On Sunday, we
studied and reflected on Hebrew peoples’ journey out of Egypt through the desert and into the promise land. It was a time dramatic change and uncertainty about the future – ‘Where are we going?’ ‘Do Moses and Aaron know where they are taking us?,’ ‘Can our God really guide and protect us through this hostile desert?,’ ‘Maybe it was better back in Egypt?’ The Hebrew people knew that God was guiding them, protecting them but they did not know where they would end up. Many times during their desert sojourn the people grumbled and complained that it was better in Egypt. They grumbled about the lack of food and feared that they would starve during their journey. God heard their cries and provided quail each evening and manna each morning. The manna rained down from heaven each morning and every member of the community collected what they needed for that day. God’s daily bread, just like the Lord’s prayer that Jesus taught us. God was teaching the Hebrew people about God’s abundance vs. the scarcity mentality of the Egyptian empire. God was inviting the Hebrew people to trust God’s abundant provision and reject the empire’s ways of accumulation and greed and violence. I offered four practices to help us live into abundance rather than scarcity and want to share them in writing here to allow more space for reflection and new action.
Share what we have with others – our possessions, our space, our time. What can I allow others to borrow?
Generosity – how might we be more generous? What step can we take to increase our generosity?
Tell others when we are tempted by consumerism, asking them to help us live into generosity rather than accumulation.
Sabbath rest – taking one day a week to rest from work and accomplishing to reflection on God’s creation and liberating work.
Take time this week to re-read Exodus 16 and reflect upon new ways we can live into God’s abundance even in the midst of uncertain times.
Check out our new website – yvpres.org. Great place to find these letters, request prayer, and donate online if you desire. If you have suggestions for additional resources you’d like on the website, please let me know.
Don’t grow weary of creating community - 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.
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. A reminder that every Sunday morning the Zoom link/meeting number is the same. You can always log in from a previous email. You can use your smartphone or computer to join. 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 continues to have our ongoing expenses. If you are able, please mail in your offering to YVPC, 2140 Minert Rd., Concord, CA, 94518. You can also give your offering through the website yvpres.org if that is easier for you.
Connecting with God
Unfortunately, we must cancel our yearly church retreat to Zephyr Point Conference Center in Tahoe. Zephyr Point does have rooms available for individual retreats if there is interest. Check out their website for details www.zephyrpoint.org
Art/Faith conversation – Going to continue our discussion of the intersection of art and faith by reading Mary Oliver’s collection of poems ‘Devotion.’ Contact Pastor Matt if you are interested in joining.
Lament – As the number of covid-19 cases spike and we wrestle with racial justice in our society, remember the importance of lament – Use a bowl salt and a bowl of water, share with God what breaks your heart/makes you angry, sprinkling salt, like tears, into the water.
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
We are gathering food to partner with Mision Hispana de Concord. We need dried beans, white rice, cereal, spaghetti, cooking oil, and tuna. Schedule the drop off with Pastor Matt.
Make sure you are registered to vote in the November election.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Matt
(Please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions, concerns, or ideas of ways we can stay connected and support each other)