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.
Pastoral Letter October 16, 2020
Typically, kids start the academic year off doing a little review, reacquainting themselves with the topics they learned the previous year. Typically, it’s a pretty comfortable place to be. As time wanes on, the material gets harder. Every once in a while, an act of frustration will surface—whether it’s a torn-up assignment or a slammed door the message is clear… “I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t like it.”
Kids aren’t alone in this sentiment, are they? How many times have you thought in frustration, “Why does it have to be so hard? Why this? Why now?” Sometimes, it may feel like you are completely alone in your pain and frustration, but you are not.
We were never assured life would be easy. That is not what “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!” means at all. Pain and frustration are inevitable, and hard. But we are never alone, Jesus is there the same as yesterday, today and tomorrow. While it may feel like this is happening only to you…no matter what the circumstance, you are not the first to experience the struggles you are facing. It often feels that way but our Bible tells us otherwise. Look at Psalm 77, which I will be preaching on this Sunday. Most of all, Jesus is right where you are, no matter how far down you may feel. He has been farther, and is here to take your hand and lead you forward through the storm, the night, or that math problem that you cannot figure out.
We are Easter people and so we can sing in our hearts, even as we weep, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” When you feel ready to slam a door or rip up a paper, instead take a breath, a pause, say “Selah” as we see in Psalm 77. Our best translation of this is Hebrew word is that it is a means pause, and an invitation in the midst of frustration, to lift up your heart because God is always there. Right in the muddle and the mess. Praise be to God!
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, this Sunday’s sermon is titled, “We Live by Gift.”
- Sunday morning Joys and Concern Prayers at 10:30 by Zoom led by Pastor Laurie. 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.
- Join us for a Special Forum for All at 11:00 by Zoom: We have heard from experts regarding racism. This Sunday’s Forum For All is your turn. What is your experience with racism? What wisdom or practices can help? We will go around the virtual circle and give one and all a chance to speak. Dan Crump will moderate. Please join us & share your insights. (Zoom info was sent on Friday in a special E-blast.)
Update from The Rev. Sarah Moore-Nokes, General Presbyter of our Winnebago Presbytery, regarding in-person worship in light of the most recent COVID data: As many of you already know, a new mandate was issued this week limiting the indoor public gatherings to no more than 25% of capacity. The whole statement can be found HERE. In a statewide call with religious leaders this week the governor asked that churches return to physically distance (virtual) worship as the situation in the state is dire, hospitals are hitting their capacity and there is no indication that things will get better soon. Today’s positive Covid cases broke another record – over 3000.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches also issued a statement: (STATEWIDE) – The Wisconsin Council of Churches recommends that churches statewide return to remote operations as the COVID-19 crisis deepens in Wisconsin. While today’s state Executive Order to limit indoor gatherings to 25% of building capacity exempts religious services and places of worship, and churches are free to continue operations as they have been, the ecumenical organization recommends that that they not gather in person.
“Our obligation as faithful people is not to the minimum standard, but to behavior that demonstrates care for the most vulnerable and the well-being of the entire community,” said the Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches. “In view of the high level of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, it is neither prudent nor pastoral to gather groups of people together at this time. We urge you to put a hold on any plans for worshiping or having fellowship together in physical place for the time being.” Read the rest of the statement
The Wisconsin Department of Health has revamped its COVID site to provide more local data to help organizations and individuals make decisions. The at-a-glance dash board can be found HERE
Gathering in person is not advisable and congregations should be making plans for no in person gathering for the foreseeable future.
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.