May 4, 2020

Choral music has always been an important part of my spiritual journey.  It was music – hymn singing, and when I discovered it, choral singing – which enriched my life when I joined the United Church of Christ.  In times of trial, singing has been what kept me going.  Now, as we find ourselves in a place where singing in crowds may be (likely is) dangerous, there is still strength and power in that music.  I may not sing in a choir, I may not sing in a congregation, but I can still sing in my heart.

These days, most often I listen to YouTube videos of the Oasis Chorale.  One in particular, their rendition of “We Are Not Alone” is enormously moving.  The song begins with a solo; the choir responds with the chorus, “we are not alone, God is with us”.  I’ve posted a link to this song before; this time the link is to a shorter version by a smaller portion of the chorale.

We are not alone.  Think about that.  We are not alone, for God is with us.  I know I’m not the only member of our church who lives alone.  We hear, almost daily, of people who are alone in nursing homes, alone – dying – in the hospital.  We know there are those who are alone in their apartments, without the money to pay their bills next month.

But the song reminds us that, in an essential way, we are not alone.  God is with us.  What does that mean?  It means that when we are feeling most alone (and even if someone is with you, you can feel alone), you still have God.  When you’re sitting in the waiting room at St. Luke’s, not sure about the test you just had, you are not sitting there alone, for God is with you.  If you’ve listened to the music, you’ll hear it in your head, reminding you that you are not alone.  The music carries the words, gives them power, helps us remember them.  That’s why I love choral music and hymn singing.  When I’m down, when I’m alone – the music is always there.

This week, I want to urge you to take the time to click on this link, to listen again to the chorale sing, and as you listen, hold in your hearts the sense that the song includes you in its “we”.  For we are not alone; God is with us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQtjlInSK3g

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

May 3, 2020

I Peter 1:22  love one another as if your lives depended on it.  (Eugene Peterson, The Message translation)

I think this sentence, and in this translation, is becoming my new favorite Bible quote. That’s because it so clearly gets to what I think is the core and center of our Christian faith.  We are here, our purpose in life is, to love one another.  We are not given life to make money; we make money to have more resources to love one another.  We are not powerful that we might be important; we are here to use what power we have to help the powerless – because we love one another.

This was brought home to me this morning in an odd way.  I began the morning by watching the worship service from Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland.  The pastor, the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown, of the Church of Scotland, was talking about the centrality of love, even in the midst of pandemic.  And then the vagaries of web browsing brought me to the funeral eulogy Andrew Cuomo offered for his father, NY Governor Mario Cuomo.  Not one to mince words, Andrew Cuomo made it clear that every single thing his father did, he did because he believed that the central tenet of the Christian faith was that we must love one another.  And then I took part in the Livestreaming of Old South Church in Boston’s Sunday service and got yet another serving of love.

It struck me so powerfully – sandwiched between two good sermons was this powerful testimony  by a lay person that the lives of the people of New York State had been changed, bettered by a man who profoundly believed that it is our job to love one another.  It’s not just a pastor’s platitude.  This was a report from the trenches by someone who knows what he’s talking about. Love makes a difference.  Love saves lives.  Love makes life worth living.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

May 2, 2020

John 10:1-10  (verse 4)  When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Tomorrow is Good Shepherd Sunday in the church calendar.  We read the 23rd Psalm, and the Gospel story is about Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  In this tough pandemic time, I’ve been thinking about what it is to be a shepherd, because, you know, it’s not all nice days on the moors, just us and the sheep. . .  The sheep want to go left, but the good grass is to the right, and all the sheep begin to demonstrate and yell and scream, because they have a right to go left. . .   Or the sheep can’t wait to get home to the sheepfold, but if we let them run amok, they’ll run over one another, and someone (many someones) will end up dead or injured.  And it’s the job of shepherds to prevent that from happening.

It’s easy enough to see how our governors – Gov. Baker, especially – are functioning as shepherds right now, but we too have our shepherding tasks.  Because, despite the metaphor, we’re really not sheep.  But we do want to get back together; we want to see one another, we want to give and receive hugs.  We want to sit down and hear a sermon, hear our own music, sing together, and afterwards – share a cup of coffee with the friends we miss so much.

But it’s not going to happen – yet.  And we have to be shepherds to one another, to help keep us on track, so that it can happen.  Around my neighborhood, more people are out and about.  There’s more traffic on the streets.  The local ice cream stand has opened and people are lining up for cones.  You can’t eat ice cream with a mask on, you know.  The only safe way is the thoughtful way – just how will we do this, how will we handle that?

