Going Online! Our First Week

Dear Members and Friends,

Join us for online worship this Sunday. We are gathering via Zoom at 10:00am.

If you weren’t able to join us last week, we hope to see you this week. Many people were delighted by the community that can indeed happen virtually. Worship slides will be available on the church website.

This evening at 8:15, there is an online adult education opportunity, “Parenting and Grandparenting Through Lent,” specifically scheduled after bedtime for little ones. You won’t want to miss our special guest leaders, Rev. Jessica Tate, the Director of NEXT Church, and her mom, Joanne Stratton Tate, a long-time parent-educator, who will lead this cross-generational reflection on how we can apply our Lenten theme of “cultivating and letting go” as we raise children and grandchildren. Join the conversation here.

As long as the city allows us, the Radcliffe Room will continue to serve breakfast on Sunday mornings. Food will be distributed outside in Triangle Park and our first-floor restrooms will be open so that our neighbors experiencing homelessness can have dignity and decent hygiene. If you are healthy and able to assist from 7:30-9:00am, please contact Doug Norwood (rdnorwood@gmail.com).

Thanks to the fierce persistence of our Facilities Manager, John O’Brien, and many volunteers committed to caring for our neighbors in need, the city is diverting meals to Triangle Park next week. Monday through Friday, the Downtown Day Services Center will serve lunch outside from 11:30am-1:00pm. If you know folks who are safely able to volunteer, please send them this link to sign up.

Finally, if you are in need of prayer or pastoral care, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email (heather.shortlidge@nyapc.org) or by cell phone (443) 223-5555. I’ve been doing pastoral care “visits” over Zoom and the phone and would love to connect with you during this time of anxiety and uncertainty.

Some poetry to leave you with—Psalm 23, rewritten by Amy Shorner-Johnson, in light of this COVID-19 pandemic:

The Creator has already provided
I shall not worry about toilet paper.

The Comforter walks with me for fresh air,
where now I hear birds and running water over my own thoughts.

I have space to consider what is truly important.
I can touch my own spirit again.

The Divine Healer invites me to follow the advice to stay six feet away for the sake of those with a divine spark within, which is everyone.

Even though everyone must confront Death
and grieve the losses of what was,
I will not be dominated by fear,
it will not be my only feeling.

For I remember your other truths:
“I will be with you,”
“Don’t be afraid.”
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

When I fear the worst, it is not the last,
you are still the Generous More.

When others oppose everything I believe,
I still find there are blessings to share and mercy is a deep well.

There is still so much good to find,
so many reasons to reverence,
to awe,
to reconnect,
to restore,
to believe again.
For you are ever with me, wherever I am,
and I choose to live in you. Amen.

Peace and Grace,

Heather