April 28, 2020
A Word from the Pastor
God of Compassion —
we give thanks for Jesus, the Good Shepherd
who knows us
who leads us
who loves us
who calls us by name.
While we are occupied ...
posting messages on Linkedin and Instagram,
checking Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat —
While we are busy ...
making friends on Facebook
and unfriending others —
The Shepherd calls, and
we hear his voice
we know it well, and
we turn toward the sound of our name.
Lead us to the Shepherd —
whose voice we know
whose love knows us
whose way leads through dark valleys,
whose goodness restores our souls ...
that we may find our true home.
Creator God, who revealed yourself in the creation of every living thing, we pray not only for ourselves but for your whole creation. These days of human sequestering and quarantine have cleared the skies ...
so the Himalayas are visible again
wild animals have space to roam,
lions take rest on roads in Africa,
elephants stroll in parks and
peacocks dance in the streets of India.
Teach us, O God, how to share this beautiful earth with all that you have made.
Hear us now as we pray the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.
By Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Scripture: Psalm 23; John 10: 1-10
One of the many gifts of our current Bishop, Sudarshana Devadhar, has been the many prayers that he has shared with us over the past eight years while he has been bishop here in the New England Conference. I have saved many of these prayers and shared them with you as well. This particular prayer comes to us in a most unique time in the life of the church and of the world. In this strange time we see the juxtaposition of a terrible pandemic that has resulted in death for hundreds of thousands of people; the quarantine of millions more; as well as the increased dependence on technology to connect us and the unexpected, but welcome, effects on the environment.
In all of this Bishop Devadhar reminds us that in the Risen Christ we have a good shepherd who knows us, loves us, calls us by name, protects us, and welcomes us into his sheepfold. We are not alone in whatever it is we are experiencing during this pandemic. The good shepherd acknowledges our anxiety, our fear, and our disappointment and invites us to "shelter in place" in the safety of his sheepfold where we can experience abundant life. May we listen to the voice of the good shepherd, draw comfort and strength from it, and follow, knowing that we will be led to life.
Together in hope,
Over the course of the "stay at home" time that we find ourselves in volunteers from the congregation have been reaching out by phone to our entire membership. One of things we have found though is that so many of you have given up your land lines or otherwise changed your phone number and we no longer have the correct number for you. We would love to up-date our data base with this correct information so please either e-mail the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 603-882-3361. We expect to begin round 2 of our calling soon and would love to connect with you!
Although we are no longer able to do the live streaming of our worship service from the sanctuary, Pastor Rich is live streaming a service from home which is available on-demand on Facebook shortly after the service. You can use the Facebook app on a smartphone, or a web browser on a computer. "Like" our page and you will be notified when we go live each Sunday.
If you choose to not use a Facebook login, you can still access the live stream during the service time from our web site home page by going to the box to the right (you may need to refresh the page if you arrive early). Previous worship services are available by scrolling down through the postings.
Please note that Pastor Rich is also live steaming a Wednesday morning devotional reflection each week as well. Just follow the directions above to watch it live or any time afterwards.
Giving During This Uncertain Time
Although we are scaling back most of our church activities which will reduce our expenses during this time, we still have staff who will be working- cleaning the church thoroughly; providing office assistance from home; offering music for our "virtual" worship services; providing pastoral care remotely, etc.- so we will still be incurring expenses that will need to be covered as best we can. To the extent that you are able please maintain your financial pledge or give regularly. Contributions can either be mailed in to the church or you can utilize our on-line giving options by going to the following web address:
Thank you for your on-going support, for your prayers, and for your faithfulness to God and one another.
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