I continue to lift you all up in prayer as we navigate this new reality together. You are each in my heart as I write this letter.
I find lessons of faith in creation. Today I was thinking of the hydrangea. The hydrangea teaches us that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Each individual petal is simple. Each is beautiful but not very impressive. Each one a slightly different size, shape, and coloration. However, all together they create a spectacular blossom! The hydrangea is a picture of the power of human community. We need each other and we are stronger together, even when we are sheltering-at-home and physical distancing. As we connect with one another in different ways, we encourage one another, lift each other up, and give strength to others. I am grateful for our church family that binds us together and reminds us we are not alone. The hydrangea teaches us that a cluster of souls banded together is a beautiful thing. God is holding us all together, even as we are distanced in these days. Hang in there!
Last week Zoom crashed internationally and impacted our worship service. Sorry if you tried to connect and couldn’t see or hear. It wasn’t you! Zoom was fixed by mid-morning Sunday and is working fine now. I recorded my sermon and you can find it by clicking here. If it speaks to you, share it with someone.
Join us this Sunday for worship at 9 am. Email us to get the Zoom link information. I will finish my series on Emerging Stronger. Next week, May 31, is Pentecost! Let’s flood our screens with red. Get creative, wear red clothes, put red in your background, or create a red virtual background. All the red will remind us that the Holy Spirit is everywhere!
As we continue to read scripture together here are our daily texts for this week:
I Peter 1:3-7
All these scriptures talk about “new” things. We are phasing into a new normal. And life won’t be exactly the same as it was before. What do you celebrate about the new? What do you grieve of the old? We find hope in God, who walks with us into the new, and creates new life from old.
Our Parish Council meets on May 26th, and will begin outlining a process to phase in in-person worship. You will be hearing more about our timeline and process soon.
I close with this benediction I shared in worship Sunday. It was written by James Dillet Freeman and carried to the moon by “Buzz” Aldrin on Apollo 11. It is called the prayer of protection.
May the light of God surround us.
May the love of God enfold us.
May the power of God protect us.
May the presence of God watch over us.
Now and forevermore. Amen.
Peace and light,
This week in my devotions, The Upper Room led me to Colossians 1:1-14 and this verse jumped right off the page into my heart. “May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints of the light.” Currently we are needing to “endure everything with patience.” This pandemic has long lasting implications for how we live day to day. Everything has been disrupted and is requiring us to adapt. And we need strength from God to help us! The author went on to describe patience. “The word patience refers to being able to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. It can also mean cheerful or hopeful endurance.” (The Upper Room May, May-June 2020, p.15) In these days it is natural to feel anxious or irritable. How are you managing your irritability and temper? How are you maintaining hopeful endurance? Remember you are not alone. We have one another. And, the Spirit of God is with you every moment of every day. As close as your next breath.
This Sunday we will gather for worship on Zoom at 9 am. We will explore how we can continue to deepen our relationships and connections so that we can emerge stronger from our covid-19 experience. Feel free to invite others to join us via Zoom. Note: they have put out an update, 5.0.2 which has stronger security. I recommend updating your app to this newest version. Be assured that I have added security measures to assure our worship time is not compromised.
We are also gathering at noon for lunch and conversation on Wednesdays. As well as Thursday evenings at 7:00 for Hymns and Prayers. Join us anytime as we journey with one another virtually through this pandemic. Email Pastor Patti for the Zoom link information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for my sermon from last week, Emerging Stronger: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear. Here is a link to the song I shared, The Blessing (UK) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U
Sending my prayers with this greeting,
Park County United Methodist Ministries
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