"... Now show me your glory. " Ex. 33:18b
Shenandoah District
Daily Connection
March 17, 2020
Resources for Leaders
March 14 Governor Justice’s Guidance on School Closures
Brethren Disaster Ministries Resources for Coronavirus Response
March 17 Governor Northam's Statement Regarding Virginia's Response to COVID-19
From the Desk of District Executive Minister John Jantzi
Of real concern is the possibility of congregations and individuals becoming isolated by circumstances and mandates. In order to assist with this issue, the following individuals have consented to be part of the District’s “connecting” strategy.

1. Jan Orndorff - Sugar Grove
2. George Bowers - Antioch
3. Nancy Scott - Smith Creek/Friends Run
4. Frank Tusing - Damascus/Crab Run
5. David Miller - Montezuma
6. Jon Prater - Mt. Zion-Linville
7. Bob Johnson - Middle River
8. Johnny Hawkins - Cedar Grove/Ruckersville
9. Duane Painter - Newport

The Connecting group's function is to be eyes and ears for needs and prayer concerns that are present in neighboring congregations and surrounding communities.

Congregational Care Team members will be in contact with these individuals to gather/compile needs and requests and, in turn, work with the District Office to make the needs known. In addition, the Congregational Care Team will stay in touch with individual congregations as needs arise.
CCT MEMBER

Bruce Bowman
Dot Mellott
Tim Craver S
Kathleen Michael
Jonathan Fletcher
Galen Combs
SECTION

Southern Section
Eastern Section
Southern Section
Central Section
Northern Section
Southern Section
Connected

Frank Tusing and Nancy Scott
Johnny Hawkins
Bob Johnson
David Miller and Jon Prater
Jan Orndorff and George Bowers
Duane Painter
Serving Christ Together in Hope and Expectancy,

John Jantzi
Shenandoah District Executive Minister
A Meditation for the Times:
HOW MUCH DOES GOD WEIGH?

I wish to reflect on a passage of scripture that I have preached in some of your congregations. This as one of my favorite passages.

The story is told in Exodus 33 and is the account of one of many encounters between Moses and God. Moses, throughout Exodus, is continually doubting his call. Exodus 3-7 is a running commentary of God’s attempt to convince Moses that he was worthy and capable of performing what God asked him to do. Indeed, one way of viewing the book of Exodus is through the lens of Moses doubt and God’s persistence.
This pattern continues in Exodus 33. Many events transpired leading up to this moment. Deliverance was granted from the Egyptians, manna and quail became staples for food, water was provided, guidance was present in the daytime and in the darkness and yet…one more time.

Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" 17And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." 18Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory (Exodus 33:15-18, NIV )." I don’t believe Moses had any idea of what he was asking in wishing to see God’s glory.

The word glory is a complex and rich study in the Old Testament. It is transliterated kabod or kabowd and can mean heaviness, substance or weight. In Genesis 31:1 we find the Hebrew word for glory used in relation to Jacob’s wealth. The word for glory (kabod) is translated “wealth” in the NIV and glory in the ASV. In other words, Jacob’s “weight or substance” was derived from his wealth.

In Genesis 45:13, we have a similar play on words. Joseph is speaking with his brothers and reassuring them of his good intentions. He told his brothers to speak of his father of the “honor” garnered in Egypt. (NIV) The ASV translates the word honor as “glory.” Glory, for Joseph, was a result of his political success/power (honor) in Egypt.

One lens to look at Moses' question to God is, “Show me your substance, your weight.” How shall we understand the stuff that comprises your character? How much do you weigh?

Here is God’s response. “And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:19-20, NIV).

A rich and textured passage. How is God’s substance measured? In mercy and compassion. How much does God weigh? “You cannot see my face and live.”

The story concludes with Moses going up on Mt. Sinai and coming down with a radiant face (Exodus 34:33-35). What happened? Moses' face was too bright for the Hebrews to gaze upon. Reflected glory…

There are a promise and a challenge contained in this passage. The incredible promise is this: God’s mercy and compassion are so weighty and all-encompassing; we cannot even begin to understand its depth and breadth. We cannot look upon it and survive. When we think God’s mercy must be in short supply, and God’s compassion withering on the vine, we have not even begun to scratch the surface. These promises outlive and outlast all circumstances of our living.

The challenge for us is this: What will our neighbors say about our weight during this time of struggle? In what manner will we be weighed? When we are weighed upon the scales of living, will the needle of the scales land next to mercy and goodness?

Oh God of infinite mercy and goodness
We give you praise and thanks
Your goodness is everlasting and overwhelming
Oh God of infinite mercy and goodness
We confess our limitations of mind and spirit
We too often settle for a pale imitation of your generosity
Oh God of infinite mercy and goodness
Stir our hearts we pray
Move us beyond our fears and protectiveness to “weighty” living
Oh God of infinite mercy and goodness
Lord, listen to Your children praying, Lord, send Your spirit in this place; Lord, listen to Your children praying, Send us love, send us pow'r, send us grace!

Amen
Blessings to all,

District Executive Minister
John Jantzi
IDEAS AND IMAGININGS:

Ways to care for each of our most vulnerable folk
  1. Create a list of folks with limited mobility and access. Make sure these lists contain primary ways of contacting the individuals. 
  2. Create a phone tree and card tree for folks who with limited access.
  3. Check with local government and law enforcement officials regarding neighborhood needs.
  4. Review deacon funds and outreach funds to ensure resources are available to those who may need assistance.
  5. Schedule pastors or deacon time when individuals can talk about specific areas of concern. This via phone or available means of communication.
  6. Activate and utilize prayer chains
  7. Other
Kevin Daggett and John Jantzi

Sabbath rest and self-care 
  1. Tune in to churches who are going on-line with their worship services.
  2. Read one of the gospels in one sitting.
  3. Have an extended time of prayer and praise.
  4. Have a family hymn sing around the piano.
  5. Find a quiet spot in nature and enjoy a time of praise and meditation.
  6. Cultivate spiritual practices that we may have been neglecting.
  7. Spend extra time praying for people to come to know Jesus.
  8. Spend extra time praying about whatever’s on your mind or just praising God.
  9. Spend extra time praying for your church, your family, and your government leaders.
Jan Orndorff and George Bowers

Ideas in Motion

Zoom call with video and audio-only capabilities
Zoom call, which has both video and audio-only capabilities. If you are a pastor and would like to connect with your colleagues in this manner, e-mail or call the District Office.

Live streaming/Facebook/YouTube
We ask congregations/leadership to send in their congregational links to on-line worship services. Please send them to John Jantzi at the District Office.

We will list those links in the following Daily Connections. If you or your congregation wishes to access a COB District worship service, you will have access. 

Online Giving Options
We ask those congregations who have on-line giving options to share that information with the District Office. We will then create a section of options for congregations who may be thinking about going this route.

Office of Ministry
The Office of Ministry is planning to offer a webinar for pastors next week focused on sharing innovative ideas among ourselves for planning for alternative worship services during Holy Week, for example, creative responses for Love Feast planning, etc.  Stay tuned for details.