Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney

Weekly Meditation

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.

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.

  '...he makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters.' (Psalm 23:2)

    You're not going to find any green pastures around here. And the waters are still because they're frozen.
    As I was cross country skiing in the park behind our house, I was thinking about how different everything looks when it's covered in snow. I could imagine the green grass, trees in full bloom, and the fields filled with crops. But only just barely. The seemingly endless cover of white made the green pastures seem far, far away.
    Winter is often used as a metaphor for difficult times. Cold, dark, barren. These same words are often used to describe not just winter here in the north, but also feelings of loss, grief and depression. Winter even gets it's own illness: Seasonal Affective Disorder. People who struggle with S.A.D. spend the winter months struggling to get up the energy to do life's basic tasks and often feel sad and depressed.
    There is much about winter not to like. There is the cold, shoveling snow, and driving on icy roads. There is nothing to like about loss and grief, either. But something else they share in common is the promise of brighter days, warmed hearts, and greener pastures.
    Like a shepherd, God does work to bring us out of our emotional and spiritual winters and lead us to brighter days. We can hold on to the hope of green pastures and still waters that will restore our soul and put us back on the path to abundant life. It is God's aim for every one of us.
    That may be why I don't mind winter so much. As a child I always knew that even when the snow piled up to the roof (it really did) and the temperature stayed below freezing for weeks on end (sometimes below 0), spring always came. Every year. The snow melted, the ice broke free, trees budded, flowers bloomed and the pastures turned green once again.