child, and in each instance, God saw and heard her cries for help, and provided a way out. The Israelites lamented the unjust slavery to which they were subjected at the hands of the Egyptians, and just like with Hagar, God saw and heard their cries for help, and sent rescue.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I think there is an inaccurate description of Christianity that assumes all will be well, and as long as that is true, people are happy. But the minute something goes awry, the always happy façade is broken and people don’t know how to lament, trusting God with their grief and sorrow, so they fall away from faith. I have seen it happen too many times to count.

Often, we forget that Jesus told us there would be hardships in this world, and scripture gives us many examples of how we can express our grief and sorrow about those hardships to our God that always hears, always sees, and always provides a way – even if it isn’t what we anticipated or even if we don’t recognize it at the time. And while l don’t wish lamentable events on anyone, I do think that the more we are able to practice lament when those times come, the stronger our faith becomes in our always seeing, hearing, and acting God.

A reminder for those unable to join us in-person, Sunday morning worship is livestreamed on our Facebook page, The service airs each Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and will be available to watch after that as well.

Health Update: Yesterday (June 21), Mike and I had a consultation with my medical oncologist. Over the next week or so, I will be having CT and bone scans, chemo education, and a port inserted in order to begin chemotherapy on July 5. I will have four treatments, three weeks apart. At the conclusion of chemo, I will have surgery to replace the expander with an implant, remove the port, and take additional tissue for testing. Radiation will follow the recovery from surgery. In the coming weeks and months there will be opportunities for providing meals, rides, and other things I am not even aware of yet, and we will continue to communicate  that via as well as direct communication to you, the congregation. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It means so much!

Next Sunday, June 25, we will have an “indoor picnic” after worship. Following the service, we will gather for a pot-luck picnic in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a picnic dish to share, and let’s gather together for a time of food and fellowship!
We are in the midst of some transitions in the Hand-in-Hand Business Center, a natural progression of what happens in spaces like this, but the minute word gets out we have an opening, people are here asking about it. I am happy to say that God is using this space to be a blessing to our community through the small businesses that reside here.

Please note that if you enter through the east doors to the building that the people in the Hand-in-Hand Business Center are there to work and do their jobs, so please be quiet and respectful of their time and space. If you need to enter the building and do not have a key, please come to the north entrance near the turquoise picnic tables and ring the bell for the office, rather than disturbing the business center tenants. Thank you for your cooperation.

Don’t forget:
  • NOW is the time to SHARE this information with anyone and everyone who is visiting the area. ALL proceeds from parking are now coming directly to the church, so the more people who park here, the more income we receive. So, if you know of those who need a place to park during their visit to Gulf Shores and they would like to use our parking lot, here is the link to share: You can also pick up postcards at the church to pass on to those who might be interested. If you have contacts at a rental company or a particular condo, feel free to pass this information along to them now that we are headed into busy season.
  • Keep collecting that loose change and bring it every week to add to the collection! All of the loose change will go toward the ongoing ministry of the church, as we continue to spread the life-changing good news of God’s love.
  • The church can now receive donations through Facebook, either by clicking on the “Donate” button on our Facebook Page, or through Fundraisers you can host on your own Facebook page.
  • If you have more ideas about how we can creatively fund the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Gulf Shores, reach out and let me know!
  • For safety reasons, at 11:00 a.m. each Sunday, all the doors of the building will be locked EXCEPT the north door that leads into the narthex. If you find yourself running behind, just remember to park up front by that door and enter there.
  • Bring your Blessing Box donations (non-perishable items) to church on Sundays or drop them off at the box during the week.

As always, you are welcome to reach out to me via email, text or phone with any needs or just to chat!

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
Rev. Chrisy Ennen, (618) 980-9899
"Let all that you do be done in love.”
I Corinthians 16:14
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Rev. Chrisy Ennen

Minister of Word and Sacrament

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