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Linda Stoddard

Photo above: The Rev. Linda Stoddard at work in her church office. Linda welcomes your questions and inquiries about Maple United Methodist and the Christian tradition. She will help you to find the answers you seek.

If you'd like to meet with Rev. Stoddard to discuss a personal or spiritual matter, please call the church office at (269) 964-1252 or click here to send an e-mail inquiry.

You may also speak with Linda after our Sunday morning worship services. (Click here for service times.) We'd love to meet you!

Did you know? Rev. Stoddard is also an accomplished speaker, poet and author. To read a recent pastoral message from Rev. Stoddard, click here now.

A Special Pastoral Message from Rev. Linda


June 2018

      Have you noticed how everything this spring seems to be on a “fast track”?  April was so cold (and even snowy); May has been so super-wet (6.5” of rain as of this writing) that farmers and home gardeners alike have been delayed in their planting.  But now, as we jump from winter to summer (!), it seems like everything is in a hurry to catch up to where it should be. 

       My snowpeas and radishes started to sprout in just 5 days.  The iris began to pop as the tulips were just starting to fade.  Lilacs and poppies, even spirea and redbud, are practically in competition to see who can show off the most.  A pair of cardinals decided to nest in one of the pines next to our garage door.  What was a six week process from nest-building to “flight school” turned into a sprint with the nest appearing in late April and the last of the fledg-lings taking flight on May 22nd.

      What is the hurry?  Where is the time going at such a break-neck speed?  Why does the world seem to be spinning faster and faster as the calendar pages turn?

      Some would say once you are “over the hill” (whatever age that might be) then everything moves faster.  Others would say it’s just a perception of speed; there are still 168 hours (10,080 minutes) in a week and 24 hours (1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds) in a day.

       But, our sense of time is increasingly “skewed” by the instant nature of today’s social media.  We used to get our news on a daily or weekly basis—through the newspaper, radio, TV, or “backyard fence chats”.  Now—with a Smartphone glued to our hip or ear, we get breaking news as it is happening—even if it is half-a-world away.  No wonder we feel like we are in a constant race.

       Centuries ago, God commanded His “recorders” to write—“BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”  (Psalm 46:10)  Most of us don’t know how to do that anymore.  We always have to be busy—we always have to be “doing” something.  We are increasingly aware that time does not “stand still”.

        Why are we surprised when the doctor is concerned about our elevated blood pressure or stress levels?  Is it any wonder that panic attacks, breathing issues, and heart attacks are on the increase? 

         Children of God, if we don’t learn to step back…sit down…take a breath…and just REST, we are going to find ourselves in very difficult straits!  Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

         As May gives way to June…as the hustle and bustle of the spring season slides into summer…, I challenge you to stop DOING and just start “being” (at least for a half hour every day).  Turn off the TV, the phone, the computer.  Grab a cup of coffee, a glass of tea and sit on the porch or jump in the hammock and just REST. 

        Spend a little time in prayer.  Give God a chance to speak to you.  “Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause.”  (Celia Tran)

        Just do it!  You’ll be glad you did!

Taking time to rest,

Rev. Linda

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