Prince of Peace
Weekly Update
April 3 - 9, 2020


"Don't give up on generosity: make a meal for a neighbor you haven't met; give a big(ger) tip to the grocery deliverer; donate to the local food bank, pantry, shelter; don't give up on generosity; don't give up!"

Thom M. Shuman

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.
Eco-Palms are Now Available!
Drive to the church building with your gloves and help yourself to palms located outside the front door.
You are encouraged to wave them at home as we sing
All Glory Laud and Honor
this Sunday at the start of our virtual worship.

Christ in Our Home is available for pick up also.
Please pick up your copy of this devotion by driving to the church building and walking up to the front door. Please wear gloves and keep 6 feet away from any others you may find there.
Pastor Lutz is available
to drop Palm Branches
or Christ in our Home devotion
to your home per your request.
You may reach him
at 609.578.7921 or
by email or by Facebook
Experience a Virtual  Way of the Cross  Experience
While we are not gathering in person, we are keeping our tradition of the  Way of the Cross  journey!  Follow the link on our website to experience 10 stations for you and your family to reflect on the events of Jesus’ crucifixion in a unique and meaningful way.

Here's the virtual Way of the Cross - https://princeofpeacebrookfield.org/way-of-the-cross/
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.  
Just for You:

A collection of worship services to have at home. Though we gather in different times and places, we are united under one God who calls us beloved.
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 on our website:   https://princeofpeacebrookfield.org/giving/  

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.  
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How to reach the Pastor

And as always, Pastor Lutz is easily accessible. You can email him (poppastorpaul@ sbcglobal.net) 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.
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 April 1, 2020 Council meeting (via Zoom) it was discussed that we will continue our suspension of all PoP activities through April or until further notice.

The Council read and talked about Preschool plans and options.
We support the Preschool direction and decisions. 

We canceled cleaning, water delivery, and trash/recycling pick up for the foreseeable future.

Council agreed to create an online giving option through Vanco on our webpage. https://princeofpeacebrookfield.org/giving/

Rich is going to look into the Cares Act for PoP/Preschool.  

We now have hot water in the narthex restrooms. The kitchen hood fire suppression system will be checked on Monday, 4.6.2020.

The Exec Committee will meet on Monday 4.13.2020 to talk more about our current financial situation. Council will meet on Wednesday 4.15.2020.
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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)

Social Distancing with Social Solidarity?
 
Every night from 7:00-7:02 p.m. go outside or open a window and clap, bang some pots, ring a bell, make some noise to show support for health care workers and everyone on the front lines and to remind us that we are united even as we are separated. This started in Ridgefield. Let the sound be heard all over Connecticut. 
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)
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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

Adult 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?
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“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
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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.
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Face Masks and Scrub Caps
 
Making Face Masks and Scrub Caps while observing the “STAY HOME” solution to limiting the transmission of Covid-19 is a great way to help.
One amazing fact which keeps me away from others is that 1 in 4 people actually have the virus but have no symptoms. These people are capable of giving the virus to others who then become sick. STAY HOME is the only solution and many medical experts feel that we should have been doing this weeks before.
 
That’s the scary news…now for the good stuff! Would you like to help in any way? We need people who know how to sew. The patterns are quite easy. We have some supplies but they can run out soon. Fabric and craft stores are closed and on-line ordering can be expensive. 
Do you have any extra fabric which is strong, like quilting cotton?
Do you have any unused tea towels or dish towels which you can part with?
We need elastic and thread. 
Would you donate quart or sandwich sized resealable plastic bags which we use. 
Would you spread the word so others might donate? 
Even one extra mask can make such a difference.
 
More than 10 women from church are actively sewing. Many friends have volunteered to total more than 30! Join the fun and it is fun to do this worthy cause.
 
There’s a bin outside the church door which you can drop off donations. This is one way to help and feel less helpless. It feels good to be part of the solution.

Let’s get those masks and scrub caps to the hospital. The masks can be used to prolong the use of the medically approved masks, which should only be used for the front line staff and others in the hospital.
 
Finally, do you need to ask questions or discuss your feelings? Feeling lonely is normal when you are alone but sharing your feelings can really help.
 
Feel free to contact Pastor Lutz, Monica Walsh or myself.
 
~ Nan Carlson

Nancy Carlson RN, APRN (retired) 203-778-1171 or email nancsew@gmail.com
Monica Walsh, RN 203-740-7632 or email mwalsh21@sbcglobal.net
203-775-9070
popluthernchurch@sbcglobal.net