One of my favorite parts of our Zoom worship services each Sunday is when we lift up bread and juice, each of us in our own homes. We see each other’s faces and hands holding up bread and juice - celebrating communion separately at home but yet also together. (If you are not able to dial into the Sunday calls, maybe a new practice for you would be to take bread and juice each Sunday morning at 9:30am, remembering you are connected to your YVPC family.) It reminds me that we are truly one body, the church, even in this season when we cannot gather in person.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 – 7,11-13.)
As one body, we have many parts and are each given gifts by the Spirit. During this Covid-19 season, we are going to need all the Spirit’s gifts to help us faithfully follow God and love our neighbors. Each time I see a letter filled with jokes being delivered, receive a phone call from someone checking in on me, or a gift left on our doorstep – I see different spiritual gifts that are keeping us connected, helping us to process these trying times, and reorient us in the ways of Christ. Just as we are creatively celebrating communion together each Sunday, we must use our spiritual gifts of wisdom and creativity and discernment to reimagine parts of our lives together. What are new ways to connect with God during this season? How can I love my neighbors and still practice social distancing? These are important questions that will take all the gifts of our Ygnacio Valley family to answer and to practice. May we daily be guided by the Holy Spirit to love God and to love our neighbors.
Please continue to call/text two or three different members of our community to check in on each other and ask to pray with each other
If you have an urgent prayer request – please call Paula Ash (925) 435 – 2859 to start the prayer chain.
Join the Zoom call this Sunday for our worship gathering. Zoom is a digital platform that facilitates online group meetings. You will find an invitation to the Zoom call in your email. You can use your smartphone or computer to join. If you haven’t gotten an invitation, please call or email me. Please bring juice and bread to the call so that we can all share Communion together. (If you are having trouble with Zoom – please reach out to Singeh Saliki to help (405) 714 – 3641.)
Even as we don’t see each other in person, our church will continue to have our ongoing expenses. If you are able, please mail in your offering to YVPC, 2140 Minert Rd., Concord, Ca, 94518 or give via the link on the church website at YVPres.org Thanks.
Connecting with God
Grief and Loss discussion with Tom Prinz this Wednesday night April 29th at 7pm (via Zoom); please plan on joining us as we return to our conversation from January about practices to help process and journey through grief and loss.
Take time to be silent with God. Find comfortable seat and spend time just listening to God.
Gratitude journal – During a season of uncertainty and hardship, giving thanks can be a powerful spiritual practice. Consider writing down ten things each day you thankful to God for.
Use the ‘Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals’ by Shane Claiborne for daily prayer and to guide our weekly worship times. You can find it online at commonprayer.net, through the link on our church website, or call me and we will get one delivered to you.
Loving our neighbors
If you are sheltering in place, light a candle in your home. Each time you see the candle pray for essential workers at this time at hospitals, grocery stores, post office, gas stations etc.
Washing hands, practicing social distancing, and only leaving our homes for essential needs to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
Deacon’s Food Closet – We have an abundance of canned food at the church building. Please let me know if you or a neighbor needs food and we can drop it on the doorstep.
Grace and Peace,
(please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions, concerns, or ideas of ways we can stay connected and support each other (510) 856 – 7434)