I pray you are well, staying home, safe, and sound. It is hard not to meet together, but we are living into our faith and our call to love God with all we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we stay home, and when we refrain from gathering, we are living into Mark 12. We have lived into these verses before, but now we are called to love God and love each other from afar.
This is hard for so many reasons, but especially now as we approach Holy Week. We will gather in new ways. Peyton and I are thrilled that you are finding the bulletins, sermons, as well as the online pieces meaningful. We will continue to do this as long as we need to protect the vulnerable. It’s our hope that you will feel and know God is with you at home alone or alongside online.
The gift of our faith and God is that we are not alone! Our God is always with us. (Matthew 28:28, Jeremiah 29:11- 14). We have claimed this throughout our lives, and we continue to do so. We trust our God is not only with us when we gather in person on a Sunday in the building that is the church, but that we are the church out in the world with our living God. We have held this truth in our Monday-Saturday lives and now we are owning this act of care and faith seven days a week.
As I read back over and prepare for our Holy Week and Easter worship, I am sad we cannot be together. This year our observation, celebrations, and walking through these holy days will be closer to the first Easter. Behind locked doors, fear being real all around us, not sure of what is next, we will experience a different Easter, but one that calls on us to trust Jesus, seek Jesus and truly long for a new way and new life. Using Zoom, we will gather for Maundy Thursday. This will allow some of us to call in on phones and others to join on computers. We will join in the liturgy and in God’s fellowship alongside each other as worship.
We will trust our God is with us just as the first disciples did. We will mark these holy days. We will continue to connect with our church family. We will be God’s people, praying, caring and reaching out, even if it’s from 6 feet away, by phone or over the Web.
Know that you are in my thoughts and in my prayers.
God of all grace, we don’t doubt that you are with us in the midst of this crisis, but we worry about: what tomorrow will bring, who will suffer, how we will manage, when this will be over, and we wonder if we’re going around a bend that leads to rapids or still water. In your mercy, dear Lord, swaddle us with your abiding presence and keep us from flailing. Rock us in your holy arms and calm us, so we may breathe and believe that you are always here, though we cannot gather in your name. God of all grace, continue to show us how to love you, our neighbors and ourselves in new ways because you are the God of new life. In Jesus name and power, we pray. Amen.
May Christ’s peace guard your hearts and minds, Pastor Sharyl
Rooted in Christ We Gather
April 5 – Palm Sunday 11:00 AM at home or via Facebook Live.
April 9 – Maundy Thursday 7:00 PM via Zoom call for all.
April 10 – Good Friday Prayer stations shared online & via mail.
April 12 – Easter Sunday
6:45 am – Tune in to watch or listen for scripture & prayer in the cemetery.