I’m paying close attention to my colleagues and to the experts, remembering always two things – first, this has never happened this way before, so advice may and should change rapidly as we gather more knowledge.  And second, if we allow our urge to be together to push us too quickly, we could all die.  That’s a sobering thought.

There’s a lot of inflammatory stuff out there on the internet these days.  People are frustrated and angry, and some folks – particularly folks who struggle with the concept of vaccinations – distrust all mainstream medical experts.  Be careful about what you read or listen to; do your best to insure that you’re listening to the best experts for  our place and time.  That’s why I listen most closely to the medical folks around the governors for Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.  And remember that as they learn more, their advice will evolve to deal with today’s challenges.

Here’s an example of how knowledge and suggestions are evolving.  First we were urged to sanitize hymnals between services.  Then someone suggested that instead, we should print the hymns out in the bulletins.  And now, the best suggestion is that we shouldn’t sing together, because singing projects air so far out in front of our faces that if one of us has the covid coming on, we could all be infected.

Each of us is a shepherd for our own community, whether you see your community is our church, Wareham, or your household.  We all have to make our decisions on how to be in the world based on the best knowledge we have right now.  We have to keep up with what’s being discovered.  We have to pay attention to the way our world is changing every day.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

April 29, 2020 On Loving One Another

1 Peter 1:22-23  Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. (NRSV)

Here’s the key to living the Christian life.  This love is what it’s all about.  Sure, we can add more to the list of things we do (or don’t do) because we’re Christians.  I know groups of Christians who, because of their faith, avoid liquor, or dancing, or card playing.  Some people insist on family dinner, or refuse to shop on Sunday.  But all of us, no matter what else, insist that the cornerstone of our faith is the call to love one another deeply from the heart.  Or, as scholar and Presbyterian pastor Eugene Peterson translated it:  Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it.

It regularly happens that people suggest we Christians get too involved with politics.  Here, however, you can see why we do it.  We took political action to stop child labor because we were called to love one another as if our lives depended on it.  We took political action to end slavery because we were called to love.  We take political action to bring better health care to the poor because it’s what God wants us to do.  This love isn’t just love for those we know.  Loving people we know is much easier, but Christ calls us to love the stranger, to welcome the newcomer – and to love them as if our lives depended on it.  Today, in the daily news, we have the proof positive that our lives do depend on loving our neighbors as ourselves.

It’s not easy to love strangers.  Strangers aren’t like “us”.  They dress differently, perhaps.  Their music is different.  Their food is different.  Their language is different.  They are different.  And yet, they are as loved by God as we, and our lives, familiar or different, depend on us living out that inclusive and extravagant love

For today, spend some time envisioning in your mind just one group of different people – think about and pray for those who work in our nation’s meat-packing plants.  It’s hard, dirty, stinky work.  It’s not safe, it’s not easy, and today those plants are riddled with coronavirus.  Many plants have shut down; the President has ordered them to re-open, without any changes in how they operate to make them safer.  Picture yourself in the place of those workers – you have to work or you won’t have money to buy your own food, but it’s not safe to work.  And pray for them, that they may have health, and safety – that they may live through this pandemic.  For God calls us to love one another as if our lives depend on it.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020

. . . those who welcomed [Peter’s] message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2: 41-42)

 What does it mean to be a “church”?  What does it mean to be a Christian church?  My colleagues are beginning to ask – if we can do all this on-line, what does it mean that we yearn to get together?  What makes our getting together more important?  Is there more to church life than a sermon?  Where is communion in all this?

Last week I came across a UCC church’s description of itself, and it astounded me; what do you think?

What we are offering is spiritual companionship, at-onement, friends in grace, and spiritual treasures with the wisdom tradition and the way of following Jesus. We invite people to discover their gifts, share their spiritual treasures accumulated through seeking and grow with our community. We are your spiritual companion on the initiate path. . .     … dedicated Christians who want to follow Christ’s lead in his promise to create heaven on earth. How do we transform our lives into the likeness of Christ?  As a group of rag-tag aspirants who seek to grow in grace, we are offering spiritual companionship on the initiate path.

At first glance, I thought it sounded good, but as I read more, I realized that this lovely group of people (and I actually have met the pastor), are veering off into their very own direction.  The entire point and purpose of their gathering is to help one another grow spiritually (and, among other things, this involves special tooth-brushes and eating an entirely raw diet.  No, I didn’t quite understand that part, either.)  But the oddest thing of all was that it was all about them.  There was no mention of outreach, no food pantry collection, nothing at all.  It was all about how I can make myself better.  Their self-centered-ness was stark and offensive.

