Pastor Connection
June 25th, 2020
A Note From Pastor Amy
I love passing the peace during worship. I look forward to the chance to shake someone's hand, look them in the eye, and exchange the words "May the peace of Christ be with you." The message always comes after we confess our sin and hear the words of assurance about God's love and grace. In passing the peace, we remind ourselves that the promise of grace is also found when encountering one another. We remind each other of God's love and faithfulness found in the community of Christians. When we pass the peace, we express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It's one of the things I have missed about worship during this time. I grieve that we can't shake hands in the familiar way each week. Plus, I grieve that we won't be able to shake hands when we meet for in-person worship outside on July 5. It will be good to gather together again in just a couple of weeks, but there are several elements from our normal service that will be missing or feel very different. I will be sending out more instructions and details so that people are prepared with realistic expectations. It is ok to miss those things and even grieve the things that we can't do quite yet. 

But, I've been thinking about the idea of passing the peace as we prepare for July 5. Perhaps, we can still express our solidarity as brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps, we can still remind each other of the love and grace we find in Jesus. 

Will you try an idea with me?

If you are planning to worship with us in-person on July 5, will you please make a sign to hold up during passing of the peace? The sign can be made of cardboard or just a simple piece of paper. Before you come, write an encouraging message. It could be something like "God loves you" or "Peace be with you" or "I'm praying for you" or "God is good!" Think of an encouraging message to share. After the time of confession and words of assurance during the service, we can hold up our signs for one another to read. We might not be able to shake hands or speak the words to one another, but we can still send a message of encouragement, grace, and love. 

I hope that each of you finds moments of peace in the coming days. I also hope that you are able to pass the peace of Jesus to the people you encounter each day through an encouraging phone call, note, or encounter. I look forward to passing the peace of Christ to each to you when we meet again.

May the peace of Christ be with you,
Pastor Amy

Plan for In-Person Worship and Opening the Building
Hopefully, you already read the letter from Pastor Amy regarding our church's phased plan for in-person worship and reopening the building to the public. You may still read the plan HERE . Our first in-person worship outside will be  July 5 at 9:00 . Please bring your lawn chairs for a time of worship together on the lawn. We understand if there are those who are still unable to gather in-person. Everyone has unique needs, health concerns, abilities, and desires. Online worship will continue to be available during this time.

Spiritual Resources for This Week
Online Conference on Justice  The Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ is offering a series of three webinars on the theme of “Justice Talk to Justice Walk: Building Awareness, Strengthening Our Resolve.” The first program will be led by The Reverend Traci Blackman, Associate General Minister of the United Church of Christ, on Tuesday, June 30, from 7:00-8:30 pm.  Register HERE .  Additional speakers will follow in July and August.  

Our Daily Bread Devotional  comes from Canada. There is a daily podcast of about five minutes, with written text included if you prefer to read rather than listen.  Each day focuses on a different scripture text. Questions are included for personal reflection on the day’s text. See   

New Sermon Series
Unraveled, Seeking God When Our Plans Fall Apart
Preaching Schedule
June 14  JEREMIAH 29:1-7   || Plant Gardens & Build Houses 
June 21  2 SAMUEL 3:7; 21:1-14   ||  Rizpah Mourns Her Sons
June 28  LUKE 19:1-10   ||  Zacchaeus the Wealthy Tax Collector
July 5  EXODUS 5:1-2; 7:8-23   ||  Pharaoh Hardens His Heart
July 12  MATTHEW 14:22-33   ||  Peter Sinks in the Water
July 19  ACTS 9:1-20   ||  The Conversion of Saul to Paul  
July 26  GENESIS 18:1-15; 21:1-7   ||  Sarah Laughs  
Aug 2  JOHN 4:1-29   ||  The Samaritan Woman at the Well 
Aug 9  EXODUS 1:22, 2:1-10   ||  Moses’ Mother Gives Moses Up
Aug 16  MARK 5:1-20   ||  Jesus Heals Legion, a Man Possessed by Demons 
Aug 23  JOB 28:12-28   ||  Job’s Lament and Loss
Aug 30  JOHN 20:19-29   ||  Doubting Thomas
Zoom Bible Study

This group will study the upcoming sermon text together to prepare for worship, share our own insights, and gain a better understanding of Scripture. This is open to ALL church members.  Be sure to grab your Bible and join us!

Our next coffee hour will be Tuesday, June 30th, at 9:00 a.m. Click this link to join.
Online Giving Available
Thank you to all those who are continuing to faithfully give their pledges and offerings to the church. In an attempt to make giving easier during this time, we have initiated online giving to our church through the Presbyterian Foundation. Click on the button below to set up on account for continual giving. You may also give a one time gift. You may also continue to mail checks to the church. Please call Kelley if you have questions.

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
With our sympathy:
We pray for Bob Cutsforth and family upon the death of his mother, Esther.

New to the prayer list and updates:
Steve Miller has begun physical therapy back in Waterloo.

Gerald Buls, who just received a diagnosis of cancer of the lymph nodes.

For specific individuals:
Donna Beaver is recovering from surgery for carpal tunnel on her other hand; Jo Beaver is recovering from knee surgery, prayers of safety for Lorraine Baker's nephew and Barbara Benksin's son, who are both truckers; Kason (Connie Leeper's daughter-in-law's nephew, recovering from a car accident; Rev. Gary Catterson, recovering from surgery at home; Bob Cutsforth, who is undergoing cancer treatment; The Platts' friends in Venezuela who are struggling with food and other resources; Karen Dew's cousins, Sherry and Holly, who have been affected by COVID-19, Joe Fernau (Marie's son), who started treatments for lymphoma; 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; Jan and Dean Bellinger's daughters and granddaughters who are serving in hospitals and nursing care facilities; 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

Broader prayer concerns from the congregation:
that justice and lasting peace will come to our nation
leaders in all areas who are making decisions for people's well-being
all those living and working in nursing homes, assisted living, and retirement communities
workers at Tyson's
that all will stay well
all doctors, nurses, and health care providers along with their families
all those who are essential workers
those who are strictly quarantined for a variety of reasons

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!
25 Olive Whyte
26 Barbara Young
28 Kevynne Wimberley
30 Theresa Braby

1 George Day
6 Elliot Whyte

First Presbyterian Church | Waterloo, IA | 319-233-6145 |