FATHER MARK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
1) Oregon Fire Assistance – many of us are watching with sadness and grief over what is happening on the west coast, with fires destroying so much and threatening so many. Parishioners Dan and Cindy Dickinson’s daughter and her family are very near the Almeda fire in Jackson Co., and while their family is safe, many in that region will be devastated. If you would like to help, here is a link to a local effort that will match any cash donations, thereby doubling your gift.
2) COVID-19 Parish Update – We’re holding pretty steady with a slight uptick since last week in the number of local cases (see chart below.) While statewide things are opening up more, there is still good reason to be cautious as individuals and as parishes, and we continue to follow the guidance and direction of the Bishop. As of today, our plan is to remain “online only” for the next two Sundays and if things improve to re-open for public worship on Sunday, October 4th. Keep watching these announcements and our website for the latest information.
3) Church life continues, however, with bible studies (online and in-person), hospital visitations, funerals, charitable assistance, outreach, pastoral counseling, and even a wedding scheduled for October! Gina and I are back to regular hours in the office, and I am in as usual, and Don holds everything together from his bunker downstairs. We’re not together as much as we would like, but we are still church, and we are still in mission and ministry in our community. There are lots of creative-types doing lots of creative things to stay in contact (see one parish’s amazing work here https://www.trinitytoledo.org). Sadly, I am not so gifted, but maybe you have ideas about how we might better reach and serve you in these COVID times. I would welcome your suggestions and also you help getting them implemented!
Chris Webb September 17
Bill Mann September 19
Margaret Pepper September 20
Jeane Anderson September 21
Amy Wisniewski September 23
Bible Study: John and Peggy Wymore will be leading a bible study on the book of Hebrews beginning Thursday, October 1st from 6:00-7:30 P.M. in the parish hall (10 or fewer, masks required). For more information contact John and Peggy at email@example.com.
Prayer Requests: The prayer request sheet is still just outside the office in the church and is updated weekly. Anyone may still email your prayer requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have email, just call the church and leave a message. Since, I am back in the office, the requests must be received on by Wednesday at the latest, for them to be included in the Sunday Bulletin for that week. If the request is received after Wednesday, they will be added to the next Sunday Bulletin. We will follow the same process and keep the names on for two weeks.
Once the prayer request is received, it is added to the prayer list and then I email the names to have them added to the Prayer Chain and to the Daughters of the King.
**Daily Devotion for Thursday September 17, 2020**
Rules for Relationships
The 5 Steps – Pause * Listen * Think * Pray * Go
The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.
He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive.
He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.
The whole Israelite community complained against Moses and Aaron in the desert. The Israelites said to them, “Oh, how we wish that the Lord had just put us to death while we were still in the land of Egypt. There we could sit by the pots cooking meat and eat our fill of bread. Instead, you’ve brought us out into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I’m going to make bread rain down from the sky for you. The people will go out each day and gather just enough for that day. In this way, I’ll test them to see whether or not they follow my Instruction.”
When we follow God, unexpected things happen. God leads people into freedom because God is a liberating God, but it might not be what we expect. In today’s passage, the Israelites who were slaves have been freed but they are also still suffering because they haven’t yet made it to the end of their journey into God’s fulfilled promises.
Freedom doesn’t come instantly. Even when old oppressive systems are broken down, it takes time to build new liberating ones. Following God means leaving behind what we know to be harmful and then sticking with the difficult journey toward building something better, even if it takes a long time. Following a liberating God is also signing up to be patient and continuing to trust God in the journey as it unfolds.
Thankfully, that journey is marked by God’s unswerving presence and provision, like when God provided for these Israelites in the desert on their journey. What does God provide you for your journey? How does God show you God is present?
Liberating God, I know you call us to be free and to work to free others from oppression. I know you are with me on the journey from freedom to promise. Teach me patience, provide for me, and keep me near to others who can journey with me. In your holy name I pray, amen.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff— they protect me.
You set a table for me right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over!
Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live.
Gina’s Office Hours
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.