30 July 2020

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.”-  John Lewis

Greetings to all in the name of the Holy One:

The balmy days of summer are upon us. We have become accustomed to our new reality of online worship, pondering the return to our buildings, schools and offices as we wrap our heads and hearts around the even more pressing issues of racism, white privilege and political divisiveness. The “lazy, hazy days of summer” are not to be in 2020.

Have you considered the idea that we are in the midst of historical change? Do you doubt that we are living through unprecedented times that could shepherd in changes in government, education, economics, healthcare and CHURCH? Is it possible that generations will look back upon these times and say, “This is when the shift began!” 

Some are excited to be part of these times. Some are uneasy; even fearful. The unknown can be troubling. Great change is never, ever easy. But what do we know for sure? What can we count on? We know what the source of all this change is. We can count on our faith that God is ahead and behind and WITH US through all of this “good trouble”.

  It is the Lord who goes before you. The Lord will be with you; The Lord will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8
And we can be sure that we have been called – YOU have been called – for a time such as this. It is our time.

Updates and opportunities :

As you contemplate if or how you will reopen your building for worship, please visit the HRP website for shared documents and plans from congregations around the Presbytery. I hope you will take a moment to view this video on reopening from PC(USA) Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson:

Stewardship Kaleidoscope, sponsored by the Presbyterian Foundation is one of the highest quality conferences offered by our denomination. Take advantage of some amazing speakers as they explore “Currents of Faith: The Stewardship of change in community, technology and across generations”.  This year’s conference will be offered over 3 Tuesdays from 11:30 to 1:30 and is only $45! 

Have you applied for your Payroll Protection Plan forgiveness yet? The attached paper will walk you through the procedure, or your lender can assist. Just don’t forget!  click here

On Monday August 3 rd at 10 there will be a follow-up ZOOM for congregations with nursery and pre-schools. You and any other interested members are invited to attend to discuss the plans of these groups; you need not have attended the first ZOOM to join. Here is the link to the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87867238077

Clergy Connection ZOOMs continue on Wednesdays at 10 . Please join us to discuss current challenges and joys of pastors serving in pulpits. 
Are you wondering about faith formation for youth during this pandemic? Visit the PC(USA) Store for resources, detailed in this webinar

We continue to hold employees and friends of Stony Point in our prayers as they navigate these challenging times. Rick Ufford-Chase shares that they have a beautiful pulpit with height adjusting lecture, a smaller pulpit, the communion table, all the pews, and the organ from the Sanctuary that they would love to see in a congregation. Please contact Rick at rickuffordchase@gmail.com if you are interested.

May God’s peace and continued blessings be abundantly clear to you-

Deb Milcarek, General Presbyter
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