I look forward to taking the Lenten journey with you and truly appreciate having been able take a sabbatical for the past two months.
Things are settling down for our family. Our daughter’s disability is at a good plateau and she is in a good place sharing a house where there is someone to help and care for her. Because we live in a senior community, we could not take her in to care for her. Now, the trips to San Diego and our daughter’s hospitalizations are over and we are feeling that she is going to be safe and OK.
Our good news is that our younger daughter will be moving to Bristol, England where her husband has taken the position of Global General Manager for MSA. They will be completing the move at the end of the school year.
I have missed being with you and thank the Session for doing such a great job while we were focusing on our issue and transitions.
There will be a special video and message for Ash Wednesday.
After all the events of the past months, it is clear that our Lenten Journey must be a time for healing or souls, and the soul of our nation.
I will focus on Psalm 51: 1-17 for this Ash Wednesday. David -- this towering and impressive figure of the Old Testament, the greatest king in Israel's history, the monarch who reigned at the height of Israel's glory -- threw away the laws of God.
+ He threw away the sanctity of the marriage bond. + He threw away his self-respect. + He threw away a woman's honor and reputation. + He threw away a man's life -- the husband, Uriah. + He recklessly threw away and abandoned the person God called him to be, the person the ancient Samuel had anointed when David was but a lad tending sheep, writing poems and playing the lyre.
Here in Psalm 51 is a man ruined, a man whose life is in tatters, a man who is utterly lost. His spirit is broken. His soul is wounded. He is sick and distressed.
As we begin our observance of Lent this Ash Wednesday is a day of penitence, and this is a penitential season. The psalm reading is a penitential psalm. We come to do our private business with God, but we do so together, with the support and encouragement of others.
God is a great healer. There is nothing and no one God cannot restore. I look forward to the Lenten journey and an Easter celebration of new life in Christ with you.
Grace and Peace,
Sept. 23, 2020
For the time of the pandemic we have followed the following policy:
We have chosen to follow Jesus' commandment to care for our neighbor, especially our most vulnerable neighbors (Matthew 22: 37-40), during the coronavirus/COVID19 pandemic. While we are not gathering at the church building, we have chosen to see this as a time for us to try new ways to worship, learn, pray, and stay connected ...after all, God is always doing new things (Isaiah 43:1-19)! In these difficult times, we are committed to continuing to find ways to be the church. Don't hesitate to be in touch if you need something, especially help...getting groceries or medicine, figuring out how to do all this online stuff, or just needing to chat. We are here to help!
Yesterday, the county of Riverside changed to red tier status which allows us to operate inside at 25% capacity. The Session anticipated this change and voted not to resume indoor worship at this time. We will still consider the health and safety of our members as our priority and will not gather indoors.
Our renters have been given permission to use the building following red tier guidelines. However, a current complication is that there was a “water catastrophe” in the men’s room and our insurance has contractors fixing the problem. Therefore, there are no facilities available for anyone who is going to use the building. We will still consider the health and safety of our members as our priority and not gather indoors.
We will be receiving a grant from the presbytery for equipment to live stream and record our service and keep you informed about any changes.
Don’t forget to sign up for the new Thursday night Bible study of the book of Job beginning via Zoom Oct. 1 at 7:30 PM