April 14, 2020
Dear YVPC community,
He is risen! He has risen indeed! As Easter people we declare the truth of God raising Jesus from the dead, God’s victory over death and ushering in the Kingdom of God. With many of us sheltering in place, many people are taking on new hobbies, learning new skills, and deep cleaning our homes. One skill that many people are taking us is baking their own sourdough bread. I was gifted a sourdough starter a few years back and use it to make loaves for our family and monthly communion bread. Every few days during this pandemic I get a call or text asking me if I would share some sourdough starter and I leave another little jar out on our porch. It is joyful sharing the gift of making sourdough bread with others. This explosion of bread making reminds me of the times that Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God using bread and yeast metaphors.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” Matthew 13.33
Jesus’ resurrection opens the door for the kingdom of God to grow and expand and heal our lives and the world around us. Jesus uses the everyday example of a small amount of yeast working into a huge amount of flour in order to make bread. I use just ¼ cup of sourdough starter to leaven almost 4 cups of floor. It just takes a little bit of God’s kingdom – the hope, the forgiveness, the love to leaven our lives and our neighbors and the world around us. In this difficult season, we trust that the little bits of God’s kingdom we see around us will lead to more and more of God’s future. Neighbors’ reaching out to each other, hospital workers working overtime, cards and calls from church members, friends sharing their abundance with those who have less – all examples of God’s Kingdom like yeast leavening our church and our community. The kingdom of God exploded in the resurrection of Jesus and is ever growing, reconciling us to one another and to God. (and yes, I am happy to drop off some sourdough starter if you want some.)
Each week 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 (925) 435 – 2859 to start the prayer chain.
Write a card or postcard to another person in our church each day, work your way through the whole church directory
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 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.
Connecting with 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 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)