July 31, 2020

Dear Beloved Community-

Yesterday at the funeral for Congressman John Lewis, the Rev. James Lawson finished his remarks with a poem by Langston Hughes. I found it particularly moving and am sharing it with you today. Some of the language is a little dated and I suspect if Hughes were alive, he would change the language to be more inclusive of both men and women. The poem, written in the last century, is titled “I Dream a World.”
 
I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom's way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

Those last lines speak to my heart. Joy, like a pearl, attends the needs of all. Last Sunday we heard the parable of the pearl of great price. Jesus said, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who was looking for pearls. When he found the pearl, he sold everything he had and bought it. Those are the actions of a person who saw joy on the horizon and took a great risk, knowing that he might lose everything. But he believed it was worth the risk.

Another of yesterday’s speakers, (and I apologize, for not remembering which one,) quoted Psalm 30. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. How often we focus not on the possibility of joy but on the certainty of sorrow. Yet, God has told us that joy is just as certain as sadness. We will certainly have grief in this life, but Jesus promised us that it will not have the last word. Hughes’ dream will one day be a reality. The question is simply, “When?” Will it be in this life or the next?

One of my favorite prayers is one written to be used before travel, but I think it’s good for any day.

O God, our beginning and our end, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, you led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star you led the magi to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide us now as we set out to travel. Make our ways safe and our homecomings joyful, and bring us at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ and the life-giving Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

My prayer for each of us this day is that our ways be safe, whether we leave home or not. And may we remember that when we come to our final home, our real home, our joy will abound. May that promise motivate us in all that we do.
+ Pastor Heidi
 
Weekend Strategies for Being Church
 
SUNDAY at 9:00am – Live Worship adjacent to the Memorial Garden
        at 10:15am – Worship on Facebook and YouTube
Tuesday at 7:00pm Church Council Meeting by Zoom
Thursday at 10:00am – Staff Meeting
 
Blessed to Be a Blessing ! On Sunday, August 16th we will be offering prayers and a blessing for all of our students, teachers and staff who will be returning to “school.” We will pray in person at our 9:00am service and then we will have a live online blessing at 11:00am on Facebook. We will also be distributing stickers of the artwork above to put on backpack, iPad, notebook or wherever your parents say is “okay.” To receive stickers for your household, email Pastor Heidi . If you have more than one student in your house, let us know the quantity of stickers you would like to receive.
 
Confirmation Update! If your child is entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade this fall, watch your email for a letter next week on studying for all and the Affirmation of Baptism for our new 9th graders. A plan is in the works that will use online meetings so that everyone can participate. Meetings will start in September.

School Supplies Collection: Support our community’s children by donating school supplies to Pennridge FISH. Donations may be left at the “carport” any day of the week. This drive runs through August 9th , so please take advantage of any sales you might see! There are two kinds of “bags,” for either  elementary or secondary students. (Click the blue underline word link for list.)If you have any questions, please call Carol Herstine at 215-257-5811 or email at cahott@hotmail.com .
3668 Ridge Road
Perkasie, PA 18944