Compare that description with this one, from City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, California:

In 1995, City of Refuge was accepted into the United Church of Christ, joining the company of over 5,000 other churches around the world that are dedicated to using their faith to effect a just and sustainable world, not just for Christians, but for all people regardless of their faith. With the support of its members and the UCC, City of Refuge continues to live out the demands of its faith through the various programs that it runs or partners with other organizations to run that address substance abuse, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and green justice.

There’s more to being a church than saying “we are a church.”  Churches bring together community, fellowship, worship and sharing with the world beyond our walls.  Whatever we do, however we present ourselves when we get beyond the present crisis, it will include worshipping together, eating together, praying together and serving our world, together.

So, what do you think?  Does a Christian church have to care for others, or can it only care for itself and its members?

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

ON THE CALENDAR

Thursday at 8am          Newsletter deadline.  Email your stories to Pastor Virginia

Wednesday at 1pm      Tea with the Pastor, via Zoom.  Email me for an invitation.

Wednesday at 7pm      Weekly Church Council check-in.  Invitations go out Wednesday am.  If you know something that should be discussed, email Pastor Virginia or any Council member.

Every month the Thrift Shop is closed, we lose about $1000 in income to run the church.  If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it.  All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills.  Your gifts make it possible for us to continue.  Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA  02571.

NEED SHOPPING HELP?  Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out.  Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <nlmacneill@comcast.net

PRAYER LIST

Want to add a concern or joy to the list?  Email me at pastorchild02914@gmail.com

  • Prayers that our application to the Payroll Protection loan program is successful.
  • Prayers for those who mourn this day, especially all of us missing Donald Hall.
  • from Michele Sabourin: 2 workers and 1 resident at her mom’s nursing home (Southpointe Nursing Home) have tested positive.  Today (Saturday) the National Guard is coming to test everyone.  Keep them all in your prayers.
  • UPDATE: Wareham Week Today reports that now over 30 people at Tremont Rehab, more than half of all who have COVID 19 in Wareham!  Keep the folks at Tremont in your prayers.
  • Nancy MacNeill notes that one of the people working at Tremont is Tammy, who’s renting our parsonage. Let’s keep Tammy in our prayers through this time.
  • School is closed for the rest of the school year. Remember teachers, parents and children in this stressful time.
  • from Susan Ryan: Lori Benson reports that Tim has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but is asymptomatic.  Please keep Tim and Lori in your prayers.
  • from Oonagh Brault: please add my sister-in-law, Kathy, and her father, Jim, to the prayer list. Jim was diagnosed with COVID-19.  He is now on hospice care. Kathy is suffering because she cannot be with her father during this trying time.
  • from Elaine Johnson: (Elaine reports Janice is better, but still needs our prayers) Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering.
  • Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis.
  • from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron who is fighting lung cancer.
  • from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.

 

April 26, 2020

April 26, 2020

It was great to see the check-ins from Wareham folks on the Old South worship livestream.  Wasn’t it interesting to see Old South receive a “Green Church” award?  It made me wonder just what we’d have to do to get an award.  Here’s the list, what do you think?  I bet we could create a customized list for our congregation.  I’m wondering what we can learn from our sojourn, worshipping with another church.

Click to access Green+Congregation+Challenge_brochure_September2019.pdf

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but what does that mean when all the other days seem to be without structure.  One day seems to slide into another.  It’s good to have worship to attend on Sunday, to give us some structure.  Instead of a “day of rest”, maybe right now it’d be better to think of Sunday as the day of “attention” – attention to God, time to sort out the truly important from the daily stream of this, that and the other thing.

For your singing pleasure, listen to this lovely rendition of “The Road Home” by the Boy and Girl Choristers of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church WashDC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPa3lBZZsOw

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia


ON THE CALENDAR

Wednesday at 1pm      Tea with the Pastor, via Zoom.  Email me for an invitation.

Wednesday at 7pm      Weekly Church Council check-in.  Invitations go out Wednesday am.  If you know something that should be discussed, email Pastor Virginia or any Council member.


Every month the Thrift Shop is closed, we lose about $1000 in income to run the church.  If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it.  All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills.  Your gifts make it possible for us to continue.  Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA  02571.

