Pastor Connection
June 4, 2020

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A Note from Pastor Amy
What a heartbreaking week. George Floyd's inexcusable death has brought a sense of deep lament to our country and world. Our black and brown brothers and sisters are hurting and sharing their stories of discrimination. Protesters are calling for change. At the same time, we are watching anarchists and opportunists (who are not the same as peaceful protesters) participate in acts of lawlessness, violence and destruction.

It is all enough to make a person want to turn off the TV and hide out in their house.

And yet, if we believe in Jesus' call to work for justice, we cannot turn our eyes away. As Christians, we are called to question the systems that continue to oppress some and privilege others. We cannot avoid the topic of racial injustice in our country just because it may lead us into uncomfortable territory. The same is true of the church.

As I was preparing to write this enote, a church member reminded me of a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. from his Letter from a Birmingham jail. He said,

" I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the...great stumbling block...toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice..."

I must confess that I all too often settle for a negative peace, merely an absence of tension. I avoid conflicts or wanting to make someone mad. I hesitate to enter tense conversation about politics or white privilege. How about you?

The truth is that if we want a lasting peace that includes justice, we must lean into the tension. We must enter into places that feel uncomfortable and lift our voice for those who are hurting and wronged.

Why must we? Because that's what Jesus did. We are quick to see Jesus as a comforter and giver of charity. But let's not forget that Jesus also turned over tables in the temple, spoke truth to government leaders, and organized a peaceful march of protest on Palm Sunday.

This Sunday, Pastor Pat is schedule to preach on Matthew 28:16-20, the Great Commission. Jesus sends his disciples out to preach a gospel message or hope, love, and justice. I hope and pray that we as a church lean into the tension and follow Jesus' call.

Peace,
Pastor Amy
Not too late to give to the Pentecost Offering!
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Last Sunday on Pentecost, Presbyterian around the country gave a special offering to support the next generation. A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps to encourage, develop, and support young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering retained by our congregation to make an impact in the lives of young people within our own community. The remaining 60% is used to support children-at-risk, youth, and young adults through ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

This year, our church will give 40% of the Pentecost offering to EMBARC. EMBARC helps support the refugee and immigrant community in Waterloo, which has been significantly affected by COVID-19. EMBARC is currently delivering food to families every week, who are quarantined. They are also delivering cleaning supplies and homework assignments to kids. Additionally, they are sending daily video recordings in 9 different languages about COVID - 19 symptoms and providing information regarding governors announcements, explaining what stay at home means, explaining changes in policies that affect resources, explaining resources to access and how to access them. They have developed a helpline with 10 different interpreters. They are also utilizing volunteers who are nurses to bridge the gap to needed health care.

EMBARC is helping families. Nurturing a healthy, positive home life is the best way to help children at risk during this challenging time. It's not too late to give to this offering! You may give online and designate your gift. You may also send a check to the church office with "Pentecost Offering" on the memo line. We will be accepting donations through July 7.
Honoring our Graduating Senior:
Mitchell Sage!
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To celebrate the graduation of Mitchell Sage, you are invited to participate in a card shower. Please send a card to Mitchell at 107 Alta Vista Ave., Waterloo, IA 50703. We will put all the cards together and deliver them to Mitchell. All cards are due by June 5.

ALSO, join in a car caravan to the Sage Farm, 4051 Burton Avenue, Waterloo THIS Saturday, June 6, at 2 p.m. We will meet in the Church parking lot at 1:45 and caravan from there to the Sage Farm. We will drive through the farm and honk. We will not stop and/or get out of our vehicles. Please make signs for your cars congratulating Mitch. If you wish to participate in the caravan, please call or text Jean Seeland at 319-493-2015. A rain date for the caravan will be Sunday, June 7 at 2p.m.

We hope to have a reception sometime in the future, but we will recognize Mitchell this way for now. Help us congratulate Mitch!
NEW Spiritual Resource for the Week
Compassionate Christianity THIS website features links to Featured Voices This Week, Community Resources, Photography, Music, and Books.
Zoom Coffee Hour
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! This is open to ALL church members.

Our next coffee hour will be Tuesday, June 9, at 9:00 a.m. Click this link to join. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88566321757
Online Giving Now 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
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New to the prayer list and updates:

Donna Beaver is recovering from surgery for carpal tunnel on her other hand.
For specific individuals:
Kason (Connie Leeper's daughter-in-law's nephew, recovering from a car accident; Rev. Gary Catterson, recovering from surgery at home; Steve Millier, Iowa City; Gerald Buls, home; Bob Cutsforth, who has been diagnosed with cancer; 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
teachers and students trying to adapt learning
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!
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June

4 Nancy Valentine
5 Jackson Bass, Marilyn Lottich
8 Judy Anders, Steve Cose
9 Shirley Sorensen
11 Dr. David Kabel, Doug Newhoff



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