Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

October 8, 2020

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

October 8, 2020
How would you feel if this were an aerial photo of your neighborhood?

The people of the city of Berezniki, located in Russia’s Ural Mountains, don’t have to imagine. This is reality for them. Their city is slowly sinking into the earth.  

Berezniki has a population of more than 150,000 individuals and as was the standard practice during the days of the Soviet Union, it was built directly on top of a potash mine (Potash is primarily used in making fertilizer).

After nearly a century of extraction, deep voids were left underneath the city. The ceilings of these huge underground caverns are supported only by walls and pillars of soluble salt. In 2006, when a freshwater spring began flowing into the mine some 720 to 1,500 feet below the surface, it dissolved many of the supporting pillars and huge sinkholes formed causing more and more parts of the city to come crashing down.
This is a picture of largest of these massive holes (It is nicknamed “The Grandfather.”) It is nearly 1,300 feet across and more than 650 feet deep. It threatens to engulf the only rail line which leads from the potash mines.  

Berezniki produces around ten percent of the world’s potash, and the mines are the city’s biggest employer. Closure of the mines would be damaging to the local economy not to mention the worldwide impact it would have on crop production.

Officials are debating whether to relocate the entire city to the opposite bank of the Kama River, where the bedrock is solid. About 12,000 residents have already done that, moved in order to live on stable grounds, but the rest have decided to stay put and will have to keep close watch.

The lesson here is that crisis reveals the strength of our foundations. As Jesus put it in the Sermon on the Mount: “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

As Christians we need not fear the difficulties of life, such as this seemingly endless pandemic that threatens to “swallow us whole.” We should not be afraid, “though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,” for “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Many of our neighbors and friends do not share our faith, their foundations are crumbling. Look for opportunities God is sure to give you to comfort them by sharing your faith in Him Who is THE Solid Rock!  

Keep the SON in your eyes!
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