“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”    - George Washington Carver –
26 June 2020

From lament to hope. That is the apt theme of the 224 th General Assembly. Originally to be held in my beloved Baltimore, the General Assembly is adapting to these strange times in which we all find ourselves. Our commissioners, David Burpee, Jeff Geary, Connie Knapp, Erin Moore and Young Adult Advisory Delegate Luke Torres-Rossi have been glued to their laptops, phones and iPads, following the business of the assembly as best they can. They remind me of Lewis & Clark, prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean and instead facing the Rocky Mountains. Unexpected, yet they adapted. Cheers and gratitude to our colleagues!

From lament to hope. We all might identify with that theme.

· Casey Carbone will host a very important ZOOM gathering on Tuesday June 30 th at 10 entitled, “So what happens now? Merging digital and online worship” As our buildings slowly begin to reopen over the next few months, no doubt you will not wish to lose the momentum that you’ve gained through online worship. But how do you do both? A ZOOM invite will be sent to all and you are free to share this with the appropriate folks in your congregation.

· We will continue the Clergy Connection ZOOM on Wednesdays at 10 for the foreseeable future. This has proven to be a helpful and inspirational time for pastors serving in pulpits.

· Spiritual practices and meditation will continue on Fridays at 10 for the next few weeks.

· The Synod of the Northeast, in partnership with former GA Moderator Cindy Kohlman will be providing an online service for Sunday July 5 th which will include communion. We will provide sign-on information as soon as it becomes available.

· Clerks of Session will receive a survey soon. Please take 5 minutes to fill it out – it’s easy. HRP wants to continue to resource you as best we can, and this information is critical for us to do so.

We are moving through historic times. We have stabilized the crisis. Now we will begin to visualize how and when to reopen smartly, following all the proper protocols and remembering to value the health and well-being of our members above all else. Just as importantly, we will rebuild what we had before but it will be better, having been through the storm. ALL IS POSSIBLE THROUGH CHRIST JESUS!

Peace and continued blessings,

Deborah Milcarek
General Presbyter