Pastor Connection
April 12, 2020

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A Note from Pastor Amy
This Sunday, there will be no lilies. No choir will sing. The doors of the church will stay locked and the pews will sit empty. For many people the thought of not gathering in our sanctuary for Easter is surreal at best, and heartbreaking at worst. It will definitely be an Easter unlike I have ever imagined.

And yet, I keep remembering the angel's words to the women on that first Easter morning. “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen!"

We will miss worshiping in our church this Sunday, but the angels' words are a promise for us. Jesus is not confined inside the church's walls anymore than he was confined in a tomb. Jesus is alive and on the loose in our world, right now, bringing hope and joy in the midst of despair and pain.

That means Jesus can show up anywhere - in your living room during a time of prayer, or while you're taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of nature, or during a phone conversation with a friend, or through the compassion of a volunteer or health care professional.

Jesus is alive! That's what Easter is about - more than lilies and choirs and beautiful sanctuaries. Jesus is alive and brings you the promise of a new and abundant life. So, wherever you are this Sunday, take a moment and proclaim with joy and gratitude: "He is risen! He is risen indeed!"

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday. May the peace of Christ be with you all!

Pastor Amy
Share the Joy of Easter!
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This Sunday, share the joy of Easter by posting a message on our church's Facebook page. Write a post saying "He is risen!" or "Happy Easter!" You can also include a photo.

Be sure to check your email for the Easter Worship video!

Tune in to 93.5 The Mix on Sunday morning to hear a very brief Easter message from Pastor Amy and other pastors in the Cedar Valley.

Coloring for all ages! Download THIS free Alleluia poster. Color it and then tape it in your front window to share the joy of Easter with your neighbors!
Resources for
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter VIgil
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Holy Week Services Online Don't forget to check your email box for worship videos to celebrate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter.

Services for Home The Methodist Church has created several worship services with Scripture and prayer to worship at home. Click HERE to learn more about the Triduum and how to observe these three holy days.

Simpler Practices Leading to Easter Don't want a formal worship service at home? Check out THESE simple practices to remember the days leading to Easter. These are great for people of ALL ages.

For Families with Children During Holy Week, Spark House is posting daily activities on their  Facebook  and  Instagram  pages. Activities will include a game or craft that can be modified to what you may have at home. If you need supplies, let Stephanie know! She would be happy to drop off supplies at your door!

Videos for Families Stephanie will be sending videos to families for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter with a story and activity. Be sure to check you email!
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 .
Are you looking for ways to serve?
First, social distancing is a way of loving your neighbor! It is not just about protecting your self. Social distancing is about "flattening the curve." It takes into consideration the needs of doctors, nurses, those who are most vulnerable, and our larger society who has a multitude of health issues.

With that being, additional ways to love our neighbor might vary at this time, according to our own unique situations and abilities. But still, anyone can bring a little kindness into the world. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Consider writing encouraging messages or Bible verses on sidewalks or the path to your door to lift someone's spirit.
  • Post a thank you note on your mailbox to your postal worker.
  • Order take out from a local restaurant
  • Decorate your door with hearts and a greeting for friends as they walk by.
  • Are you feeling crafty? Consider making a fabric mask for health workers. There are lots of how to videos on YouTube or you can check out THIS article. Several people in our congregation are working on this project. You may call Jan Bellinger is you need more guidance. Please call the EOC at 319 291-4373 for information on how to drop masks off.
  • Visit the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley website. They list a wide range of opportunities through out our community.
  • Visit the Food Bank website. Food security is an important issue to our congregation. Even though our Sunday Supper ministry is suspended, you can still help those who might be hungry.
  • What else can you think of?
Zoom Coffee with Pastor Amy
Pastor Amy plans to hold a coffee via Zoom every Tuesday in the coming weeks. The next coffee is April April 14 at 9:00 a.m. All church members welcome. You will need a computer with a camera and microphone. Most newer computers have these features already built in. Click on this link.  https://zoom.us/j/419024066  Grab a cup of coffee and join in the fellowship.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
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For specific individuals with health issues:
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; 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 and all who work 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; Ruth Bowers, Rosewood; 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 and stay in
For all doctors, nurses, and health care professionals
 
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, and for the daily services offered jointly with the other area Presbyterian churches during Holy Week.

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

9 Diane Ernster, John Wiles
10 Nicky Newhoff
11 Jo Beaver, Brian Powell

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