January 7, 2021
My plan was to use this space to talk to you about some of what is coming up around church. And then yesterday afternoon unfolded. I dare say the images that we have witnessed on our screens over the last 24-hours are troubling to us all – both as Americans and as Christians. Yesterday was a historic day for all the wrong reasons.

My purpose then in writing now is not to offer additional analysis or prognostication but rather to encourage us once more to simply remember our callings as followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus knew divided times. His world was full of just as many disturbing images as ours. And yet his call was steadfast and clear: Love God and love your neighbor.

To follow Jesus – especially in times such as these – is to strive for peace, unity, reconciliation, and love. When the world shouts, “Fear!”, we are called to respond, “Peace.” That is the way of Jesus. I do not know how else to put it. Now more than ever we must strive to embody that message for ourselves, our community, our nation, and our world.

While I do not pretend to know how to successfully bridge the full span of division that plagues our society today, I do at least know where the work of healing those divides begins. It begins with you. It begins with us. It begins with lives committed to following the Prince of Peace. Indeed, the only glue strong enough to bind us together in perfect unity are people who, in the words of the author of Colossians, are made alive solely in Christ – individuals who literally wake up each day and choose to wear the wardrobe God has set out for each of us:

"As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." -Colossians 3:12-14

Please join me in praying for our nation, our President, our President-elect, our congressmen and women, our first responders, and each other. And if you sometimes struggle like me to find the right words to pray, I am including below a prayer from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship that I hope might help.

You can also find information below about other things happening in the life of our church. Please remember that this Sunday we will have a congregational meeting to present for vote the slate of church officers as well as pastor’s terms of call for this year. Voting will be done electronically and will be open for two days to allow time for as many people to participate as possible. Look out for a separate email with more details.

Know that your pastors are always available if you need to talk or pray. God bless and keep you all. See you Sunday if not before. And until then: Wear love.

Peace,
Rev. Alan Dyer
Pastor
Prayer During A National Crisis
Book of Common Worship (PCUSA)

God of ages,
in your sight nations rise and fall,
and pass through times of peril.
Now when our land is troubled,
be near to judge and save.
May leaders be led by your wisdom;
may they search your will and see it clearly.
If we have turned from your way,
help us to reverse our ways and repent.
Give us your light and your truth to guide us; through Jesus Christ,
who is Lord of this world, and our Savior. Amen.
Congregational Meeting
Sunday, January 10 @ 4:30P via Zoom
Session has called a congregational meeting for this Sunday, January 10 at 4:30P for the purposes of receiving and voting on the pastors terms of call as well as nominees for Deacons, Elders, Trustee, and the 2021 congregational nominating committee. This brief meeting will take place via Zoom and will also be available for viewing on Facebook. Voting will take place electronically or by phone and will remain open from the time of the meeting through Tuesday, January 12 @ 4P to allow for as many members as possible to participate. A reminder email and link will be sent out to the congregation on Sunday afternoon. This is our first attempt at holding an online congregational meeting so we appreciate your patience and flexibility!
Upcoming Events
Sunday Worship
January 3, 2021
Stewardship Update

A Note From The Stewardship Committee

As a quick update on the success of the 2021 Stewardship Campaign, we want to share good news and heartfelt thanks for the Christian love and benevolence of our amazing congregation. We are happy to report that as of January 5, 2021, we have received 167 pledges totally $848,108.00 which represents 78% of the overall mission budget of $1,100,000

This is truly an amazing accomplishment given the challenges we faced in 2020 yet, not surprising given all of the ways in which we demonstrated that WE ARE, indeed, THE CHURCH ! 

