Monday, March 16, 2020
I missed you all yesterday. Really! I was lost without the church activities, the children, hearing John Milne preach, listening to families sing and being together as a faithful community. Our city and church have taken precautions along with the rest of the world. Social Distancing, isolating, careful cleaning and protecting ourselves and families.
The good news is we are learning safe and healthy ways to combat the spread of COVID 19.
As we plan for weeks of the Presbyterian staff and I are utilizing media such as our website, email blasts and Zoom to connect and communicate.
This week two meetings will use Zoom for our gatherings, March 18 Wednesday Bible study at noon and Wednesday evening session. Invitations been sent by email to those who can use their computers at home. Wednesday evening session meeting will use three ways of gathering in person using social distancing, using the Zoom app and calling an elder present at the meeting.
The sermon which Rev. John Milne prepared for March 15 and the bulletin is available on the church website.
Looking forward, I am planning on taping music and sermon for the upcoming Sundays. They will be available on Zoom and the church website. This is learning curve and we need all the prayers we can get.
May we seek to connect with each other in new ways of being church in these times of isolation challenge. – Pastor Deb
A PANDEMIC PRAYER From the Presbyterian Peacemaking Staff (PCUSA)
Finally friends, our Mosaic Peacemaking staff team shared a “poem as prayer” today entitled Pandemic, written by Lynn Ungar. It seems especially appropriate for us to pray. Please join us in prayer:
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
Let us lean into the practices of this “poem as prayer” and may we continue to uplift from a distance one another and our partners in Israel and Palestine for health, healing and well-being in the midst of this incredibly unsettled time.
Christianity Today article “Bethlehem Christians Bear Burden of Israel’s Coronavirus Crackdown” – this article features several of the presenters and partners from whom we would have heard during the conference.