Pr. Jessica's Weekly Message - 4/1/20
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.
I have said, “You are my God. Psalm 31:14
I am available for prayer, conversation and emergencies. Please call me at (201) 681-2593.
Thank you for all of the beautiful ways in which you are taking care of each other right now. I have heard many stories, but I'm sure I don't even know the half of it. When we come to the end of what we know, and what we are able to do, what’s left is faith, which is trust in God’s promises. I don’t know about you, but that’s where I am this week. I do not know how long COVID-19 will wreak havoc on our world and upend our plans. I do not know who will get sick and who will die. I cannot, by force of will, prevent the hunger crisis we are seeing take hold of our communities. I cannot cure the heartache of grief so many are feeling.
And so, I am thrown back on my faith, that part of our lives that hopes and trusts without being able to see what’s up ahead (We walk by faith, and not by sight). And when I can’t even seem to get that right, something happens to remind me that faith, too, is a gift of the Holy Spirit. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) Thank you for all the ways that you are ministering to one another and being Christ for each other.
I look forward to worshiping with you tonight at 7:00 right here: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsLutheranChurchJerseyCity/
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, after which we enter into the holiest time of the year, Holy Week. I will be sending you much more information on the services we will be live streaming for Maundy Thursday (4/9), Good Friday (4/10), Holy Saturday (4/11) and Easter Sunday (4/12), but they will all be in the same place: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsLutheranChurchJerseyCity/
There are a few items you may want to gather for your participation at home for these services:
a bowl filled with warm water and a towel (for all but Good Friday)
a candle, or candles
green plants for Palm Sunday, or palms made with construction paper
I would like for us to try a Zoom fellowship time this Sunday after worship. If you are available at 11:15, join with this link: https://zoom.us/j/620943030
Or you can join by phone only by calling (646) 558-8656
It will be an experiment! When you enter the meeting, mute yourself to avoid feedback. You can unmute when you want to share something.
Though we cannot meet physically right now, we are still engaged in ministry- sharing the Gospel, feeding the hungry, housing asylees, having Zoom meetings, live streaming worship, giving generously. We are generous people because of the generosity and faithfulness of God towards us. Giving of ourselves – our time, energy, and money – is a spiritual discipline that continues in good times and in hard times. It is a mark of who we are as disciples of Jesus Christ that we give to others.
If you have the financial capacity to increase your offering to St. Paul’s, now is a good time to do that, perhaps even front-loading your annual pledge. Ministry continues, as do the bills and responsibilities of maintaining that ministry. If your financial capacity has decreased due to lay-offs or decreased compensation, you will need to adjust your offering accordingly. We give from what we have, being generous beyond what is convenient or easy for the sake of our neighbors. You can mail in your offerings, sign up for electronic giving, or simply text a dollar amount to (201) 646-5131. Vanco will take payment information from you and then you can make a one-time offering or set up a recurring gift. Thank you!
May God bless you today with patience, compassion and peace.