Shenandoah District Connection
Signs of the Risen Christ
May 1, 2020
"...he leads me beside quiet waters,  
    he refreshes my soul..." (Psalm 23:2b-3a)
Call to Worship
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Jeremiah 31:33).

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:5-12).
From the Desk of District Executive Minister John Jantzi
It has been six weeks since we published the first Daily Connection. During those six weeks, we published every weekday as well as 19 Pastor’s Alerts. We had no idea how this would develop when we began. We were and are guided by the conviction that we need to stay “connected” to each other during this time of social isolation. It has been all joy in being able to communicate with you in this manner.

And on the seventh day, God rested…We believe it beneficial to take a break from publishing on this the seventh week! This provides us with a chance to renew, deepen the creative flow, and refocus for the next phase of the Daily Connection. This next week (week of May 3-8), we will continue to publish the Pastor’s Alerts as needed. Plans are to resume publication of the Daily Connection on Monday, May 11.

I wish to take this opportunity to express deep gratitude to the District Office staff for their continuing robust and creative work in producing the Daily Connection. Brenda Diehl, Director of Communication, works from home and has since March 16. Sarah Long, Office Manager, keeps an office schedule, which enables her to assist in the production of the communication. I cannot imagine a finer staff.

As we approach Pentecost, the theme “Wind of the Spirit” is much on my mind. It is becoming apparent that this will not be a simple adjustment and then everything returning to normal. I believe the COVID-19 crisis is necessitating a fundamental reset that needs to be discerned and listened to carefully.

The following are some “Winds of the Spirit” questions that I ponder.
  1. What does this say about the structure of our life together? How will this look, and what are we learning?
  2. What is the spiritual reshaping that God is doing, and how are we listening to that voice that calls us to the remaking of our inner life?
  3. What is this revealing about the nature and character of our American way of life? How are Christians called to relate to what is being revealed?
  4. What are we learning about how we treat each other and the value of relationships?
  5. One of the unexpected happenings that congregations have reported is the re-engagement of people who had lost interest in church life. Not only a re-engagement but, for some, a first-time engagement. What are we learning through this interest, and how do we keep engaging those folks?
  6. In a similar vein, there are many pastors and congregational leaders who have become conversant, through necessity, with social media platforms and technology. What role will this continue to play?
  7. What are we learning about the kind of leadership that is necessary to guide us into the future? What kinds of character traits are essential?
  8. How do we “do church” when the economic landscape is changing? Already, before COVID-19, the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” was widening. The middle class has been under duress for years. What does church look like in this kind of economic milieu?
  9. Other?

The Wind of the Spirit. After Pentecost, nothing was ever the same. May we allow the Holy Spirit of God to remake us, so we are also able to say the following words with confidence and faith. We are and cannot be the same. 
Benediction
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26
Attributions
Today's Content
submitted by:
John Jantzi
District Executive Minister
Sh enandoah District

Sources:
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by  Biblica, Inc.®

Today's photo courtesy of Marty Barlow
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
(Graphics courtesy of pixabay.com, unless otherwise stated)