NEED SHOPPING HELP?  Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out.  Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <nlmacneill@comcast.net


PRAYER LIST

Want to add a concern or joy to the list?  Email me at pastorchild02914@gmail.com

  • Prayers for those who mourn this day, especially all of us missing Donald Hall.
  • from Michele Sabourin: 2 workers and 1 resident at her mom’s nursing home (Southpointe Nursing Home) have tested positive.  Today (Saturday) the National Guard is coming to test everyone.  Keep them all in your prayers.
  • UPDATE: Wareham Week Today reports that now over 30 people at Tremont Rehab, more than half of all who have COVID 19 in Wareham!  Keep the folks at Tremont in your prayers.
  • Nancy MacNeill notes that one of the people working at Tremont is Tammy, who’s renting our parsonage. Let’s keep Tammy in our prayers through this time.
  • School is closed for the rest of the school year. Remember teachers, parents and children in this stressful time.
  • from Susan Ryan: Lori Benson reports that Tim has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but is asymptomatic.  Please keep Tim and Lori in your prayers.
  • from Oonagh Brault: please add my sister-in-law, Kathy, and her father, Jim, to the prayer list. Jim was diagnosed with COVID-19.  He is now on hospice care. Kathy is suffering because she cannot be with her father during this trying time.
  • from Elaine Johnson: (Elaine reports Janice is better, but still needs our prayers) Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering.
  • Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis.
  • from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron who is fighting lung cancer.
  • from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.

 

April 25, 2020

Tomorrow’s Gospel story is Luke 24:13-35, that lovely story of the meeting on the Emmaus Road.  You remember – two disconsolate disciples are on their way home from Jerusalem on the afternoon of the first Easter.  They’re still mourning Jesus’ death; they don’t believe the stories they’ve heard from the women.  As they walk along they meet a stranger, someone who hasn’t heard the stories, and so they tell him all they’d hoped for and their deep sorrow that it’s all for nothing.  But the stranger told their story back to them in a way that made it all make sense, real sense.  As they ate dinner together, they realized they were eating with Jesus.  The women were telling the truth.  Christ had risen!  Once they recognized him, he disappeared – and the disciples turned back to Jerusalem, to their friends, to tell what they had seen and heard and experienced.

There are a lot of truths contained in this story, but for today, for a time when we are separated one from another, think about this:  the disciples learned (and then shared) their truth in community.  There’s a good reason for us to feel so isolated; we need one another to be truly who we are intended to be.  And we are isolated today, one from another.  So life is hard, and hard in ways we don’t see at first.  I think, however, we’re not as isolated as we might be.  We have this email community, for one thing, and a snail mail community as well.  We continue to phone one another; we wave through windows and use Zoom to see and wave at one another.  It’s not perfect, it’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.  And maybe that lesson is there in this story as well – perfect would have been Jesus staying with them, but good enough, and better than what they had had been the dinner together, and the joy they shared with their friends.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

SUNDAY WORSHIP TOMORROW:  Turn to the Old South Church in Boston’s livestream tomorrow morning at 10am; sign in and say hi in the chat and we’ll all know we’re there together.   www.oldsouth.org

NEWS

Nine of us gathered for Wednesday’s Tea With the Pastor, and had a delightful time sharing news of our community with one another.  There’s always room for more, so join us next week on Wednesday from 1 to 2 in the afternoon.

We’re going to try having an informal Church Council meeting every Wednesday evening via Zoom, because we realized how much we were missing those informal opportunities to talk things over at Coffee Hours or during the week.  With those opportunities gone for the time being, it seems like it will be good to gather this way.  Invitations will go out every Wednesday morning.  If you have something you want to put on the discussion list, email Pastor Virginia or any Council member.

Every month the Thrift Shop is closed, we lose about $1000 in income to run the church.  If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it.  All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills.  Your gifts make it possible for us to continue.  Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA  02571.

NEED SHOPPING HELP?  Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out.  Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <nlmacneill@comcast.net

PRAYER LIST

Want to add a concern or joy to the list?  Email me at pastorchild02914@gmail.com

  • from Michele Sabourin: 2 workers and 1 resident at her mom’s nursing home (Southpointe Nursing Home) have tested positive.  Today (Saturday) the National Guard is coming to test everyone.  Keep them all in your prayers.
  • UPDATE: Wareham Week Today reports that now over 30 people at Tremont Rehab, more than half of all who have COVID 19 in Wareham!  Keep the folks at Tremont in your prayers.
  • School is closed for the rest of the school year. Remember teachers, parents and children in this stressful time.
  • from Susan Ryan: Lori Benson reports that Tim has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but is asymptomatic.  Please keep Tim and Lori in your prayers.
  • from Oonagh Brault: my sister-in-law, Kathy, and her father, Jim, to the prayer list. Jim was diagnosed with COVID-19.  He is now on hospice care. Kathy is suffering because she cannot be with her father during this trying time.
  • from Elaine Johnson: (Elaine reports Janice is better, but still needs our prayers) Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering.
  • Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis.
  • from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron
  • from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.

