FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
where all are welcomed and embraced in the inclusive Love of God
Would you like to know more of the background and rationale for the Session’s recent difficult, yet unanimous decision regarding reopening the church for Sunday morning worship? You likely are already aware that on August 25, Session decided to continue to offer recorded, remote Sunday morning worship through the end of the year; while revisiting that decision monthly in hopes we meet the gating criteria sooner that would render in-person worship safe again. This video, written and presented by Pastor Laurie Brubaker Davis, offers a deeper dive into some of the background, rationale, and prayer that led to this decision. We hope you find it helpful.
Streaming Worship Services
For all of these prerecorded services listed below and all past videos please click on our easy to remember access: fpcmarshfield.org/livestream
Pastoral Letter September 18, 2020
We never rolled out the welcome mat for the 2020 pandemic more commonly called COVID-19. It came anyway. This year of “tragical thinking” has disrupted life as we know it. It continues to challenge us with unknowns busting at the seams. It has brought us to our knees—praying for physical health, economic and emotional wellbeing, and other basic needs we may have taken for granted until this year. It has also exposed the stark reality of disparities and injustices that threaten the lives of some more than others here in Marshfield and throughout our nation. Now we have more wild fires and storms leaving countless people homeless and multiple communities reeling from devastating destruction.
You could say our eyes are wide open. And yet, the questions for each of these new realities remain: why—why now; how—how do we move forward; what—what can we do to help; when—when will it change; where—where do we go from here? Yes, the way forward presents more questions than answers. Many of us are still reeling, and feeling overwhelmed.
What if we were created for just such a time as this? Kind of a crazy thought. But maybe this gives you hope. And it might help you reframe the many questions in your heart. I believe we were created for such a time as this. We were each uniquely created by God for this very moment in which we stand. Life is hard. But we are not in it alone. God is with us every step of the way and will not forsake or abandon us. Yes, this takes faith. This challenge is one of the ways God deepens our faith.
Worshipping, pondering the scriptures, praying about the news, helping those in need: these practices will help us with our spiritual growth and mental health right now. How do we continue to love our neighbor and one another when we cannot gather in our church building? How do we move forward as the church and roll out the welcome mat for engagement amidst the pandemic? If you would like to work on these questions with your FPC community, the first Creating Connections Team meeting will be held by Zoom on September 29th. If you are interested in joining the team or have suggestions, please let me know or Carmen Lawler know.
Join us this Sunday Morning!
- Sunday School for students in grades 1 & 2 will take place at 9:00 AM via Zoom (watch for Zoom link in your email)!
- Worship by virtual platform, my sermon this Sunday is titled, “It’s Not Fair: The Upsetting Love of God.”
- Sunday morning Joys and Concern Prayers at 10:30 by Zoom. The link and/or phone number and code can be obtained at our church office or from any member of the FPC community. Refer to the Thursday Eblast for Zoom link.
- CAN I RECYCLE THIS? GET YOUR ANSWER at 11:00 A.M. by Zoom: Join the Green Team for a Forum for All and get all those recycling questions answered. Amanda Haffele, from the Plover County Material Recovery Facility, the recycling sorting center, will share the most current recycling information and answer your recycling questions.
YOUR INVITED TO JOIN US FOR CROP WALK 2020:
September 27, 2020 • 1:00 PM • Wildwood Park • Marshfield, WI
Walk with out intergenerational group or walk on your own. All walkers are asked to please wear a mask & practice social distancing. Visit https://www.crophungerwalk.org/marshfieldwi to register and/or make a donation.
With Soup or Socks being challenged with increased needs and fewer donations we decided to deploy the orange food donation bags once again! Bags will be set up in the narthex area along with a list of needed items. You can pick bags up during office hours and then bring them on your next grocery run and return full bags to the church or to the CROP WALK on September 27th!
When Can we Return to Church?: In accordance with current health guidelines and best practices to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, on August 25, our Session decided by unanimous vote to keep the church building officially closed through the end of the year. This was a very tough decision. We all yearn to be able to worship again, but discerned the need to place our biblical mandate to love God and neighbor, as well as our FPC mission of inclusivity, first. As long as the threat of the virus remains where it is, opening the church would contradict this mandate and mission. The Session will revisit this decision each month prior to the end of the year if there is a substantial change in meeting the gating criteria.
The gating criteria we are following can be found at this link: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/prepare.htm.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches has expressed our COVID-19 outbreak situation well with these words, “What future we will find ourselves in depends not only on the behavior of the virus, but on the actions of people, as individuals, churches, communities, and governments. The way forward will not be a matter of following a timetable, but of faithful discerning the signs of the times, and responding accordingly. It has always been that way for the church: “You have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown…”
Keep washing your hands thoroughly! Here is way to turn that time into prayer time:
Hand Washing 20 second Prayers & Meditations for Soul Cleansing
Why not multi-task during our multiple hand-washings each day? Getting a little tired of singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice, or Counting to 20? How about this: Let those 20 seconds become a chance for a little Soul Cleansing, too.
Click this link for three different ones to get us going! Add yours to the mix as you think of them.
Worship At Home Photo Gallery
The food pantry of SOS (Soup or Socks) remains open during the pandemic.
To obtain food or to volunteer to help,
call SOS directly: 715-387-1796.
Parish Nurse Karen
First Presbyterian Church, Marshfield, Wisconsin seeks to welcome all to join us on our journey of faith, denying no one, based upon his or her particular human condition, participation in the life of the church. We want to be a safe place, a sanctuary where people are accepted, included, and cared for as they are. We will be agents of God’s transforming power, aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit as we pray, worship, learn, share fellowship and serve together. By attending to the love of Jesus Christ in our midst, we discover a deepening faith that makes a difference in our lives. As a community based on God’s love, we strive to be of service to our neighbors and to the world.