Pastor Connection
April 16, 2020

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A Note from Pastor Amy
Did you know that Easter is a whole season? That right. Every Sunday leading to Pentecost, we view life through the lens of resurrection. What does it mean that Jesus is alive? How can we realize the hope of Easter in our every day lives?

During this season, Pastor Pat and I will be preaching on one of the Scripture passages from the Revised Common Lectionary. You can read the texts your self for each week by visiting THIS site. This Sunday, Pat will be preaching on John 20:19-31 - the story of Thomas seeing Jesus. I encourage you to continue to worship each Sunday morning through the weekly worship videos.

As we move further into the Season of Easter, I'd like to share a blessing from Sharlande Sledge. I pray that it blesses your journey.

Assurance

We celebrate good news: Jesus Christ is risen!
God is our strength and our son; God is our salvation.
When we lock ourselves away in the upper rooms of our lives,
Christ's presence comes to us with words of peace...
words that send us out of our hiding places with strength and power.
When believing does not come easily and we are more skeptical than faithful,
Christ's presence come to us with words of assurance...
words that transform our anxiety to comfort and turn our mourning into joyful dance.
When tears cloud our eyes, so we cannot see signs of resurrection,
Christ's presence comes to us with words of hope...
words that remind us of new life all around us - even within us.
Our assurance is in Jesus Christ,
Our Risen Lord.
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

May the peace of Christ be with you,
Pastor Amy
Zoom Coffee Hour
We've had a great time catching up and connecting every Tuesday morning as a church family. We hope more join us! This is open to the entire church.

We will gather over Zoom every Tuesday in the coming weeks. There will be plenty of time for fellowship and Pastor Amy will also bring a short devotional thought. You will need a computer with a camera and microphone. Most newer computers have these features already built in. Give it a try!

Our next coffee hour will be Tuesday, April 21. We will spend some time saying goodbye to Stephanie. Click this link to join. https://zoom.us/j/96166797494
Presbyterians Serving Together
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The Presbyterian pastors of the Cedar Valley have been discussing ways we can combine efforts to serve our neighbors during COVID-19. We are certainly able to do more when we do it together! After speaking to different agencies, we are encouraging church members who are able to focus on two areas of aid: food insecurity and mental healthcare. 

First, we encourage people who are healthy and not at risk to consider volunteering at the Food Bank. The Food Bank has three, two hour shifts set up for volunteers to come and pack emergency boxes, boxes for the elderly, and BackPack bags that will be distributed.  The shifts are 9-11 am, 11-1pm and 1-3pm. The sign up is at  www.northeastiowafoodbank.org  under the blue volunteer button.

Second, we are organizing a food drive for Blackhawk-Grundy Mental Health. Needed items include:  small packages of peanut butter, cans of soup, small boxes of cereal, ramen noodles, and small boxes of crackers. Boxes to collect the items will be located at Westminster Presbyterian M-F 9-1, and Cedar Heights M-Th. Those churches will arrange to drop off the food items. The drive will last through Pentecost, May 31.  We would stress that people DO NOT make an extra trip to the grocery store for these items, and DO NOT buy in bulk.  Rather, when you go for a regular grocery store run, buy one or two extra items for the drive. We want to be considerate of other shoppers at this time.

We know that we all have different levels of service at this time due to our individual needs and walks of life. That’s why it’s important to remember that the very act of social distancing is also an act of serving your neighbor. 

Thank you for your continued acts of service. Please contact Pastor Amy if you have any further questions.
One Great Hour of Sharing
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Every year, our church participates in One Great Hour of Sharing. The three programs supported by this offering - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People - all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope. If you wish to give to this offering, you may continue to send checks to the church office through the month of April. You may also give directly online by visiting the website .
Thank you for giving to the church!
Thank you to all those who are continuing to faithfully give their pledges and offerings to the church. Even though our office hours are reduced, you are encouraged to still mail checks to the church. Kelley is faithfully checking our mail each week. We are still engaging in meaningful ministry and your offerings make that ministry possible. Thank you for your generosity and please continue to give as you can.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
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For specific individuals with health issues:
Ruth Bowers, Hospice House; Sarah (granddaughter of Evelyn and Carl Boice) who is an RN at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester MN, and her husband, Dylan, who is an essential non-medical worker at Mayo; Megan and Emma Schellhorn as they work at Fareway; Stephanie Swensen's great Aunt Lois who was admitted to the hospital and tested positive for COVID; Stan Ernster's mother, who is suffering from health issues; Frank Swallow, recovering from surgery; Jan and Dean Bellinger's daughters and granddaughters who are serving in hospitals and nursing care facilities; Jordan, (granddaughter of Ann Sage) who is quarantined for two weeks on the cruise ship where she works due to a crew member’s contraction of the virus; for Alexa (granddaughter of Janis Shea) who works in an essential business credit union and is subjected to the virus; Courtney Pilcher who works in health care services; Don Broadston, home; Pat Stanhope, Friendship Village; Shirley Sorensen, Friendship Village; Neva Kerr, NewAldaya (Hospice); Crystal Lorenze, recovering from back surgery; Paul Holtz, Hospice Care; Mary Davis, Ravenwood; Steve Miller, home; Jennifer Lightbody, home; Donna Harman, Friendship Village (Hospice Care); Dorothy Hummel, home; Jim Polacek, Western Home.

Broader prayer concerns from the congregation:
that all will stay well
all doctors, nurses, and health care providers along with their families
all those who are essential workers
teachers and students trying to adapt learning
those who are strictly quarantined for a variety of reasons

Prayers of joy from the congregation:
Thanksgiving/gratitude for all the ways our church family is reaching out with calls and notes
Appreciation for the online worship services, the sermons and music

Add to the Prayer List
Click  HERE  to submit a prayer request online. Our pastors will be praying for you and sharing concerns with the congregation as requested.
Happy Birthday!
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April

19 Abby McClain
22 Bob Reisinger, Thomas Wiles
24 Karen Dew
25 Tye Schellhorn
27 David Schwab
29 Jim Clarke

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First Presbyterian Church | Waterloo, IA | 319-233-6145 | www.1stpresby.org