From the Pastor
What a crazy summer! Family rhythms that many of us have gotten used to and look forward to, are no more. Vacations that have been on the books for months, are no more. There continues to be upheaval in all of our lives. One constant is God’s faithfulness. “God’s steadfast love endures forever” as the Psalmist comfortingly puts it.
I hope and pray that you are finding ways to reinvigorate yourselves even as this pandemic is wearying. It is taking its toll on many of us. If you find yourself in need of extra prayers, words of comfort, or just a caring voice on the other end of the phone then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to your Deacon. We all need creative ways to find sustenance these days. My family got out on the Billy Goat Trail last weekend for our first family outing in what felt like a very long time and it did wonders for lifting my spirits.
Here at church we are trying to create ways to stay connected with one another and with Christ, and to build up Christ’s body, all the while lifting one another’s spirits. I’m going to get practical and enumerate some things that are going on:
First, there are email scams going around that are afflicting many of my clergy colleagues. I will never ask you for a gift card by email nor do I have a gmail account. The scammers are shameless and use my full name, the church name and correct address. In the most recent iteration, a scripture blessing was included at the end of the fraudulent email request. Call or text me if you get a request with my name that seems odd, off, or out of character and are wondering if it’s really from me.
Second, I am excited to begin our Prayer & Picnic Parking Lot Worship this month. Our first gathering will be on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00pm. These services will replace the monthly Zoom prayer services which were previously scheduled for the first Monday of the month during July, August & September. Instead, we’ll worship outside, in-person while masked and socially distanced. It will be sacrament Wednesday on 7/8 as we’ll baptize Nnamdi Obasi, son of Chidi and Chinyere, and we’ll feast at our Lord’s table on the communion elements that you will bring from home as we gather in the church parking lot for our first in-person gathering since the virus started.
Third, this summer our worship will center around The Year of the Bible readings. We will set the lectionary readings aside for July and August and focus instead on the books of the Bible that the congregation is reading through our Year of the Bible disciplines. Whether or not you are following along with reading through The Year of the Bible, I know you will enjoy the glimpse into the books we will focus on for our Lord’s Day worship.
I keep returning to the Psalmist these days for sustenance and encouragement. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth should change, [though the pandemic should rage] . . . Be still and know that God is God and is exalted among the nations and in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us. God is our refuge” (Psalm 46:1, 10-11).