FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
 HANDS
I've been thinking a lot about hands, especially the hands that I long to hold.  Because of the pandemic, hands are for one primary action:  washing.  We sing Happy Birthday or say the Lord's Prayer to help us know when we've thoroughly washed our hands.  If they're not raw and cracked, we're not doing our job.

With this focus on cleanliness, our hands have been forced to give up human touch.  We don't pass the peace in person; we don't shake hands with neighbors we meet when we're out and about...because we're not supposed to be out and about...and even if we are, we cross the sidewalk to avoid our neighbors.  We keep our hands clean and away from our faces to slow the spread of the virus. 

One of our church members shared with me how much she ... ( READ MORE )
PRESBYTERY PULSE
SCAM ALERT!
Just so you know, Rachel Yates, your Presbytery Executive, will never ask you to go out - particularly during a pandemic - to buy gift cards for cancer patients. She doesn't go by "Rev. Rachel Yates," and she rarely writes, "Have a blessed day!" Hackers and scammers are at work, especially in these times of need. When in doubt, double check the email addresses (the Presbytery does not use gmail), call us, or email a safe, known address to confirm whether we sent the email.  Never click on any links embedded in emails unless you are confident they come from trusted sources.  Stay safe, and have a blessed day!
MAY PRESBYTERY GATHERING POSTPONED
Given the current conditions and climate we find ourselves in, and the recommendations regarding gatherings of groups, the Presbytery Planning Commission has decided to postpone the May Presbytery Gathering. The Gathering will be rescheduled on a day to be determined later. Please continue to take care of yourselves and stay healthy.
LIVING STONES: A WORSHIP SERVICE FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2020
This worship service is Week One of a six week series in which the readings link us to the same 
emotions and questions that the early church had in the time after Jesus' resurrection. The foundational text for the series is I Peter 2: 4-6:  "See, I am laying in Zion a stone,  a cornerstone chosen and precious;  and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." Based on the theme of Become Living Stones and the journey that it entails for each of us, this worship series also includes a symbolic ritual using a stone/stones, providing a tangible reminder that we are called to be the church in the world and to be living stones built into a spiritual house.
FREE DIGITAL & PRINT WORSHIP PACKAGE FOR APRIL 19-MAY 24
Much has changed since Rev. Beth Patton, Rev. Nicole Farley, and Ruling Elder Rachel Yates began designing a creative worship package for the Easter season (April 19 through May 24). We recognize how challenging these recent weeks have been in providing worship (and care) for communities.

In hopes you might find it helpful as your church leadership tries to catch their collective breath after Easter, we are offering, at no cost, to anyone who wishes to use some or all of the included resources, the following worship package:
  •  six digital worship services, including embedded links to hymns
  •  six weekly bulletins for congregations (editable in Word) six full liturgy scripts, except sermon,
  • for worship leaders (editable in Word)
  • a brief guide on the resources
The series moves through confronting our fears, the things that cause us to trip in our walk with Jesus, and our longing to stay safely away from the world, to a recognition that God is not contained inside walls, but instead God's house is much larger than just us. We are called to be the church in the world and to be living stones built into a spiritual house. We hope you will find the Spirit's moving in these themes that spoke to us long before our worship moved out of our sanctuaries.

STEPPING STONES: SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FOR TODAY
In the recent Carroll University Alumni Newsletter, the Rev. Elizabeth McCord offered several spiritual practices that draw upon the movements of Christian worship.  Rev. McCord offers practices for the morning, for the day, and for the evening; any or all of which can help one re-center and find calm in a crisis or chaotic situation.  You can read more about the spiritual disciplines Rev. McCord suggests in @Carrollu, the Alumni Newsletter.
LORD, HERE WE ARE - COVID-19 HYMN
Michelle Henrichs and Heidi Surprenant have written a new hymn (with vocal line) for this difficult time.  They are offering it to you to use.  Thank you for this musical gift!