Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Feels like the conversation is happening all around us these days- front page of the newspaper, on most radio stations, on the evening news, between family members – how do we move from ‘shelter-in-place’ to the next phases of our lives together? Is it safe to visit with friends? When will we be able to fly again? Is it safe to get my haircut? Will children go back to schools in the fall? When do I wear a mask? Are people social distancing when you are out in public? We are all being asked to calculate risk – what do we feel comfortable with? What is safe? There are countless health officials that are guiding us in this process and giving great advice and I don’t want to wade into their expertise. I do want to add a further consideration as followers of Jesus.
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2.1-5, NRSV)
We recently studied this passage in our Wednesday night bible study and Paul’s words give us an added consideration as we are in the process of coming out of our shelter-in-place phase. As Christians we should be asking how are actions and decisions affect the most vulnerable in our communities. We must be looking not just at our own interests or desires but also at the interests of others. Paul invites the Christians in Philippi and us to follow the example of Jesus – who set aside his privilege and power and freedom in order to serve and love those around him. This is a hard word to hear after many months of having many parts of our lives disrupted and put on hold. I know I can easily make a long list of all the things that I need and want to do in the coming months but Paul’s exhortation causes me to pause and reflect and think about who I am prioritizing. Our collective action in the Bay Area over the last few months has greatly reduced suffering and death from covid-19. Let us continue to put front and center the needs of the most vulnerable in our community in the coming months so that we can follow Jesus in “doing nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than ourselves.”
Check out our new website – yvpres.org. Great place to find these letters, request prayer, and donate online if you desire.
Please continue to call/text/send cards to three different members of our community to check in on each other and ask to pray with each other. Take a risk and pray for each other over the phone.
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. Thanks. (You can also give your offering through the website yvpres.org if that is easier for you.)
Connecting with God
Tom Prinz is writing a series of articles using his years of counseling wisdom to help us grow through the pandemic rather than just survive. If you would like to receive further installments of these articles – please contact Tom at (805) 807 – 3727 and he would be overjoyed to send them to you.
Gratitude journal – During a season of uncertainty and hardship, giving thanks is 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 or call me and we will get one delivered to you.
Loving our neighbors
Washing hands, practicing social distancing, and if able, only leaving our homes for essential needs to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
Please fill out your 2020 Census information if you have not already. This information helps our elected officials to plan and help our neighbors.
Deacon’s Food Closet – Was emptied out to help neighbors. If you are at the store please buy dried beans, white rice, cereal, spaghetti, and tuna to help us restock and help others.
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)