Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney
Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.
"As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God." (Psalm 42:1)
In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.
Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.
Imagine being five or six miles into an eight-mile run. Because of the heat and humidity, which was stifling even in the early morning hour, I was carrying a water bottle with me but it was empty. Mouth parched, body pouring sweat, even my eyes were dry, I feel like I had a pretty good idea what it means for a deer to long for a flowing stream.
I feel like longing is more than just wanting. I didn't just want a drink of water on that hot day; I longed for it. It was all I could think of, consuming my every thought. If the devil had pulled up beside me and offered a drink for my soul I would have been tempted. Of course, I was much younger then and I'm sure I could have outrun him.
Even if not a flowing stream, or at least a small sip of water on a hot and dry day, you probably know longing, too. Perhaps you long for the pain in your knee or your back to go away, or for your mother's homemade cookies, or for a less stressful life. Maybe you are longing for more time with family or a nice long vacation or just once to have a little money left over after the bills are paid.
These yearning desires we can identity. Whether love or money or a new opportunity, we know the longing is there.
What about our longing for God? Our desire to feel the presence of the divine, to know the wisdom of the holy, to experience the wonder of the sacred? Our other longings along with our worldly wants can hide and obscure the longing of our soul. Our souls are parched and we don't even know what we thirst for.
St. Augustine once said, "The heart is restless 'til it rests in Thee, O God." Is your heart restless? Is your spirit dry? Is your soul longing for God? I believe it is. With Augustine I believe that longing is real for every one of us. But we have to admit it, confess it, own the longing for God.
The longing of our soul doesn't have to go unfed. Remember the words of the prophet Isaiah (55:1), "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters." Yes, the flowing stream is close at hand. Come and drink.