 

April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

I don’t know about you, but there are some days when I wish I hadn’t read the news, hadn’t watched tv.  Who in their right mind thinks that injecting bleach or isopropyl alcohol is a good idea?  It’s fatal.  That’s one of the things we teach our toddlers, right?

Who in their right mind thinks it is a good, right and patriotic thing to refuse to support our states as they bear the costs of fighting to keep us all safe?  Why on earth would one of our Senators say that he didn’t support help to states that vote Democratic?  Partisan politics has no place in emergencies.

We are so fortunate to live in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to have competent and compassionate leaders.  They are leaders who know the meaning of cooperation, who are working across the dividing lines of hostility, who are making our world safer, not just for you or for me, but for our communities, our states, our part of the country, and all the world.   They are willing to sacrifice, to give a little here to get a little there.

And it’s sacrifice I want to raise up here.  Sacrifice is part and parcel of the successful life, the thriving life, even the “safe” life (safe is a big thing these days).  We are in the midst of not only a medical emergency but a fight to the death between selfishness and sacrifice.  Think of the selfishness of a large company repackaging itself to look small so they can have millions of government dollars – only to realize, when their actions are made public, that they’ve also earned the contempt of all around them.

A sacrifice is the opposite:  it is an act which freely gives, that another may have life.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus says:  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13).  To give up that to which one has some sort of claim, or to give more than generously to save another’s life; to purchase 10 cans of soup and give them all away that the hungry might eat and be filled; those are sacrifices.  Those who serve in our armed forces, who offer their lives that we and our children might be safe and free – that’s a sacrifice.

And sometimes, staying home, wearing a mask, not going to the beach – those are all sacrifices too.

I’d hoped to begin to think about when and how we might worship together again.  I know it won’t be this month, and I don’t think it’ll be next month, but it sure would be pleasant to think about the ways we might gather in June, but the daily round of news reports has been so bizarre that I just worry that someone out there is going to inject Lysol or alcohol or even drink bleach and die.  So I’m going to close today with a prayer for today from the Church of England.  When all this gets to be too much, come back to this and hold on tight:  God loves us, God cares for us, and so we care for God’s world.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia

churchofengland_2020-Apr-24.jpg

April 23, 2020

Psalm 18:1-3

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,

my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,

so I shall be saved from my enemies.

I shall be saved from my enemies.  Well, yes, but still… I’m stuck in my house; God may save me, but I might still get the coronavirus.  God may save me, but I will still die; if not now, from this, then surely at some time in the future.  Most of the time we can avoid thinking about that paradox – what does it mean that God saves us when, no matter what, we’re all going to die?  Sometimes we go so far as to fool ourselves into thinking that God offers us universal perpetual protection and when it turns out that we weren’t protected, we blame God.  It’s a puzzlement (or so said the King in the musical “The King and I”).

Here’s the thing:  what God protects us from is not stubbing our toes: God protects us from wasting our lives.  More than that, God protects us from dying wastefully or for nothing.  Here’s what I mean.

God provides us with the means to protect our community’s health.  God provides us with good food, ways to make our world safe, health care, and so on. God provides us, for instance, with excellent vaccines to protect us from the dangers of disease.  We take proper precautions by using those gifts God provides, so that we don’t die from something we didn’t need to catch.  Wearing masks, avoiding crowd – all fall into that same category.  When we do those things, when we take proper and appropriate care of ourselves, we are living in God’s way and allowing God to protect us.

So, someday, we’ll all die.  But not today, not this week, not from this coronavirus, not if we are able to protect ourselves, to avoid those who take foolish chances, who can’t bear to be inside, who won’t wear masks when they should, who insist on standing too close.

Best of all, God has provided, and continues to provide ways for us to spend each day doing good for others, caring for our world.  We won’t be here forever, but we can spend every one of our days in ways which make our lives worth living.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia


NEWS

Nine of us gathered for yesterday’s Tea With the Pastor, and had a delightful time sharing news of our community with one another.  There’s always room for more, so join us next week on Wednesday from 1 to 2 in the afternoon.

