May 5, 2020
A Word from the Pastor
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing;
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
The one who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.
Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila
I can think of no other prayer that has more relevance to where we all find ourselves today than this prayer attributed to St. Teresa of Avila. Our world has been severely disturbed and it is easy to be fearful both of our health and wellbeing in the present and of the uncertainties of the future. Yet, Teresa reminds us that "all things are passing", yes, this too will come to an end even if we experience much change as a result of this pandemic. God alone is changeless, the world in which we live, not so much. Patience is needed if we are to get through this situation.
What Teresa has to say at the end of this prayer though is by far the most important thing we need to hear right now. "The one who has God wants nothing. God alone suffices." It takes a lot of faith to trust that this is in fact true. Can we really live life fully if all we have is God? While I hope never to have to find out for sure I do believe that the saints down through the ages have discovered just this truth. God is enough. When all else fails, if our lives are grounded in the divine it will be sufficient for us. I am reminded of the question raised by the Psalmist in Psalm 42, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God."
My prayer for each one of us is that we will discover the truth that Teresa of Avila and many others have discovered- that God alone suffices- no matter what our human predicaments may be. When we have discovered this we can be sure that nothing will disturb us and that nothing will frighten us. May this be the primary learning that we experience as the result of this pandemic and the changes that have been brought about as a result of it.
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; 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.
Latest Upper Room issue available for free download
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Since churches are unable to meet and gather safely in their buildings during the coronavirus pandemic, The Upper Room is offering the May/June 2020 issue, both in English and Spanish, as a free, downloadable PDF. The Upper Room also has created a web page featuring resources to help create and maintain spiritual wellness during anxious times.
Please note that if you have any trouble downloading a copy of the May-June Issue of the Upper Room please e-mail the church office or Pastor Rich and we can send it to you electronically in pdf form.