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Pr. Jessica's Weekly Message - 11/6/19

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
  and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
 and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
  then in my flesh I shall see God,

whom I shall see on my side,
  and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”

Job 19:25-27a

Dear Friends in Christ,

What is the strangest or most interesting thing you have been asked, or have asked yourselves, about what happens when we die? I think, if we're honest, we all have many excellent questions about the afterlife. I remember that when I was about 4 years old, I asked my mom during breakfast if there would be Cream of Wheat in heaven, because, well, I loved Cream of Wheat. I've been asked a hundred times if our dogs and cats and pet turtles will be there. Will our loved ones recognize us right away? Will we have bodies or be spirits? What age will we be in heaven? What will God say to us? Many good questions.

Our lessons for this coming Sunday focus on such questions. In the Gospel from Luke (Luke 20:27-38), some Sadducees, a group of people who didn't believe in resurrection, try to trick Jesus with a hard question about the afterlife. Jesus responds by reiterating God's promise that in him, all are alive. All who die in the Lord are raised to new life, and our earthly categories and assumptions are not fitting to describe what heaven is like. Ultimately it is a mystery that we embrace by faith, because of God's promise.

In the meantime, as I said last week, we keep coming to the Lord's Table for nourishment and a reunion with all the saints who give us courage and strength to continue on in this life, to love and serve our neighbors. We will be blessed this Sunday to share the meal, for the first time, with Olivia Niskanen, who will receive her first communion. Thanks be to God!

We handed out 2020 financial pledge forms at our Congregational Meeting on October 27th. If you weren't there or have lost yours, please let Chris Greene know so he can get you another one. And as you fill them out, either place them in the offering plate or give them to Chris. Thank you.

There will be a Jersey City Together action led by the Housing Team on Thursday, November 21st at 7:30pm at Grace Van Vorst Episcopal Church on Erie St. Our city is facing an affordable housing crisis which needs to be addressed from several angles- building new affordable units wherever development is taking place and at Bayfront, enforcing current rent control laws, and keeping all of the affordable units we have now affordable. These issues and more will be discussed at the action. Please come!

Our worship leaders for this Sunday, November 10th, are:

Assisting Ministers: Cindy Kuperus, Becky Linn

Reader: Madeline Niskanen

Gift Bearers: Noah Choi, Abby Choi

Collection: Kathy Malast, Linda Kossman, Carolyn Hiller, Gert Salisbury

Greeters: Peggy Brockmann, Becky Linn

Sacristan: Peggy Brockmann

In Peace and Hope, 

Pastor Jess