Due to Necessary
Current Health Precautions:
Physical Church Office Closed
until further notice.
Church Phone Answered,
Live Stream Worship 9:30
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
where all are welcomed and embraced in the inclusive Love of God
Pastoral Letter August 7, 2020
How we long for “normalcy.” We search it out daily. A more relaxed state of being. After all isn’t this summertime, when the living is supposed to be easy? In some areas, we are taking strides to reach what we have known to be normal. We are finding ways to take safe vacations. We may be engaging in community a little more. We are learning what is being planned for the safe resumption of school for children of all ages. And we have witnessed the return of baseball, basketball and hockey. Yet, the novel coronavirus persists and the call to remain vigilant in our social distancing, mask wearing, and careful handwashing is as important as ever.
How to navigate these turbulent waters can be unsettling. No one is alone in that. We are all swimming in this ocean together. What is certain in these uncertain times is the steadfast love and mercy of God. As we turn to the 6th beatitude this Sunday, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God,” Jesus calls us to steady our hearts by willing one thing only: to follow God’s Good way. We are Easter people and therefore know, as Walter Brueggemann has recently written, “The work of ministry is to render the virus as penultimate, to see that even its lethal force is outflanked by the goodness of God.” That is a sight for sore eyes and troubled hearts. Thank you, Jesus.
Join us for Sunday Morning worship by virtual platform. The sermon series on the Beatitudes continues with Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
JOIN US SUNDAY, AUGUST 9TH AT 11:00 A.M. FOR THE FORUM FOR ALL: “It’s Complicated: Let’s Talk about Racism.” Dr. Jeff Leigh returns to lead our fourth and final conversation in this series. He will begin by presenting, “An Introduction to the History of the Concept of Race and its Impact on our Current Thinking.” In this talk he will discuss why this concept arose and how it has formed a “common sense” in our culture. From there we will consider what steps forward we might take in response to what we have learned in this series of classes together. Watch E-Blasts for Zoom link!
When Can we Return to Church? On June 23rd, the Session approved a plan to offer Outdoor Sunday worship when we have reached Phase One of the Badger Bounce Back Plan. Phase One includes six gating criteria, only three have been met as of August 7, 2020. See this link for daily updates: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/prepare.htm.
As soon as we get to Phase One, we will also establish organized fellowship times for 10 or fewer people outside in the courtyard; we will open the sanctuary at certain specified times for private meditation and Outdoor Worship. The expectation will be that people will maintain social distancing practices, including use of sanitizer and masks. If you would like to help with the hosting or organizing of these new opportunities, contact Pastor Laurie or Meranda Lelonek, our Administrative Secretary, at the church office.
Still Currently in Effect: In accordance with current health guidelines and best practices to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak all in church activities have been suspended until at least August 25th.
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…”
Joys and Concerns: Live Prayer Time Sunday mornings at 10:30, all are invited to “attend”
FaceBook FPC Marshfield Prayer Circle Live (click here), where you can type your joy or concern in real time on the screen (smart phone or computer) and all can see it. You will see my face and hear my voice as I offer verbal prayers in response. If you are not already a part of this Facebook group, join now! Or, if you prefer, text or email your prayer concerns to me before 7:00 am on Sundays and I will include them.
Here is a prayer I we could pray every day:
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, Amen. (Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, The Beloved Community)
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.
If you have children at home, have them copy the words and color or illustrate them,
Then place them somewhere near the sink😊.
Green Team Face Mask Project for our Church and SOS
We invite you to join the FPC/Green Team Face Mask Project for our church family and SOS.
There are several ways to help, so we hope each of you might find one that fits your skills or supplies.
- Donations of woven cotton fabric and flannel in patterns or solids appropriate for men, women and children. Please wash/dry before donating.
• Donations of quarter inch elastic, any colored thread, bias tape.
• Volunteers to cut fabric rectangles into 9X6″ pieces, 8X6” pieces or 5.5X7” pieces. (Rotary cutter and mat are recommended)
• Volunteers to donate and/or cut old tee shirts into one half inch by 12” strips, which make great stretchy ties for the masks. (rotary cutter helps)
• Volunteers to pick up supplies and stitch masks following patterns we’ll provide.
All supplies may be taken to or picked up from Bin #1 at the drop off sites. Completed masks should be placed in Bin #2.
Front porch of Sarah and Curt Hanson
Front porch of Nadene and Bruce Lautenschlager’s new home
Questions? – Contact Barb Gillespie
(see church directory for address & contact info or call the church office).
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.