We’re going to try having an informal Church Council meeting every Wednesday evening via Zoom, because we realized how much we were missing those informal opportunities to talk things over at Coffee Hours or during the week.  With those opportunities gone for the time being, it seems like it will be good to gather this way.  Invitations will go out every Wednesday morning.  If you have something you want to put on the discussion list, email Pastor Virginia or any Council member.

As you know, our Thrift Shop is closed, and we are losing that income.  If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it.  All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills.  Your gifts make it possible for us to continue.  Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA  02571.

NEED SHOPPING HELP?  Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out.  Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <nlmacneill@comcast.net

PRAYER LIST

Want to add a concern or joy to the list?  Email me at pastorchild02914@gmail.com

  • Wareham Week Today reports that 26 people at Tremont Rehab, right down the street from the church, have tested positive for COVID-19. Let’s keep them and the folks who work at Tremont in our prayers!
  • School is closed for the rest of the school year. Remember teachers, parents and children in this stressful time.
  • from Susan Ryan: Lori Benson reports that Tim has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but is asymptomatic.  Please keep Tim and Lori in your prayers.
  • from Oonagh Brault: Please add my friend Lindsay to the prayer list.  She has just been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • from Oonagh Brault: my sister-in-law, Kathy, and her father, Jim, to the prayer list. Jim was diagnosed with COVID-19.  He is now on hospice care. Kathy is suffering because she cannot be with her father during this trying time.
  • from Elaine Johnson: (Elaine reports Janice is better, but still needs our prayers) Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering.
  • Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis.
  • from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron
  • from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2020

Remember, O Lord, those who are sick, those who suffer pain or loneliness or grief, those who draw near to death, and those whom we name in our hearts before you. 

Comfort them with your presence, sustain them by your promises, grant them your peace.  And now, rejoicing in the communion of the saints, we remember with thanksgiving all your faithful servants and those dear to us who serve you in the glory of heaven.  Keep us in unbroken fellowship with your whole Church in heaven and on earth, and bring us at the last to the joy of your everlasting realm; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.    (Church of Scotland:  Book of Common Order)

Keep us in unbroken fellowship with your whole church. . .   One of the less well known things about Holy Communion is the way that it illustrates our belief that the Church exists beyond time and space.  What that means is this:  imagine that you’re sitting down at a family meal…. look left and right, and you see the people who are physically present.  But look up, or down, or off in the distance, and it’s as if you can see the people who were there – last year, last decade, last century.  When we gather for communion, we are eating with all the other people who have ever shared that meal with us, all our friends, all our family, all our fellow believers all over the world.

In a time when we are separated by the dangers of an illness, it’s good to remember that virtual community is no new thing for Christians.  We have always taught that we are part of a virtual community which reaches out in space – and in time.  The sign of this community, the guarantee that it is real, is that meal, usually bread and grape juice, which we share together monthly.

Our eating together has been upset by the suspension of physical gatherings, but now it is beginning to re-imagine itself as a virtual meal in a new way.  It’s not yet clear when and how, but soon we will use the magic of the internet to break bread with one another.

And – as you think of those who are ill, use this prayer to share their need and yours with God, and to remind yourselves that we are never wholly separated from God’s virtual community.  We are never alone, never abandoned, always loved.

Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia


DON’T FORGET —  TOMORROW AFTERNOON!!!!

TEATIME WITH THE PASTOR
every Wednesday from 1 to 2pm…
a time to chat and share, using the Zoom platform.
Email Pastor Virginia for the link at pastorchild02914@gmail.com


As you know, our Thrift Shop is closed, and we are losing that income.  If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it.  All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills.  Your gifts make it possible for us to continue.  Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA  02571.


NEED SHOPPING HELP?  Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out.  Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <nlmacneill@comcast.net


PRAYER LIST

Want to add a concern or joy to the list?  Email me at pastorchild02914@gmail.com

  • from Susan Ryan: Lori Benson reports that Tim has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but is asymptomatic.  Please keep Tim and Lori in your prayers.
  • from Oonagh Brault: Please add my friend Lindsay to the prayer list.  She has just been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • from Oonagh Brault: my sister-in-law, Kathy, and her father, Jim, to the prayer list. Jim was diagnosed with COVID-19.  He is now on hospice care. Kathy is suffering because she cannot be with her father during this trying time.
  • from Elaine Johnson: (Elaine reports Janice is better, but still needs our prayers) Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering.
  • Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis.
  • from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron
  • from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.