Friday from First!
May 21, 2020
See Jesus. Show Jesus. Share Jesus.
Gospel accounts aren't clear on whether it was Easter evening or 40 days after the Resurrection, but the time came for Jesus to return to the Father and leave the disciples to carry on the work of God's reign on earth. Join us this Sunday as we hear Christ's final words to his followers and consider what they mean to us now. Hint: it's not something you do ... it's something you are.
After our struggle last week to 'go live' we will return to using the Premiere feature on both Facebook and YouTube. Either way, the service goes live at 9:30 AM Sunday. A 'premiere' reduces the likelihood of worship being interrupted.
After worship concludes, join us on Zoom for "coffee time" - you provide your own coffee and treats! The link will be posted in the comments during worship.
Opportunities to Serve...
On May 28th @ 11am and May 29th @ 4pm, The Southern MN Crisis Nursery is hosting a virtual informational session regarding the many wonderful ways someone could volunteer with their organization! This is an informal opportunity to learn more about the Crisis Nursery, ask questions and join the team of service minded community members making a difference in the lives of children and families in our community.
For further information and to RSVP, email SMNCN Director Evan Curtin @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessed Bottoms continues to provide diapers and wipes to families by appointment only each month. You can help by donating diapers, helping to package and prepare diapers for distribution, and especially by praying for the families we serve. This month we need Size 4 diapers and Size 4-5T Pull-ups most. And we always need wipes, preferably unscented. If you can help prepare diapers for pick-up, call Lorna in the church office, and she will connect you with the Blessed Bottoms team.
But more than anything else, your prayers make such a difference in these lives we touch through Blessed Bottoms. There is a "how can we pray for you?" question on the registration form, and most of the prayer requests are for safety and continued health during this uncertain season. Some of the parents are essential workers, while others have been unable to work since mid-March. They all need our prayers. And those prayers are felt! One parent wrote this month, "The members of your church are amazing people! Thank you to each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity!!"
Wednesday RECHARGE! Final Week
We have only one more session of Wednesday RECHARGE Zoom gatherings! Join the conversations this Wednesday, May 27th as we talk about Pentecost! Kids can hear the story at 5 or 5:30 (Parents, check your Tuesday special email from me for the Zoom link and some other goodies) and adults convene between 6 and 6:15 (depending on how talkative the 5:30 group is!)
Next Sunday: Pentecost!
It's the birthday of the church, and we want to celebrate in style! Wear red! Make some pinwheels for your front yard out of paper, push pins, and pencils - or drinking straws! Use these templates to make doves and flames for your front window. Here's another dove pattern, and one for a finger labyrinth to center your Pentecost prayers. Maybe you'd like to use strips of red/orange/yellow fabric or ribbons to make streamers to hang on your front porch, letting the wind tell the world the Holy Spirit is working in you!
And because it is the birthday of the church, we will celebrate Communion together. Check next week's Friday from First for details on how you can prepare for this holy meal, bringing Christ's table to your table.
Here are two completely unrelated links - one to a soul-stirring rendition of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and the other to the Secretary of State website where you can request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming general election (hint: if you use your driver's license as your ID, be sure to omit the dashes between groups of numbers - I learned this the hard way.)
A final word...
In light of Gov. Tim Walz's phased re-opening plan released earlier this week, the Minnesota Conference will send out (later today) a five-phase plan that provides guidance specific to churches. Please note that per the governor's order set to begin June 1, no more than 10 people will be permitted to gather (indoors or outdoors) for worship or other faith community gatherings. But this does not stop us from being the church. The church is not closed - it is deployed! You are the church, spreading Christ's love wherever you are.
I'm praying for you, Church!
Pastor Jo Anne