August 9, 2020
"Unraveled Doubting Thomas"
Wednesday Personal Prayer in the Sanctuary: August 5, 2020
The sanctuary will be open from 9 am until 7 pm for anyone who would like to visit for private prayer. Music will be playing to provide inspiration, and you are welcome to stay as long as you like. As a safety measure, wipes will be available, and visitors will be asked to wipe down their seats and the door handle before leaving. Participants are also encouraged to sign-up on an electronic sign-up sheet which will be distributed soon.
We have started a new series called “Unraveled: Seeking God When Our Plans Fall Apart.” Some time ago, I read an article that lifted up a need to talk about more than just the “success stories” in the Bible. The author suggested that telling the more complex stories in the Bible is helpful, especially when things go wrong as they can help us to see a way forward in the midst of our struggles. In addition, so often our experience in life are not “happily ever after.” The journey of faith is complex, with many downs as well as ups. How do we seek God amidst the complexities of life?
"Unraveled” will focus on some of the complicated stories in the Bible. The series has been designed by A Sanctified Art and it includes a participant journal with questions for personal reflection and small group discussion. Journals will be printed and distributed soon and you are welcome to work through the journal on your own of course, but the experience will be enriched by being part of a group. Small Groups will be formed over the next few weeks and be held via ZOOM, (see more on ZOOM below). If you are interested in being part of a discussion group call or email me (email@example.com) to let me know.
Pastor Laurie will be available on Wednesdays for Office Hours, she will also be starting a “Pastor Porch Pop-in Program” - setting up appointments for in-person visits on the porch or in the front yard. If you are interested in a visit or an appointment during office hours, please call the church office (315)-376-3631 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let her know if you have any questions!
You may have heard have noticed that we have installed clotheslines attached to the front steps of the church so that everyone can hang a “prayer square” on them. (A prayer square or prayer flag is a piece of material that has a prayer written on it.) The hope is that the waving squares will serve as a sign of hope and a reminder that we are praying for the community. Some of you have already hung up squares! Thank you! We have discovered that larger squares will help them to be more noticeable, so if you haven’t hung a square yet, aim for a 6x6 inch square. If you have any questions, please reach out and let Pastor Laurie or Holly Aucter know
Some of you have shared that you are having difficulty connecting with Zoom. Regrettably, Zoom is the best way for us to connect at this time as it allows us to SEE and hear each other, it’s like a video conference call. You do need to have a camera and microphone to connect (so if you have an older computer this can be a challenge as some of us have discovered.) You can use your phone (be sure you are using wifi rather than data) or Ipad to connect with Zoom and I am working on a low cost camera and microphone option, so contact me if you are interested. I am also happy to help you connect. The first step is to set up a free Zoom account, which you can do at zoom.us. Once you have an account, give me a call and we can do a practice Zoom meeting or you can click on the link in my weekly email to join me for Zoom office hours at the appropriate time.
From Pastor Laurie:
Recently, I participated in a Zoom call for pastors where one of the group shared that his church had begun a 1+1 challenge. The pastor explained that his congregation was taking on the challenge of reaching out each day to one person they knew well and one that they did not. The purpose of this was not only to help strengthen and expand connections among the congregation, but also to help each person not to feel isolated. He reasoned, if everyone reached out to 1+1 person each day, by the end of the week they would have talked to 14 people. I love the simplicity of that idea! Imagine the connections that could be made while we are apart if we reach out to those we know well and those we do not yet have strong relationships with. What a great way to love our neighbors in the church. With that in mind, I challenge you to take up the 1+1 Challenge for the month of May and reach out to talk to two people each day. If you need a church directory to help you in your efforts, you can click here if you are reading this electronically. Or you can call the church office 315-376-3631 and leave a message. I hope you will take up the challenge and build up the Body of Christ in this time.