One day soon, a package will arrive in pop star Britney Spears’ mailbox, postmarked Lexington, Ky., and filled with letters bearing this general message:
Britney, Jesus loves you. The congregation of Southland Christian Church loves you as Jesus loves you. We are praying for you.
The idea for the package came to Southland senior pastor Jon Weece, as week after week, he saw news of Spears’ downward spiral.
Stays in drug rehab, the shaved head, a misdemeanor hit-and-run arrest and late-night attention-getting behavior were followed by a judge temporarily taking away custody of her two boys.
And so in a sermon and in a Sept. 19 blog on the church Web site, Weece asked his congregation of nearly 8,000 people to put together a box of letters for Britney, who he said had made “devastating life choices.”
“Take a few minutes and write a note to Britney Spears,” Weese said. “No preaching. No criticizing. Just love. As a church, let’s love Britney the way Jesus loves her.”
Weece told the congregation that it was easy to watch celebrities and the mistakes they make and think they are less deserving of care and compassion and prayers.
“If she were your next-door neighbor in the same situation without the money and success, wouldn’t you care about her problems? Wouldn’t you pray for her and offer her support and encouragement?” he asked members of the church, which is located near the border of Fayette and Jessamine counties.
Yesterday, the church’s director of communications, Cindy Willison, said that the letters are still being collected and that church officials were researching the best way to make sure they get them directly to Spears.
“This is an opportunity,” said Willison, “for us to reach out to someone who probably doesn’t have a lot of people in her life that care for her as a person.”