Prince of Peace
Weekly Update
March 27 -April 2, 2020
"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf,
And so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
 
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of the Ring"
Out of an abundance of caution and following Gov. Ned Lamont's injunction to 
"Stay Safe. Stay at Home."
The Prince of Peace building is closed through the end of April (but not the people).
 
In the meantime, we are 
being the "church" (God's people) in the world.
Virtual Worship

We will continue to post on Sunday morning around 9:00 a.m. an abbreviated virtual worship experience including hymns you can sing along with, a gospel story worth telling, a sermon that speaks to our current reality, prayers for the community and world and community announcements about what's happening at PoP. Check your email for the link or go to our website ( http://princeofpeacebrookfield.org/ ) and click on the date of the service you would like to experience.  
Offering,Tithes and Special Donations 

Please stay current with your financial pledge during this time of social distancing. You can mail your offering or sign up for electronic giving. We hope to provide an easy to use giving app shortly. 

Our mailing address is at the bottom of this email.

We have suspended the collection of ARC items and candy for an Easter Egg hunt until further notice. In addition, we are holding off on Easter flower orders until our celebration of Easter has been scheduled.  
vector_mobile_phone.jpg
How to reach the Pastor

And as always, Pastor Lutz is easily accessible. You can email him (poppastorpaul@ sbcglobal.com) call him on his cell (609.578.7921) or post on his Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/plutznj ). Although there will be no regular office hours, the church phone is checked every couple of days for messages.
Wondering what you can do while home-bound to help with reducing the local impact of the pandemic? Then read this request from a Emergency Department Doctor at Danbury Hospital/Nuvance Health. And get to work calling or sign up to help sewing. We are in this together. You can make a difference.

Dear Prince of Peace,

Danbury Hospital needs personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect doctors and nurses as we care for patients sick from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). CDC has issued recommendations yesterday that if supplies run out, nurses and doctors should care for patients using bandannas or scarves as PPE which ARE NOT sufficient to prevent disease transmission. If we go down on the front lines, there will not be anyone left to take care of you when you are sick.

If anyone in our congregation has contacts in the painting, construction, welding or auto body industries, can you please contact them and ask for donations of any RESPIRATOR MASKS (E.G. N95, P100), FACE SHIELDS or TYVEK suits.  

We will also soon be asking for community volunteers to sew fabric face masks (to use over our respirator masks to prolong their life), as well as fabric scrub caps that we can wash and reuse. The hospital is working on a standardized design/pattern with material recommendations.  

Nancy Carlson will serve as our point-person in this all congregation effort. Please contact her with the results of your search for personal protective equipment and your desire to help when asked to sew fabric face masks You may reach her at nancsew@gmail.com or 203-778-1171.

Please stay safe. God bless you all.

With love, 

Dr. Tammy Weiner, MD
Emergency Medicine Physician
Member of Prince of Peace
Council Leaders to Call Members

Expect a call or email from a Council leader in the next two weeks. We want to check in with all in our faith community. We want to know how you are doing and how we might help ease this unusual time. This is uncharted territory for PoP, so if you have a suggestion, concern, or prayer request, tell the council leader who calls you. Together we do more.
Report from Council

At its March 18, 2020 council meeting (via Zoom) it was discussed that
we will continue our suspension of all PoP activities through April or until further notice.

We scheduled the next Zoom Council meeting for Wednesday, April 1st.

The Congregational meeting to vote on the sale of Misty Hollow is on hold.

We will continue to offer a weekly virtual worship experience on Sunday for the foreseeable future.

Our first Sunday to gather (5.3.2020?) in person will be our Easter celebration.

We will continue to seek a candidate to fill the Organist position.

Council will reach out to members.
little-boy-praying.jpg
Let us Pray

O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where i mpossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen. 

(Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Additional Prayers, pg. 72-87)
It's noon. Let us Pray

Join Pastor Lutz each day at noon (until further notice) in prayer. Set an alarm, mark your watch, etc.

May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors remembers those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools closed, remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of our economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country let us choose Love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other.

Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

Amen.
(Cameron Wiggins Beld)
books_laptop_apple.jpg
Faith Formation at Home

Parents of Sunday School children, we are supplying several options for faith formation at home. Download the Taking Faith Home insert from our website for daily family prayers, rituals and traditions. In addition there is on the web page Sunday School readings, questions, and activities that correspond to the bible story presented in the worship clip.

Parents of Confirmands, we have moved to a Zoom class every Tuesday. Let me know if you have any questions

Adults learners, I would like to also create an Adult Faith Formation blog to continue our learning. How many would be interested in such an experience? We could also hold the Women's Bible Study online with Zoom. Ladies, are you interested?

