Shenandoah District Connection
Wind of the Spirit,
What Does This Mean?
May 27, 2020
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing (Matthew 23:37, NIV).
From the Desk of District Executive Minister John Jantzi

This meditation is another in the series of reflections leading up to Pentecost Sunday. The theme is taken from  Acts 2:12,  where the question was asked, “what does this mean,” by those who observed the coming of the Holy Spirit. The coming reflections will include a variety of folk throughout the District.

Individuals and pastors have requested the District put together a concise list of best practices for congregational worship and potential reopening of congregations. A committee has been established comprised of doctors and a pastoral representative, along with the District Executive and legal counsel, to create such a document. This document will draw from and respect established guidelines and procedures. This best practice document will be reviewed by additional groups of people prior to its release for congregational use. We will publish these guidelines, along with explanation and overview, this Friday, May 29th in the Daily Connection.

For this next period we have revised the publishing schedule to allow District Office staff time to assist in the construction of a new website. The revised schedule will be published June 1st in the Daily Connection.
Call to Worship
This morning, God, we want everything to be for your glory. We want our thoughts, our words, our songs, our church, our community, our resources, our time, our lives-- all to be for you. Everything ours is yours. Bless our work and activity today with your holy presence, Amen.

Gathering Chickens
We decided that the stay at home orders caused by the pandemic was a great time to expand our flock - literally. Early in April, the Post Office called to tell us they had a box of live chicks for us to come and claim. As our 21 new chicks busied themselves with the business of growing into chickens, some of the children and I busied ourselves with building a spiffy new coop for them to move into.
My wife and I both raised chickens when we were growing up. State of the art chicken containment systems of that time were regular old wire poultry netting. Today the latest tech for keeping hens in, and predators out, is electrified poultry netting. With unpleasant memories of working with the old wire kind, I was excited to order a starter kit of the cool, new, electrified stuff.
When the kit arrived, we took it outside, pushed the stakes into the ground, hooked up our fancy new energizer, and used the included tester to confirm that 4000 raccoon, coyote, and stray dog-discouraging volts were pulsing through the lines. Then, we brought all 21 half-grown chickens out and turned them loose in their new enclosure for a little warm-up field trip before their permanent move outside. 
After watching them run around and stretch their wings, I stepped into the nearby shop to cut some more lumber for the not yet finished chicken coop.
For some reason, half-grown chicks have a definite flight reaction to the sound of a table saw tearing through a 2x4. As soon as the table saw started, and the blade hit the wood, 21 chickens ran right through the spiffy new poultry netting. Those 4,000 volts elicited some squawks from the fleeing fowl but didn’t slow them down much.
Now 21 chickens, fleeing the phantom menace of the terrible table saw, were outside the net, at the mercy of every skunk, weasel, coyote, raccoon, stray dog, or other predator on the prowl for an easy, unprotected chicken dinner. We had to chase chickens all over the yard as they ran, dodged, ducked, protested loudly, and did everything they could to avoid being caught.
Do you, like me, find yourself frequently acting like a chicken? Something noisy comes boiling into my life and my reaction is often to run right through God’s protective net. Then I run around in a panic, avoiding being “caught” by the God who is trying to rescue me.
Sheep (like you and me) have a lot in common with chickens. We belong inside God’s enclosure, safe from the prowling lion seeking to destroy us. When we find ourselves on the wrong side of the fence (or the net), often we hide, just like Adam and Eve, trying to avoid the One who is seeking us.
And yet, he seeks us still - calling us to return - to come back to the flock; to live under the protection and care of the Master.
God our Provider, we face this day needing you in different ways. Some of us need strength because we are facing a big challenge. Some of us need hope, because we feel like giving up. Some of us need love because we are feeling alone. We trust that you will provide for us, whether through words or music, or in a quiet moment of reflection. God our Provider, we face this day needing you in different ways.

In Our Prayers
We remember the family of Round Hill Church of the Brethren Pastor Bev and Ricky Funkhouser in the loss of Bev's brother, Frank Feher, last week.

We continue to pray for Tim Sites during his continued hospitalization. Tim is interim pastor at Leake’s Chapel.

Prayers also continue for Jack Haddock, pastor of Trinity, as he recovers at home from a recent hospitalization.

Prayers for Dot Mellott continue, as well. She is hospitalized at Martha Jefferson. Dot is interim pastor at Waynesboro Church of the Brethren.
Releases from AC Moderator Paul Mundey
Today's Meditation submitted by:
Jonathan Brush
Member, Lebanon Church of the Brethren
Former member of the District Discernment Team

Call to Worship and Benediction submitted by:
Shenandoah District Executive Minister

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Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren
P.O. Box 67
Weyers Cave, Va. 24486
(540) 234-8555
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