Midweek Update

Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re getting to enjoy the very warm weather today! We have a number of things going on in the church this coming week that I’d like to highlight.

May Outdoor Worship

In addition to our 10am live-streamed services, we have outdoor worship every Sunday in May at 11:30. (Weather permitting.) Please try to register ahead, bring a chair, and wear a mask. You can register online or by contacting the church office.

For this Sunday, 5/2, our Cherub Choir will be singing outdoors and then stay with their parents for the remainder of the service as it’s a communion Sunday. There is still nursery care available. 

Here’s the link to register for Sunday 5/2.

You can register for Sunday 5/9 here.

Sunday School Volunteers Needed

We can’t have faith formation/Sunday school programming without help from all of you! Our Christian Education Coordinator, Valerie, is looking for volunteers to help teach Sunday School for May.

Providing Christian instruction for our children is one of the things we all promise whenever a child is baptized in our church, and it takes all of us to make it happen. To volunteer or get more information, contact Valerie: valeriebeard86@gmail.com

Church Clean Up: This Saturday May 1st

We start at 8am! Don’t forget a mask! Helpful tools to bring with you are: wheelbarrows, trailers, pickup trucks, rakes, shovels, pitchforks, loppers, pruners, and leaf blowers!

After Church Program 5/2: Seeds of Faith

We’ve received a donation of flower seeds, so after outdoor worship on 5/2 we’re going to have an event on the green to make pots and plant the seeds. See attached flyer for more information! (Thanks Katie P for the flyer!)

Mother’s Day Diaper Drive and Raffle

One of the difficult things for struggling families with young children is that diapers are expensive and not covered by many assistance programs. In the lead up to Mother’s Day, the Mission Board is collecting diapers. Those who bring those items will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to 8 Fifty Restaurant. See attached flyer for details. (Thanks again Katie P!)

National Day of Prayer Service 5/6 @ 11am on the Green

Join the Rev. Tara Shepley from St. George’s, members of other churches in our community, and me for a brief time of prayer for our nation and community on Thursday 5/6 @ 11am. We’re going to be meeting on the Christmas tree side of the Green.

CDC Updates Guidance on Safe Activities for Vaccinated People

This week the CDC has released a bunch of new guidance on activities that are safe for vaccinated individuals. I attached the new chart they put out that compares risk levels of activities between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

The good news is that church is an activity the CDC has determined is quite safe for vaccinated individuals. The less good news is it’s still a high risk activity for those who aren’t vaccinated. So, this is just a reminder that everyone getting vaccinated as soon as they are able is our quickest way back to resuming full church activities and more normal activities in the rest of our lives. Our church staff is all at various points in getting immunized, and we’re looking forward to better days ahead.

Pastoral Relations Committee

One of the things our church hasn’t had the past couple years is a Pastoral Relations committee to help support and navigate the relationship between the church and me, the pastor. We’ve recently gotten the committee up and running, and I’m grateful to Kent SW who has agreed to be chair. The other members of the committee are Michele F., Katie O, and John D. Thank you to Michele, Katie, and John for also agreeing to serve.

Video of Arms and Armor Demo

I forgot to highlight last week that we do have a video of Kent’s medieval arms and armor presentation available on our Youtube channel. You can watch it here:              https://youtu.be/SYYNTeZ0BHE           

I’ve also attached a picture of our own knight in shining armor for those who weren’t able to make it. (I found out from Kent’s presentation he’s actually dressed as a foot soldier.) Thanks Kent!

General Comments

Kent’s presentation the other week got me thinking about this part from Ephesians:

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:13

When this was written, the church was going through some difficult times, and they were quite literally a small group of people in a sea of people who believed different things and were sometimes even hostile to them. This letter is a word of encouragement for the church in the face of all those difficulties.

The church is told to dress for a spiritual battle, but what’s interesting is all the pieces of armor and weapons are given purposes opposite to waging war. People are being equipped to bring peace and justice rather than violence. It’s a bit like beating swords into plowshares. Things designed for war are instead going to bring justice and peace.

For us in this time, the piece of armor standing out to me is the belt of truth. Belts are important in that they hold everything together, and a shared understanding of truth is one of the things that holds society together and makes for a healthy society.

As we look ahead to a hopefully brighter 2021 than 2020, we can’t forget that belt of truth. Truth is sometimes uncomfortable or not what we want, but speaking the truth about reality and knowing the truth are essential. If we don’t recognize truth (e.g. the truth about racial injustice existing, the truth about science, etc.) we won’t be able to move forward and find peace. So, don’t forget that belt of truth when preparing to face the problems of each day.