The Pastor’s Corner
September 2019
 
 
 

 

Dear Members and friends, 
TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED  I heard the saying, “I am too blessed to be stressed”, at a time when I felt very stressed by the events that were happening in my life. After hearing the saying I reflected on the words of wisdom and then realized that this saying was one that I should use as a response when people ask me “How are you doing?” One of my mentors, Rev. Dr. Jefferson said that to me one day after I asked him “How are you today?” I will never forget his response.  At times we tend to focus on the negative aspects of our lives and we forget the blessings that we all have. When you change your attitude to one of counting your blessings you find you will experience less stress. I learned the importance of positive affirmations from Paramahansa Yogananda. He is the author of Positive Affirmations. It is important to think positively and speak positively. That is how we bring wishes into existence through prayer and faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1  Catherine Pulsifer wrote, “One of the techniques to help you appreciate your blessings and to reverse the stress thoughts that come to your mind is to start thinking about stress reducing statements that bring your blessings to the forefront. For example, let us say that you are going for an interview for a new job and start to feel that you are not worthy of the job that you want. Turn that thought around by say- ing to yourself that you are blessed to have the opportunity to go for an interview in a land that allows free- dom of choice to work and live where you want.”  I made it a habit to say, “I am too blessed to be stressed” to myself and others every day. One day, a friend of mine responded, “I am too anointed to be disjointed.” So I added that to my positive affirmations. 
When a good friend and colleague of mine, Father Jim Callen, was forced out of his church for including Protestants, LGBT people and women in the ministry, The Downtown United Presbyterian Church (DUPC) in Rochester New York invited his future Church to worship in our sanctuary. Corpus Christi Church had been a part of the Sanctuary Movement at DUPC. It was ironic that part of Corpus Christi Church had to seek sanctuary at DUPC. In the middle of their crisis, Father Jim Callen, their former Priest visited the 400 members who had left their former church and were worshipping at DUPC every week for several months. When I got up to greet Father Jim Callen the first time he attended the “diaspora Church”, I asked him and the rebel members “How are you doing tonight?” They did not say much in response. I said, “I am too blessed to be stressed. Let me try that again, how are you doing tonight?” They responded, “We are too blessed to be stressed?” Part of The Corpus Christi (which means body of Christ) Church became a new church, the Spiritus Christi (which means spirit of Christ) Church. 

Spiritus Christi Church shares space with Downtown Presbyterian Church (DUPC) in Rochester, New York to this day. I would not be surprised if they have 5000 members by now.  Father Jim Callen wrote about his ordeal and the fact that they rose up like a phoenix from the ashes in his book “The Studentbaker Corporation; A vehicle for Renewal in the Catholic Church”. He put me in his book. On page 92 there is a picture of me in 1999 with the caption underneath, “I’m too blessed to be Stressed”. Father Callen wrote, “It was not a separate community but a means to maintain people’s spirit during a time when the inclusive practices of Corpus Christi were being assaulted. Rev. Darryll Young, one of the Presby- terian co-pastors, attended those Tuesday Celebrations and often encouraged the people by getting them to shout out the refrain: “I’m too blessed to be stressed!” When I have tried to stop saying it, people remind me that I taught them to say it and ask me why I am not saying it. They are not happy hearing me just say “I am fine” and they encourage me to keep saying it.  As one of my favorite songs says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one and you will be sur- prised what the Lord has done.” As Willie Nelson once said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Don’t let stress ruin your day, focus your thoughts and energy on the good things in your life! So the next time you are feeling stress remember these inspirational Quotes for reflection:  “No weapon (tornado) formed against me will prosper” Isaiah 54:17  “Every burden is a blessing.” Rev. Dr. Robert Schuller  “God is good all the time…and all the time God is good” Anonymous  “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” Charles Dickens  “A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.” Joseph Addison  “If we would take the time to step aside each day and count the blessings that God has bestowed on us, in his mercy and grace, I think we would be a much happier people.” Danielle Whyte, 365 Days of Thanking God; Cultivating a Heart of Thanksgiving Everyday  In Christ’s Unconditional love and Positive Thinking,  Pastor Darryll Young