July 17, 2020
Dear Prairie Avenue Family,
Last week, thanks to the severe weather rolling through on Saturday evening, we held church out on the parking lot. The building lost, then regained, then lost about 7:10 am power, which was restored at 9:45. Prairie Avenue probably has not have an outdoor service since before World War II, and for our gathered participants, it was an unique worship experience!
Speaking of participation, thank you for joining us whether through our online resources or in-person worship at 9 am on Sunday. Many have reached out to keep me informed about how they are dealing with our COVID-19 reality. Several have chosen to continue to restrict their gatherings and remain at home. Others are waiting for the return to the sanctuary, which will happen next Sunday, July 26 at 9 am. Whether we see you very soon or in a few months, or after some time, the welcome will always be extended to you!
We will continue to remain cautious and keep updated on COVID-19 risk mitigation. In preparation for our sanctuary worship return, we have disinfected all cushions of the available pews, placed "stop" and "go" signs to maintain social distancing while gathered, and removed all hymnals, papers, and pencils from pew pockets. You may drop your offering in the basket placed inside the sanctuary, and the sealed communion elements will be able to be picked up. We will open windows in the balcony to give our air conditioning units some fresh air exchange rather than recirculating building air. We encourage masks when entering and departing from your pew, but you can remove them once you are seated. Unfortunately, since group singing is still a high transmission risk activity, we will refrain from vocals, but you can speak the words as they will appear on the TV screen.
I hope I do not need to remind you that if you are experiencing symptoms, please stay home. Please check your temperature before coming to worship.
Worship This Weekend
We continue our summer series
Family Reunion: Lessons from Genesis.
This Saturday at 5 pm
, or Sunday at 9 am we
will find Jacob's dream-vision encounter with God. At this point in the story, we know a lot about Jacob's past, and we may have decided that we do not like him very much. Let's face it, he is not a very nice guy. He is grasping and scheming. His very name means "Grabber"; he is so named because he came out of the womb grabbing onto the heel of his twin brother Esau. He and his mother tricked his father into giving him the blessing of the family, and when his brother found out about it, Jacob ran in fear. If anything, we may find ourselves wishing that the birthright had gone to the foolish but more likable Esau.
In spite of his well-established faults and schemes, God reaches out to Jacob. In a startling dream-vision, God reveals not only acceptance of Jacob, but also gives him covenant promise! God will partner with this scheming negotiator.
The lesson is simple. God's grace is not contingent on our deserving. God's love is not conditional. God's covenant does not have any fine print. God loves us and will never stop working on us to become more faithful and loving members of God's family.
Other News This Week
The Dove, Inc. Children's Clothing Room resumed operations on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 3:30 pm. They are limiting the number of clients to one person at a time in the room with one volunteer offering assistance.
Adopt-A-Street Clean-up this Saturday:
Before the heat really cranks to advisory status, we will gather with masks and litter-getters to get Prairie Avenue's yard and boulevard responsibilities completed. We will begin at 9 am
Pastoral Support Group, Monday, July 20, 7 pm:
This group will meet in the Golden Circle Room.
Celebrating 50 years of Dove, Inc.
On July 7, 1970, Ray Batman stepped into his office next to the boiler room of First Christian Church on Church Street to begin as executive director of a new social agency, Disciples On Volunteer Enlistment. Prairie Avenue Christian Church was one of seven "founding" congregations to establish the agency, and our facilities have held meetings, fundraisers, and our membership has provided both physical and financial support for many years. We celebrate our relationship to such a life-giving organization and its assistance to the vulnerable in our community.
See you in worship in the Fellowship Hall (one final time!) on Sunday morning at 9 am or Saturday online at 5 pm this weekend!