March 27th, 2020 Message
A reading from Psalm 130:5-8
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits for God,
I rely on God’s promise,
My soul relies on the Lord
More than a watchman on the coming of dawn.
Let Israel (humanity) rely on the Lord,
As much as the watchman on the dawn!
For it is with the Lord that mercy is to be found,
And a generous redemption;
It is God who redeems us.
Glory to God Hymnal #184
Calm to the waves.
Calm to the winds.
Jesus whispers, “Peace, be still.”
Balm to our hearts.
Fears at an end.
In stillness, hear his voice.
Dear members and friends of Community Presbyterian Church of Brigantine,
To all our brothers and sisters in Christ, peace be with you!
This morning on CNN, I saw pictures and heard stories of nurses and doctors who are risking their lives to care for people with the Covid-19 virus. As much as they appreciate the songs and cheers of people from their balconies and windows in France and Italy, New York and Philadelphia…what they really want is for us to stay home! Please…STAY SOCIALLY DISTANT! So, what we have to do is easy compared to what they (health care workers) are being called to do. Please pray for all our brave doctors, nurses, orderlies, food providers and support staff at medical facilities.
As much as I miss seeing my family, my grandchildren and all of you, I am deeply thankful for the companionship of my wife Annie. Together, we are trying to make some use of this time together while it seems that so much of the world has just stopped. We dragged out all those full bins and boxes of photographs from the attic to categorize and organize, a project we have put off for far too long. No doubt, our children will be receiving these keepsakes to have and to hold. We also are binge watching some TV, playing cribbage and eating very, very well, thanks to Annie who is an awesome chef! Soon, it will be hard to keep Annie out of the garden.
Just because we can’t be together in person as a congregation, it does not mean we have to stop being a community! Do me a favor…and share with me some of the things that you are doing in this time. I would like to share some of those things with others in the congregation. And please take time to give one another a phone call, or write a text or email, or send a card or note. This is an especially important time for us to practice social distancing…but being joined to one another in ways that keep us healthy and safe.
And if you are alone, please reach out to others around you by social media or with a phone call. Solitude is great, but we are social by our very nature so don’t try to tough it out all by yourself…reach out, reach out, but don’t touch anyone!
Please feel free to call me on my cell phone at 609-457-2999! You can text me too. If you are on line and use email, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brenda at email@example.com - OR - call Mental Health HELP LINE during COVID 19 outbreak: 1-866-202-5357!
Some announcements for the good of our life together!
We will live-stream worship at 10 AM on Sunday Morning by using Facebook. If you use Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/brigchurch.org for a live event! We will also post the recording of the service on YouTube shortly and that can be found on our website which is www.brigchurch.org on the internet.
The church building remains closed. No Thrift Shop, No Donations (please). Although folks online have shared that thrift shops are going to be inundated when all this is over and all of us bring in the stuff from our closets that are now all cleaned!
FOOD PANTRY OF THE TRUE SPIRIT COALITION is the only service we will continue to operate from the church. Thanks to Brenda Rupp, our cleaning staff, 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. If the crisis continues, there may be an effort to organize the delivery of food to doorsteps by some of our young folks. Please let us know if you need this service!
We will continue to pay our church staff through this crisis…some other bills will be unavoidable, so your ongoing support is appreciated. If it does not create a hardship for you, please send tithes and offerings to the church by the U.S. Postal Service or go on our website and use a credit card to make donations through PayPal on the website home page.
"Isn't It Amazing" by Hothouse Flowers from the album Songs from the Rain
"And every cry is a song! And every song is a prayer.
And our prayer must be heard. Fill the air!"
"I Have So Few Ways To Pray" by Ted Loder from the book Guerrillas of Grace.
I have so few ways to pray,
but you have so many ways to answer.
Keep me alert
to your unpredictable answers,
to your unexplainable surprises,
and by your grace,
make me one of those surprises,
for the sake of the One
who taught us the surprises
of moving mountains,
May God give you calm and peace amidst the chaos of this time.