Shenandoah District Connection
Signs of the Risen Christ
April 13, 2020
“... He has risen!... ” (Mark 16, 6).
From the Desk of District Executive Minister John Jantzi
During the best of times, the period after Easter can be a letdown. Holy Week is the Gospel in compressed form with all the attendant services and worship experiences. I vividly recall the sermons I preached immediately after Easter entitled, “What’s Next?”

During this time of COVID-19, that question is particularly pertinent. Conversations I have had with others indicate that fatigue and tiredness may well be our accompanying companions. We have spent much energy and time in maintaining connections. For some of us, that has meant learning new technologies. For all of us, it has meant relationships are being practiced much differently. How do we maintain a steadiness of spirit that undergirds our work during these next two months and beyond?

In that spirit, Daily Connection will focus on the theme “Signs of the Risen Christ” during the next three weeks. The format will be simple with a Call to Worship, Meditation and Prayer. We will continue to call upon a variety of District leaders to participate in the writing and formation of this connection.

May the richness of God’s mercy and grace be ours.

John Jantzi
Shenandoah District
Executive Minister
Call to Worship and Prayer
The Lord harkens to our call, listening to our pleas and hearing our prayers!

We will praise God who gives rest to our souls!

In the courts of the house of the LORD, in the presence of all God’s people,
we acknowledge our faith.

We will call on the Lord as long as we live!

We are your servant, O God; you have loosed our bonds!

We will offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving!

How shall we repay the Lord for all we have been given?

We will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord!

Source:
Meditation
We have an advantage over the early disciples and followers of Jesus. We know how Holy Week ended. We relive that week together in our worship and practice of our faith and confess together on Easter Sunday that Christ rose from the dead.

For the early disciples, this was not the case. They did not know how this phase of the story was to end. For these folks to believe that Jesus would appear after the crucifixion required an almost impossible exercise of faith. The cross and death of Christ seemed like the end of the story.

All Gospel accounts of the resurrection story register the mixture of surprise, joy and fear that greeted the empty tomb. Even though Jesus had told them this was to be the case, to claim that promise with certainty stretched the bounds of credulity.

Here is where our story and the early disciples' story intersect once more. Great joy was expressed, but still, the question lingered, “what’s next?” These early followers were no more certain of that question than we are during our current dilemma. The few accounts of Jesus' interaction with his followers subsequent to the resurrection reveals that question asked in a variety of ways. What’s next, they asked with a mixture of doubt and hope.

The Gospel of Mark records the young man sitting at the tomb saying these words, “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you” ( Mark 16:6-7, NIV).

“He is going ahead of you into Galilee.” Let’s pause and reflect... We count and confess on Jesus’ continuing and steadfast presence with us. He is here, and he is present. Yet the Gospel story tells us of a Jesus who is out of our grasp, who is always ahead of us. Whose purposes and calling are over the horizon. We need to travel to Galilee to find Jesus.

As we ask the “what’s next” question, let’s remember this: Jesus is not simply standing still with us. He is moving ahead of us, calling us to travel with him. Our task is to discern together where Jesus is going. May we have the courage and persistence to engage with faith and joy “what’s next.”

John Jantzi
Shenandoah District
Executive Minister
Benediction
Christ has brought us together:
together in faith, together in hope, together in love.
We have gathered together to be sent out again:
sent out with the welcome message of God’s love!
We go forth together,
to be living testimonies of Christ’s love!

Source:
Sources:
Call to Worship - Ministry Matters: https://www.ministrymatters.com/worship/entry/4936/worship-elements-april-26-2020
Benediction - Ministry Matters: https://www.ministrymatters.com/worship/entry/4936/worship-elements-april-26-2020
Holy Bible, New International Version, 2 011 by  Biblica, Inc.® .
Churches with Alternative or Online Services
Many Shenandoah District churches are streaming services online during this time of time of quarantine and social distancing. Some churches are posting on their church websites, some are broadcasting through Facebook and others are using meeting software such as Zoom . Be sure to download the application needed to view services in the format the specific church is utilizing prior to service times, where applicable.

The following congregations have online access to services:
Antioch  | 8:30 a.m. Sundays | Bible Study
Barren Ridge  | 11 a.m. Sundays | Bible Study
Beaver Creek  | 11 a.m. Sundays
Blue Ridge Chapel | 10:30 a.m. Sundays (check weekly for link) | Bible Study
Bridgewater | 11 a.m. Sundays
Briery Branch | Noon Sundays
Calvary  DVDs will be made available for members upon request.
Cedar Run | 11 a.m. Sundays
Community Mission | 10 a.m. Sundays Drive-in Worship Service by PA system.
Crab Run-Damascus on Facebook
Fairview Endless Caverns | 11 a.m. Sundays
Forest Chapel  | 10:50 Sundays; Bible Study | 7 p.m. Thursdays
Harrisonburg First  | 10:30 a.m. Sundays or on  Facebook
Leake’s Chapel  | 10 a.m. Sundays and on  Facebook
Linville Creek | Links to private YouTube broadcasts provided by email weekly. Contact Pastor Nathan Hollenberg to receive links.
Madison | 11 a.m. Sundays on Zoom. Contact Pastor Ed Morris for the Zoom meeting number to enter the worship service
Middle River | 6 p.m. Sundays
Mill Creek   | 10 a.m. on Sundays
Mountain Grove Fulks Run | 11 a.m. Sundays; remain in cars for the service and hear message via PA system.
Mt Olivet | on YouTube.com
Mt Zion-Linville  | 9:45 a.m. Sundays
Oak Hill | 11 a.m. Sundays
Pleasant View-Mt. Jackson  |Daily posts on Facebook | Bible Study on Zoom      
Salem | 11 a.m. Sundays
Staunton  and or on  website
Stone  | 10:45 a.m. Sundays
Summit  and on  Facebook
Valley Pike | 11 a.m. Sundays and on Facebook
Wakemans Grove  | 11 a.m. Sundays
White Hill  | 10:45 a.m. Sundays

These are the congregations who have submitted information thus far. If your congregation wishes to be included, e-mail your info to John Jantzi at the District Office at  johnjantzi@shencob.org .
If you have questions about the Daily Connection, contact:
Director of Communications
Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren
P.O. Box 67
Weyers Cave, Va. 24486
(540) 234-8555
www.shencob.org
Today's photo by B. Diehl
(Graphics courtesy of pixabay.com, unless otherwise stated)