April 6th, 2020 Message
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech You!”
Dear members and friends of Community Presbyterian Church of Brigantine, To all our brothers and sisters in Christ, peace be with you!
As we remember Holy Week this year, it will be like no other time in our lives. For many of us, Holy Week has been an opportunity to step away from the hectic pace of life as normal in order to consider what God has done for the world in Jesus Christ. This year, many more people will be searching for a significant way to spend their time having been forced by the COVID-19 crisis to slow down, shelter in place, keep distance from others and step away from life as we know it.
May I suggest looking for the story of the gospel according to Matthew by searching and watching “Godspell”. You can also look for “Jesus Christ Superstar” starring John Legend and Alice Cooper (Herod) which will be on live on Sunday Easter evening. Just listening to these “rock operas” is something I enjoy every year!
I hope you will take an opportunity to work through this Holy Week by remembering the story, doing a bit of study and meditation and praying for our world in these troubled days. Please tune in on Thursday evening at 7:00 pm on Facebook LIVE at www.facebook.com/brigchurch.org to be a part of the service of the shadows which we call Tenebrae. Use the Facebook LIVE link to join in our remembrance of Good Friday from Noon to three as members of our congregation will come to the sanctuary, one at a time, to read on the quarter hour and to have silence and meditate. If you missed Palm Sunday, here is the YouTube link https://youtu.be/C5xKyzefKHg.
On Easter Sunday morning at 6:30 am, take a walk on the beach near the 16th St. Pavilion to see other faithful brothers and sisters as we join in witnessing to the resurrection in solidarity. We will not try to gather together in a group but simply be there together as a witness to our faith. At 10:00 am, join us through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/brigchurch.org and participate live in our Easter Sunday morning service. You can make comments, chat with others at worship and send us prayer requests. Communion will be celebrated virtually!
If you are alone, if you are reaching the end of your emotional energy, if you are getting overly anxious or stressed out - please reach out to one another. Stay connected by phone or text or through the internet. We have a long way to go and we must pay attention to our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. None of us were ever meant to tough it out alone! Please feel free to call me on my cell phone at (609) 457-2999! You can text me too. If you are online and use email, write me at email@example.com or Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call Jim Walker, chair of Member Care, at (609) 338-2252 - OR - call Mental Health HELPLINE during the COVID-19 outbreak at 1 (866) 202-5357!
Some announcements for the good of our life together!
Keep up with the life of our congregation by going to our church website which is at brigchurch.org. Please join with me in praying for our website provider Sharon Arena as she works to respond to the increased need of the virtual world during this crisis.
FOOD PANTRY OF THE TRUE SPIRIT COALITION is the only service we will continue to operate from the church. Thanks to Brenda Rupp, Liboria Mendoza, TSC coordinator Gina Herz, Debbie Enderlin, Sue Clark and others who are making the food distribution possible. Call the church at (609) 266-7942 if you live in Brigantine and need food or know someone who is hungry! Distributions are on Wednesday mornings.
Support the life of our church through continued giving. The best and safest method for sharing your gifts is by check through the mail. Online donations can be made through paypal at our website which is brigchurch.org.
Please, take time each day to pray! Pray especially for the heroes of this time and day, for our health care workers and for first responders (police, fire, EMTs, military personnel etc.)
This week, pray for nurses Taylor Mason (ACMC, division) who is Carol Callowhill’s grand-daughter and for Lara Storr (UCLA Medical Center), our Crossroads leader of recent past. Please pray for everyone who is vulnerable due to ongoing treatment for cancer as well as the faithful doctors and nurses who administer treatment.
A few years ago during a faith crisis in the Christian Church in the United States, when a number of religious leaders had been found to be particularly unfaithful, the Country Music Awards featured Dolly Parton’s rendition of “He’s Alive”. It reminded me then and now that despite our wavering faith, God is always faithful and as Jesus promised, will always be with us!
And May the love of God, and
the grace in our Lord Jesus Christ
And the power of fellowship in the Holy Spirit,
Be with you all, both now and forevermore, Amen