~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher
The Façade of Artemis
In my daily interactions with clients, I often think about the role facades play in our lives. Whether it’s my own struggle to remain consistently present, or a client’s resistance to live in the truth of their situation, I’m gently reminded of the need to bring our true selves into relationships with others and with God. Healing can begin only in that tender place of our revealed selves.
For a number of years, I had frequent interactions with a client in her 60s who I’ll call Artemis. I found these interactions profoundly difficult. Artemis would operate in an extended state of mania, and often sabotaged important meetings that could get her vital help. I began to see she had fabricated many details of her life— including her name— as well as squandered significant resources on beauty treatments and products to maintain what she thought was the correct outward appearance.
I reached the point where I encouraged her to seek treatment for her mental struggles, and gave her some resources. Not pleased, she refused my advice, but still periodically called me to ask for prayer for the latest crisis. I obliged every time, but eventually I stopped hearing from her for a couple years.
Artemis has come back around recently, but now goes by what I know to be her actual name. Gone is the mania and chaos. Gone is the evidence of squandered resources and the facade of outward appearance. In her presence I now experience peace, and our conversation encourages us both. Though I know this to be the same woman, interestingly, when I made inquiries about our past interactions she denied ever talking to me before. Whether she literally doesn’t remember, or just doesn’t want to dwell on who she used to be isn’t important. She found the help she needed and could bring her real self into relationship again.
We extended rent help again within the limitations of our program, and this brought some stability to her humble living situation. I’m grateful to be able to see neighbors like “Artemis” through many ups and downs of life, all the while knowing our church can extend direct financial help in the right situation. This is possible because of your generous support of the Outreach Fund. Thank you!
Zachary Courter Ordination
Last year, we began supporting missionaries Zach and Rachel by joining the ELCA’s Covenant Sponsorship program. Please contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher if you’d like to contribute, or simply mail or bring a check by the church (made out to PRLC) with “Zach and Rachel” in the memo line.
Missionary and former PRLC member Zach Courter visited in April and talked with excitement about his upcoming ordination. The date is now set for October 5th! Zach’s ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in service of City Park Lutheran Church in Budapest, Hungary, will be a bilingual service taking place in the Lutheran Church of Budapest-Fasor. Zach will be ordained by NW Washington Bishop Kirby Unti, with the support of Presiding Bishop Dr. Tamàs Fabiny of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary. We are invited to the service and reception that follows! If you can’t make it to Hungary, well wishes can be sent to Zach at email@example.com. Way to go Zach!
Refugee Training at PRLC September 22nd
Are you interested in joining a growing effort among PRLC members to actively and directly support incoming refugee families in our area? We’ve been organizing around this issue for over a year, and are ready to commit to the “Circle of Welcome” program through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. We’ll have a training with LIRS and Lutheran Community Services at PRLC on Saturday, September 22nd, from 9am-2pm in the Tree of Life Room. This training is mandatory for all volunteers, and will be informative and useful to all who attend. If you’ve signed up to help already, you’ll get an email about this training. New volunteers are always welcome. Contact PRLC member and Refugee Communications Coordinator Peggy Martin to get on the list at firstname.lastname@example.org.