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.
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.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
In my nearly 25 years of ministry, I have had the privilege and pleasure of baptizing many babies. Each time, I take the child in my arms and look into their wide little eyes. Sometimes I get a smile; sometimes I get a nervous cry; mostly I just get a look of, "what's going on?" Then I cup water in my hand and let it wash down over their head. We both get a little wet. Placing my still-wet hand on their still-wet head I proclaim a blessing on this little child of God.
Finally, with every baby I baptize, I walk the child away from the baptismal font and out into the congregation. I introduce this newly baptized child of God to the congregation and I tell the child that we, the church, those gathered here and those all around the world, have promised "our love, support, and care" and that we will do our best to build a world for them to grow up in that is fit and safe.
We have failed.
I can put it no more simply. WE HAVE FAILED. We have failed to keep our promise of "love, support, and care" to every child that we have baptized into the life of the church. Each and every time there is another school shooting; each and every time another gunman starts shooting into a crowd; each and every time a child is hit by a stray bullet from another drive-by shooting, we lament the downfall of society, we offer our thoughts and prayers, and WE DO NOTHING to at least try and stop it from happening again. We have not kept our promise.
Maybe today, along with our thoughts and prayers for Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, today we should try a prayer of confession. Maybe if we confess that we have failed our children, "(God) who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Maybe, after our confession, there will be room for God's word to live in us and maybe, maybe, this time will be different.
It has to be different, or we need to stop making promises we won't keep.
Dear God, forgive me for not hearing the cries of your children. Forgive me for burying my head in the sand and hoping the problems of this world will just go away. Forgive me for not actively giving my love, support, and care to each and every one of your beloved children. In Christ I pray. Amen.