Greetings WAC Community,
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.
– Psalms 85:10-13
Donn Kesselheim died early this morning. Donn’s wife, Chelsea, had died in October 2013, shortly after our annual meeting that both Donn and Chelsea had attended. They were Quakers living in Lander and active in the Wyoming Association of Churches for many, many years. Their leadership made a difference wherever they were.
We also remember Rev. Roy Siewert who died recently. Roy was a pastor in Casper and an active leader of WAC. Rev. Doug Goodwin gave a gift to WAC’s Sustainable Future Endowment Fund in memorial to Roy.
A memorial gift to WAC for Chaz Michael Sagmeister, an Eastern Shoshone who recently died, and was the grandson of Dick Baldes and nephew of Jason Baldes, was given by Rev. Warren Murphy.
Our 40th Celebration!
This last Friday and Saturday, the Wyoming Association of Churches celebrated our 40th Anniversary in Casper. Wyoming’s Governor Matt Mead sent us a message of congratulations that included: “I appreciate your efforts as an ecumenical community to put aside your differences as you work for common purposes. Thank you for all you do.” In 2017, we will be examining transition options for WAC so that our next 40 years can be even more impactful toward building the Kingdom of God in Wyoming.
Thanks to those who helped to make this celebration grand. Participants included those who have been involved with WAC for nearly all of its 40 years, those for whom this was their first time at a WAC event and all in between. I especially thank Rev. Dee Lundberg for being the on-site organizer and for her multi-tasking skills doing whatever needed to be done, Judy Eicher from Cheyenne for coordinating the silent auction fundraiser and the board chair Carl Carmichael from Sheridan for his leadership.
The presenters brought the heart to this year’s theme to appreciate diversity, and so a special thanks to them for their generously sharing their stories, knowledge and gifts. Thanks to Rosa Salamanca, Jimmy Simmons, Lillian Zuniga, Inge Kutchins, Jason Baldes, Dee Lundberg and Jack Schmidt. Indeed, we were blessed. The Psalms quoted above was one of the readings during our Taize Worship service Saturday morning led by Dee Lundberg. It reflects that this WAC event was where faith, love, righteousness and peace came together spiritually.
The new resolution adopted at this year’s annual meeting is:
Resolved that the Wyoming Association of Churches join with a coalition of Wyoming and national organizations to oppose efforts at both the state and national level to cede the nation’s public lands over to state control. This includes all lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
To implement the resolution, WAC adopted a motion to promote Keep It Public Wyoming Rally in Casper on November 5th (see poster below) and to sign the petition at www.keepitpublicwyo.com.
WAC also passed a motion to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Tribe for peaceful opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Some of us are making plans to go to the protest site over Thanksgiving. Let me know if you’d like to join us. I can keep you posted as plans unfold.
The next three weeks, I will be on vacation, but the weekly messages will be coming from members of the board of the Wyoming Association of Churches. Expect to hear from Rev. Doug Goodwin, board chair Carl Carmichael and Rev. Bob Miller respectively over the next three weeks.
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.
P.S. Your financial contributions are needed and appreciated. To contribute, click here. Or mail your contribution to WAC, PO Box 1473, Laramie, WY 82073.