As a friend of mine said recently, .... it is also a time to recall that our God is an abundant, enduring and fiercely caring God who responds to our prayers by reminding us we are all ministers capable of serving our neighbors and the common good at ANY time.

Time in worship and study are perhaps more needed than ever before.
New Way to be the Church 

So, what ideas do you have for new ways to be the church at a time like this? Here are some thoughts that may trigger some ideas for you.

  • Take care of yourself. Read. Try to relax. I’ve rekindled a new music listening habit that had gone away because of a busy life. Restoring the practice has been such a gift. Exercise 30 minutes a day if you can. Taking a walk works.

  • Reach out to others in new ways. Social distancing does not have to mean social absence. Try a Zoom meeting. Stay in touch with PoP friends by cell phone, email or by writing a compassionate note.

  • Renew or energize family relationships and relationships with other friends with whom you’ve lost touch. You may have “forced” free time now to build on relationships that have lagged.

  • Check on your neighbors. You can still knock on a door and give the gift of a smile, showing that you care. (That would be a group of less than 10, right?)

  • Have a grudge against someone? No time like the present to mend fences.

  • Say thanks to a doctor or nurse or EMT volunteer you know who may be having a tough time right now.

  • Keep your offerings to the church going. Thanks to you, the ministry of PoP continues in the hardest of times. Remember PoP, its pastor and faithful staff and leaders in your prayers

  • Others?
teamwork_volunteers.jpg
“Brookfield Recovers” is a special fund created to assist residents impacted by the Covid19 emergency. Brookfield is an extremely generous town, so it’s not surprising that we’ve been overwhelmed with inquiries from residents about “how can we help?” This is how you can help Brookfield residents. Donations will be administered by the town’s Department of Social Services with 100% of all contributions directly benefiting residents in need. 

Funds will be used to purchase items to resupply our food pantry and to assist clients impacted with basic needs to help them stay in their homes.  Your gift will have a measurable and immediate impact on friends and neighbors. Please consider a donation to Brookfield Recovers.

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

You may send a donation via check, payable to:
Town of Brookfield 
(note Brookfield Recovers on the memo line)
Brookfield Social Services
100 Pocono Road
Brookfield CT 06804
empty_egg_sad.jpg
I'll say it again!!!

If the school closures have you concerned about your child not being able to eat breakfast or lunch let me know. I will do what I can to help. A box of cereal, gallon of milk, bread, pb&j- just let me know. Feel free to contact me - no judgement!

This also goes for the elderly! If you know someone in need -please reach out!

I have heard from several members also willing to help as needed, Please be in touch. It is what church is all about, helping each other.

P.S. if you are ever worried about how you are going to feed your kiddo(s) or yourself we will figure it out together.
paper_people_chain.jpg
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO HELP?
HERE IT IS.
 

As many of our congregation know, there is a need for personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for health care workers. Projected shortages are reported in the news. Some people, medical personnel have actually used certain PPE’s longer that usual because of the shortages.
 
This places health care workers in jeopardy of getting sick themselves. These people are on the front lines of care . They also have families which may be exposed.
 
Well, that’s the bad news. The good news is that many in our congregation have begun to make these masks and scrub caps, while in the safety of their homes. They are contributing their sewing skills and helping to maintain the safety of those people who are responding to the victims of the corona virus. Many people who are elderly or have other health conditions may also use such masks to reduce the risk of exposure.
 
We are now sewing Scrub caps for people with long hair and men who are working in health care. They can be done with any good grade of cotton. We have patterns and fabric. We need elastic, 1/4 inch in most cases. Local stores are sold out.
 
There may be ways that you can help if you don’t sew. Do you have fabric or elastic on hand that you can donate. Fabric should be washed, machine dried and ironed.
Could you do this?
Would you be willing to cut out pattern pieces for others to sew?
Could you spread the word so others with certain skills can help?
Do you know of others who are involved in industrial production, welding etc. to make ventilators as mentioned by Pastor Paul?
Finally, Some of our members have offered extra supplies of masks, and Kelvas suits which we will deliver to the hospital.
Is God calling you?
 
As a retired Nurse Practitioner and Nurse of over 50 years, I can never remember shortages like this. The CDC actually suggested that nurses bring scarves and bandanas to use as masks when proper materials are not available. The protection is doubtful.  This is a time for us to help each other, love our neighbor It’s been an awesome experience to see our congregation respond.
 
I feel that God has sent Paul Lutz to us to minister and help as Jesus would. Lets pray for him and the entire congregation because God IS calling us.
 
Yours in Christ,
 
~ Nan Carlson
 
203-775-9070
popluthernchurch@sbcglobal.net