A Letter from Pastor Carolyn

Sunday, May 3
10:00 a.m.
(with Communion)
"My Favorite Things"
  Book of James Series (3)

Matthew 10:25-37
James 2:1-13

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April 30, 2020
"Mercy triumphs over judgment.'"
James 2:13b
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Congratulations, you have almost made it through April! We certainly never dreamed April would look like this, did we? We have not been able to worship together in person in six weeks, and I can't tell you how much I miss you all. I can hear birds chirping outside of my window, and it reminds me that God's eye is still on the sparrow, and He is watching over every one of you too. As hard as it has been, God is still at work and He has promised to be faithful through it all.

This Sunday, we are excited to be able to celebrate communion with you! Gather your own bread and juice and join us online at 10am (more info below). We also have a "Phone-a-Friend" option for those of you who do not have internet, so please call the church if you would like to set that up. This will be our very first live stream - until now all our services have been prerecorded, so please be praying that the technology cooperates!

Even more than good technology, we need the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to knit us together as one body, even as we are scattered across the region. Session decided we wanted to share communion with you this Sunday because we cherish that Spirit-enabled bond between us as we feed on the gracious gift of Christ through the sacrament.

We need the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to God's grace and to fill us with God's love for others as well. As we look at James 2 this week, we will be considering how easy it is to play favorites, loving some more than others and giving some greater honor. The Lord's challenge to us is to love our neighbor as ourselves-as a very piece of our own body, as much as we might value our own hand or foot. When one part of the body hurts, the whole body hurts with it. So many in the Body of Christ across the whole globe are hurting right now. How is God calling you as an individual and us as a church to love others well? As we have received mercy, let us also show mercy to others.

Hour of Prayer (formerly known as Sundays at Seven):
A group of us are gathering on Zoom every Sunday at 7pm to pray together, and we would love to have you join us! Here is the Zoom link for a computer, tablet, or mobile phone:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92561964416 . You can also call in from a regular phone - dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the Meeting ID - 925 6196 4416. For more info, contact Pat Gaudio at t4two98@hotmail.com.

Communion THIS Sunday, May 3:
As it becomes clear that we will not be able to worship together in person for at least several more weeks, we will be offering virtual communion through a livestream worship service beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 3. Since this is an unusual time and an unusual communion service, we wanted to help you prepare to celebrate it with us.
  • Be praying now for God to prepare your heart (1 Cor 11:23-32). Pray too that God will unite us all as a body through this communion service, even while we are scattered.
  • Because communion is to be taken in community, we will be removing that part of the service following our live worship time, and then we will repost the rest of the service so it can be accessed at other times.
  • Since we cannot be together in person, you will need to provide your own communion elements - any kind of bread, crackers, or gluten-free alternative and a cup of grape juice, wine, or similar juice. You may want to arrange them on a table in a quiet setting before you join us online.
  • If you are unable to obtain these items, we do have individual prepackaged cups and wafers available. We can deliver them to your home, or you can call the church to set a time when you can pick them up (412-531-3387). Also, if you do not have internet access to be able to watch the service on Facebook or YouTube, please let us know. We will provide you with the name of an elder or deacon who will call you so that you can hear the service and take communion along with us. Please call the church office by Wednesday, April 29, so that we can make plans to provide you with elements or access to the service.
  • One other thought: We want each of you to act on the basis of your conscience in this. Some of you will not feel in good conscience that you can participate in communion that doesn't involve being physically gathered with the congregation. Some of you may feel led to fast from communion until we are together again. We understand. Let's give one another permission to act as our consciences guide us. We all long for the day when we can gather together and truly be one body again.

Again, please let us know if there is any way we can support you or connect with you during this season. We need to be here for each other now more than ever. The email, info@mlepc.org, has been set up so you can send us any needs, prayer requests, or just updates on how you are doing. And you are always welcome to call us at 412-531-3387.

Many blessings,
Pastor Carolyn
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