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Sharing More Than Pain

The anger, frustration, and outrage are understandable.  Video of the senseless and callous killing of George Floyd in the custody of police was difficult to watch and even harder to accept.  We may be ready to share the pain, but are we ready to examine the deep-seated and systemic injustice that has targeted and victimized blacks throughout our nation’s history?   We have not outlived nor overturned the stubborn and ugly power of racism that has characterized our country at its core.
 
It is time for all of us to do self-assessment of the biases and prejudices we hold toward people whose color is different than our own.  In humility and with the help of God’s Spirit may we repent of the ways we willingly and knowingly dishonor God’s image in others.  May we honestly examine our ideologies and practices that disrespect and disregard the human dignity and worth of others.
 
We must listen and hear the voices of protesters who express sorrow, pain, and fear for their lives due to their race.  We must seek justice and advocate for long overdue change in hearts and institutions.  We must not confuse those who join protesters with agendas of their own resulting in violence, chaos, and destruction of cities, businesses, and personal property. Let’s make our words matter, make our actions move beyond symbolism, and make love our rule.

Trinity Sunday & Communion

In observance of the Christian Year we celebrate this coming Sunday as Trinity Sunday. Although the word trinity is not found in the Bible, the idea and concept is integral to Christian belief.  Jews, Muslims, and Christians share the belief that God is one and one only.  Yet as Christians, we must explain how Jesus speaks of God as his father, that the two are one, and how Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit being sent from God to be with his disciples upon his return to the father.  New Testament writers speak of this reality without explanation. Subsequent generations of church leaders found a way to state this paradoxical belief in two succinct statements: God is three distinct persons, yet one in essence.  All three are co-equal, co-eternal, having the same nature and substance, and worthy of the same worship and obedience as reflected in our hymns, creeds, and benedictions:  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

As the first Sunday of the month we invite you to join us in celebrating the Lord’s Supper as part of our online worship.  You may do so in one of two ways:  (1) Follow the video presentation of the Lord’s Supper as part of our online worship format.  (2) Join with others in one of three zoom gatherings (scheduled at 8:30, 9:30, and 11:00 AM) as a pastor directs us to partake of the communion elements in unison.

In preparation you will need to provide the communion elements ahead of time; including:
• bread (some form of bread or cracker)
• juice or wine (if you have neither, any suitable liquid
• a cup/wine glass.
 
For all who choose to participate via zoom, you will be muted automatically at the start and during the communion ceremony.  Once the service has ended, we will invite those who wish to stay on and greet one another to do so.  We will use the same zoom link for all three worship times - join us at your preferred time.  Here is the link:
 

Scriptural Support for our Approach to Reopening  

From the REOPENING PLAN TASK FORCE

We read about Christian congregations who are filing lawsuits against government officials to demand their right under the US Constitution, to exercise their freedom to worship as they see fit.  While in some instances that sort of action might be appropriate, during the present pandemic when human lives are at stake, and foregoing corporate worship is a temporary measure to slow the spread of this deadly illness, we feel the above action is inappropriate and fails to bear credible witness to the grace and love of God in Christ Jesus.  We are guided instead to exercise patience and “wait for the Lord” as we look to the following biblical teaching about the social as well as the personal implications of Christian discipleship:
  • Human life is a sacred gift of God which should be cherished and protected (Ex. 20:13; Genesis 4:8-15).  This means that when we respect human life we respect our Creator who bestowed it. The opposite is true as well.  When we treat God’s gift of life as some-thing expendable and insignificant we demean the One Who gave it.
  • The Law of God (Lev. 19:18) and Jesus himself (Mark 12:31) taught that we should “love our neighbors as ourselves.”  This means seeking the common good, which in the present instance requires us to make public health a priority, for example wearing masks in public not only for self-protection, but so that we don’t spread the virus to our neighbors.
  • In his Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:12), Jesus taught, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”  This challenges us to actively pursue our neighbor’s well-being.
  • The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Philippi (2:4), “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”  This is a time for Christians not to claim their rights, but to forego their rights in order to embody Christ’s sacrificial love and concern for others.

Sunday Fellowship via Zoom

June 7, 2020 11:30 AM

We invite you to join us for a time of fellowship at 11:30 AM on Sundays via the zoom link (below).  We’ve added structure to our gathering to optimize our time together with a host calling on each participant.

Zoom Link 

We Grow

Adult Discipleship Class

 
Taught by Rev. Dr. Kent Webber
 
"Biblical Principles for Political Decision-Making"
Tuesday, 4:30 - 5:45 PM via Zoom, May 19 through June 23
Course Study Guide available upon request.
 
Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 758 425 444     Password: 926535
 
To attend by phone only, dial: 1-669-900-6833
When prompted, enter the Meeting ID: 758425444
You will be able to hear Kent teaching and any questions that are asked.  Your phone will be muted to decrease ambient noise. To participate in the discussion: unmute, hit*6
 
To view previous weeks’ recordings:  
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For those who missed last Sunday’s (May 31) Enlighten Up! with Tina Ramirez speaking about “Religious Freedom and Defending the Persecuted,” you may watch the recording of her zoom presentation by clicking here.
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At Home VBS: Since we will not hold onsite VBS at church this year, we are providing an At Home VBS Kit for our church families.   Please register for your At Home VBS Kit by June 8th; to register click here.

Church News


Birth Announcements: We celebrate the birth of Declan Michael Trenholm born May 7 to Emily & Willie Trenholm; and grandson of Susie & Steve Turner; and great-grandson of Linda & Steve Hinkle and the birth of Kellen John Kemnec born June 2 to Arnica & Martin Kemnec; and grandson to Mary & John Kemnec.

Church Directory: We completed our review and edits of the proof edition of the All Church Directory and sent to LifeTouch.  Now we wait for their production site to reopen and complete the printing and distribution process of the Directory.  As soon as we have an estimate of when that will be we will let you know.

Archived Worship Online:  All of our Online Worship services are archived and available to view/hear by scrolling to the end (bottom) of any given Sunday worship platform and clicking on the message “Visit our archive for past worship dates …” If you missed a Sunday, or want to revisit a musical selection, sermon, or prayer you may access it here.

Good Used Piano: Session approved the use of designated music bequest funds to obtain a good used (grand) piano which might be refurbished for use in Ingram Hall. The addition of this instrument will increase our ministry capacity for use in the Hall; including fellowship occasions, worship, and musical offerings. If you know of someone who might be ready to part with their piano in the coming months, please contact John Pavik.
     
To use Zoom by phone for any Zoom call you may dial one of these numbers: 
+1 669.900.6833
US (San Jose)
+1 346.248.7799
US (Houston)

For outside the US, locate your local number.
     

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. ~Colossians 1:3

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