While the church building is closed, Rev. Lake will post a weekly message here, along with referenced Bible readings and a prayer. This is our way to continue our weekly worship and to experience God's presence together, even though we cannot physically meet in the same physical location. May you find comfort and peace in these words, until we can be together again.
A Sunday Morning message: March 22, 2020
I get daily bible verses delivered to my cell phone, and this morning’s verses were from Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Now, I’m guessing that Bible Gateway scheduled today’s verses months ago. Who knows… maybe it’s even on “auto pilot,” set up years ago to just keep popping out a new verse each day, and then starting over at the beginning of the cycle whenever it reaches the end. I don’t really know. What I do know is Psalm 23:1-3 was the perfect scripture passage for us in these trying times.
Jill and I visited 2 grocery stores on Wednesday. One was Aldi’s, which was overcrowded, understocked, with an air of panic amongst the shoppers as they literally cleaned out the shelves. The other store was Big Y. The produce aisles were full of beautiful fruits and veggies. The shelves, overall, were full. Yes, there were some shortages (TP & disinfectant products, and the bread was getting low, and of course, you guessed it! Toilet paper), but the overall demeanor of the shoppers and the staff was calm. And we were able to purchase almost everything that was on our normal grocery list. Now that was unexpected.
Right now, it seems like our lives have been altered beyond our belief. Businesses are closing. People are hoarding basic supplies. We are afraid to go out, and there’s nowhere to go anyway. To be sure, churches have not been ordered to close yet, but most have already done so. These are difficult and unnerving times! As you know already, our church board voted to suspend our services temporarily. I would like to bring to your attention a couple of passages from Psalm 23, which offer us hope.
#1 – The LORD is our shepherd; we shall not want… The Lord IS our shepherd; WE shall not want… The Lord is OUR shepherd; we shall NOT want. It may take some doing, but if you are in want in some way, please let me know. I will do my best to connect you with someone who can help with that need. And because THE LORD IS OUR SHEPHERD, I am confident that we will be able to help one another get through this crisis.
#2 – Regardless of what is decided about church gatherings in the immediate future, I am still your Pastor and I am still “on duty.” Exactly what that looks like may change a bit. (Honestly, we’re pretty much making this up as we go). What will not change is that I am only a phone call, text or email away (home 860-451-5868, cell 860-428-3460). So please, don’t hesitate to call me.
Remember: OUR shepherd walks with us EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. And we have each other to keep us company on this crazy journey we now find ourselves on. WE ARE NOT ALONE!
May God bless you today, tomorrow, and every day that follows.
I’m sending along a prayer that might help us as we help others:
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the 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.
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
Ron is taking this issue off – March 1st is the meteorological first day of Spring! And all the signs are there – robins, redwing blackbirds in the yard, tulips and hyacinth and some trees are budding. Can’t wait to get my hands in that warm dirt and plant some annuals. There are so many sticks to pick up in the yard from all the windy nights lately. My house plants are growing new leaves and the windows clearly near washing. Soon we will be complaining about mowing the grass!
Spring cleaning – imagine the dust in the house when the roads were dirt! I can remember my
Mother with her new ringer washing machine and most everything was hung outside to dry. The
sheets would freeze, the towels like cardboard. Love the smell of sheets that have been dried outside
and I still do that occasionally in the nice weather. Guess I need to do some spring cleaning with my head.
They say if you do word games and puzzles, things to stimulate your thinking you will live longer and stay sharp. Great idea putting them on the computer and the phone – amazing. Well, I do jigsaw puzzles on my computer and word puzzles on my phone. So, I should be sharp as a tack. If it’s working, I would not like to see what happens if I stop playing those games!
Off to finish cleaning out the refrigerator! Happy Spring and don’t forget the clocks next week.
Here we are already in February, looking forward to ole Pauxatany Phil, hoping he'll see his shadow, and Spring will be here. It's been a mild winter so far, but we still have a couple months of NE uncertainty.
Thanks to the hard work of many folks, our church received some great publicity, while helping out our friends in Australia dealing with millions of displaced animals and birds. It has been a labor of love for our women folks. Thanks to all.
We are fast approaching our annual trek to Jerusalem and beyond, as we will soon be in the Lenten/Easter season. It is a journey we take together each year. Hope you can join us.
Speaking of Easter season, on Sunday April 5th we will celebrate Membership Sunday at WCC. Some folks have already indicated their desire to join. Please let me know if you wish to join us as a member. It's always exciting having folks join our family.
Many blessings to all,
The first Sunday in January is the anniversary of my one year at WCC. I wish to thank everyone for the support I have received. It has been a great experience for me. I was not accustomed to having such wonderful lay leadership. I am really impressed. Thank you all for putting forth such hard work.
As we begin the New Year, we are faced with challenges, some obvious, ie building our congregation, meeting our budget, and keeping up our buildings and grounds up to par. I'm confident that together, we can meet all of our goals and challenges.
Happy New Year to all,