Gratefully,
SSPC Stewardship Committee
Brenda (chair) and Buddy Jones, Nancy and John Matthews, Mary Margaret and Jeff Shiver, Denise and Sean Hidalgo
Musical Notes
MUSICAL NOTES
Throughout the month of January, musical offerings will be in smaller groups or with soloists. We want to make sure that we are as careful as we can be during a time of increase in cases of the virus. We were blessed within our groups that there hasn’t been a report of exposure or illness during the Christmas season. For this week, Ann Nermoe and I will sing “Down to the River to Pray” for the Baptism of the Lord Sunday. Join us as a congregation by singing the introit – Take Me to the Water – hymn #480, an African American Spiritual. Our hymn for Sunday is a familiar tune but with different words about baptism. This hymn tune, BEACH SPRING, is set with many different words and subjects, but you may know it best as “Come, Ye Sinners poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore….” It is number 490 in the hymn book – Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters.
The Island Concert Association’s February Festival is still happening this year! Here is the text of the letter that I sent out with the brochure shortly before Thanksgiving. Thanks so much for your response so far that has been overwhelmingly positive! All concerts will be available beginning February 2 at 7:00 pm. http://www.islandconcertassociation.org is where you can find the link closer to that date. All concerts are free and open to the public online, but you can help support this effort by joining the association at the same website. There are also brochures at the church to pick up as well. I can also mail you one if you didn't receive one when we mailed out before Thanksgiving. Just contact Suzanne Morrison, President, or myself with the request.
Dear Friends of Music,
There are many things to be thankful for even in the midst of a terrible pandemic. One of those things is the human attribute of creativity. Worldwide, musicians have come up with a myriad of ways to present their art. The Metropolitan Opera, Broadway theatres, community theatres, and concert series are among the many venues and programs shut down for safety of their performers and patrons. However, with tenaciousness, absolute confidence, and success many organizations are offering online concerts.
Island Concert Association is happy to present our 2021 February Festival “From Home to Home” concerts for your enjoyment. Reggie Bahl, our incredible NYC based agent, has chosen (with the board’s approval) four groups of musicians that are not only tech-savvy but very talented and entertaining. From Boston, Massachusetts – Violinist Daniel Kurganov and Pianist Constantine Finehouse. From Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Mary Bowden Dash, trumpet and director of Seraph Brass, is back with her husband David Dash and pianist Polina Khatsko. From Dallas, Texas - Emily Levin, Harpist from the 2018 season pairs with flutist Ebonee Thomas. Lastly, from New York City, New York – World Music Group Arkai Duo - Violinist Jonathan Miron, Cellist Philip Sheegog, and Percussionist Jeremy Smith bring an exciting close to the season.
How do you watch the concerts? Our website will have a link that you will click each Tuesday @ 7:00 pm. Each week, we will release a new concert. All of these concerts will remain on the website through March 2021 for your viewing enjoyment. You can even wait until the end of the month and “binge” the whole series! Make sure you include your email address so we can send you a reminder and a link.
So, have a socially distant “watch party” at your home on Tuesday evenings or watch in your PJs in bed or dressed to the nines with an open bottle of champagne. Because all of our concerts are still free and open to the public, please share the link with your friends and neighbors.
Your membership or sponsorship enables us to present concerts of this caliber year after year and this year is no exception. You may use this brochure to donate by mail or use our Paypal link on the website to send your donation. Very little is spent on administrative costs and there will be no travel or lodging expenses, so your donation will go directly to the artists who are very much in need of work. It will be a different kind of series for sure, but one that we hope you will support. I will miss the packed house and thunderous applause, but I hope to hear about standing ovations, loud shouts of “BRAVO,” and applause in your homes as you safely shelter.
Because Music Matters.

Sincerely,
Rhonda Hambright, Artistic Director
The Week Ahead
Sunday, January 10
8:30 am Live Stream Worship - Online
9:00 am Combined Sunday School - Zoom
9:00 am Britt Class - Online
10:30 am Outdoor Worship - Frederica Academy
4:30 pm Congregational Meeting - Zoom

Monday, January 11
6:30 am Ladies of the Night - Zoom

TuesdayJanuary 12
9:30 am Staff Meeting - Zoom
10:30 am One-derful Morning Glories Circle - Online
12:00 pm Lunch Bunch - Online

Wednesday, January 13
10:00 am Men’s Bible Study - Zoom
7:00 pm Chancel Ringers - Social Hall

Thursday, January 14
10:00 am Ladies Bible Study - 218 Kings Way
10:00 am Grief Group - Upper Room

Friday, January 15
No activities Scheduled for This Day
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