March 19th, 2020 Message
I lift up my eyes unto the hills,
From whence does my help come.
Our help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I will come to you in the silence; I will lift you from all your fear.
You will hear my voice; I claim you as My choice.
Be still…and know I am here
Do not be afraid, I am with you.
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me, I will bring you home,
I love you and you are Mine!
(Glory To God hymnal # 177)
Dear members and friends of Community Presbyterian Church of Brigantine, To all our brothers and sisters in Christ, peace be with you!
Almost two weeks ago in worship, we shared the possibility of the need for Social Distance and our ability to rely on Psalm 121 in difficult moments - and to remember the most important words in scripture right now - John 3:16, "that God so loved the world…"
I don’t believe that what we are experiencing is a judgement from God, what I do believe is that God is closer to us now than ever before. I am amazed that all this is happening during Lent - a season when we are called to walk the lonesome valley (23rd Psalm) just as Jesus walked that valley so long ago. God calls to us and promises to be in solidarity with us - especially in times of suffering.
It feels like Superstorm Sandy all over again - but its so different - then we knew what we needed to do - we were active, getting together to share our woes, working together to clean up the mess, volunteering to help each other muck out and begin again. The streets filled up with debris and we were like busy bees - but today, the streets are abandoned and we feel isolated and alone - and we can’t gather together to share our sorrow, to comfort each other, or even to worship!
Personally, I have been frozen, not knowing what to DO! You know - I’m a doer so staying home, not being active, waiting - that is really tough for me. I’m sure it is for many of you.
In this time, we can DO something. We need to work much harder at our communications especially electronic communications. We can gather together virtually, but it's going to take some work and time. But that is what I think we should DO! So…
Session is communicating with each other about caring for the Congregation.
Because we were already working on our Church Directory, we have an updated list of names, phone numbers and email addresses, but it still needs to be edited. PLEASE MAKE SURE WE HAVE YOUR FAVORITE EMAIL ADDRESS AND MOST USED PHONE NUMBER BY EMAILING ME AT JRSCOTAND@AOL.COM OR TO BRIGCHURCH@AOL.COM!!! This is the most important thing YOU can DO at this moment!
We hope to have a way to worship together on Sunday morning set up shortly. We will communicate with you about how to participate by email or phone call by Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Church Building is officially closed to all meetings and gatherings. The Thriftshop is closed and is not taking donations at this time. Brenda and I will be working here, but please, do not come to the building unless its an emergency.
For now, we will continue to provide the True Spirit Coalition food pantry for people who are in need in Brigantine. Volunteers will still be organizing throughout the week and distribution will be on Wednesday mornings by appointment. Call the office for more information.
The other most critical need according to the Volunteer Organizations Addressing Disaster (VOAD) a State emergency management group that worked so well during SANDY,
Is mental health concerns. Just like Sandy, our most important need is a SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF PEOPLE. We will survive the CoronaVirus and the chaos it creates - as long as we support one another and remain in solidarity - as the BODY OF CHRIST!
We are called to be there for each other!
If you need me, please write me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can text or call me at 609-457-2999. I will try to write a bit on this website each day to provide updated information. If you want to publish something on this website, please get it to me and I’ll see that it happens!
Thanks to everyone who has been such a great support, who has already given others courage and strength during this trying hour. Let us be the Church for one another, for Brigantine and the world.