Thursday, August 13, 2020

This Week at Old South Haven Church

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

We again are having a Zoom Church Service this coming Sunday with Rev. Wright leading worship. The details for the service are below as well as Rev. Wright's letter to the congregation.

The church will again be open for prayer on Sunday afternoon from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

And, please save the date of August 31, 2020 for a Meet and Greet for Reverend Glorya Johnson at 4:00 P. M. on the church lawn. Rain date is September 3, 2020 at 4:00 P. M. More details to follow.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone on Zoom.

Linda

Linda Majowka is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Sunday's Church Zoom Service
Time: Aug 16, 2020 09:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Passcode: 092003
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A Letter from Rev. Ralph Wright

` August 12, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,
Following below is the experience of a Presbyterian living on the island which goes back to his formative days. It's worth a good read.

I'm black. And that has never been a problem for me. My parents, while deeply religious, reared us to have a positive sense of self. We had images and poetry and music around our home that reinforced the pride that we should have in ourselves. They taught us that there was nothing that we couldn't do and therefore insisted that we strive to excel in our educational and other pursuits. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY was a wonderful experience. Brooklyn is a true example of the melting pot that is the United States. We moved onto our block in the late 1960's and were only the second African-American family on Maple Street. That never seemed to be a problem as our European neighbors welcomed us with open arms. The schools I attended were decidedly diverse, having their fair share of black, white, brown and yellow children in them. In elementary school, we never experienced overt examples of racist behavior (although I now wonder why our multicultural classes were always taught by white women or men). But there was an incident that I experienced in middle school that changed the way I viewed the world.
In 1976, my class went to a screening of the movie 1776, a recounting of the "founding" of the USA. The theater our teachers took us to was in Bensonhurst, a predominantly white community in another portion of Brooklyn. We took the elevated train to the movie theater and when we arrived at our stop, we descended the stairs and walked 4-5 blocks to the cinema. Our class, full of different races and nationalities, thoroughly enjoyed the movie and when it concluded, we were ready to take our 25-minute subway ride back to school. But evil entered our lives that day.
As we gathered in the theater lobby preparing to leave, a group of older white teens stood in front of the cinema and menacingly began to approach the theater doors hurling racial epithets and reminded us that we didn't belong there. Our white teachers confronted them and told them to leave our group alone and scatter. They walked away for a few moments. When our teachers thought the coast was clear, we moved toward the exit. But this time the mob of teens returned with two by fours and bats. Our teachers went outside to reason with them but they responded by assaulting one of our teachers with a bat and injuring his arm. "Why were they doing this?" I asked myself. "I hadn't done anything to them." And then I heard them yell the n-word over and over and over. At that moment, our class had the option of staying and being likewise assaulted or running for our lives. Many of us chose the latter. I was a sprinter and ran past these racist teens in the direction of the elevated subway station. After running a few blocks, I took cover behind a car and watched my classmate Donna trip as she ran toward the station. As she fell, I watched a two by four fly over her, narrowly missing her head and certainly saving her from serious injury. Several of us made it to the subway station, jumped on the train and took a silent ride back to I.S. 320 in Crown Heights. When we got back to school, we didn't talk much about this hate-filled encounter. The only outward reminders were the injuries our classmates and teachers suffered. But I couldn't hide the internal wounds.
I was numb. I thought people were generally good and kind to one another. But that day I realized that racism was real. I began to look at others differently and was always careful about which section of Brooklyn I traveled to. And while I went on to attend a predominantly white high school and largely Jewish college, I will never forget that day in 1976 when my rose-colored glasses about race were snatched off of my face. Unfortunately, so many black and brown people have had similar encounters and chosen to be silent in the hope that their children would not have the same experience. I have shared this story with my black son and daughter and believe that much of what is happening in 2020 will alter attitudes, behaviors and policies so that other black boys and girls will know that their lives matter and they have a right to walk, jog, attend a movie or eat anywhere they choose. This I pray, in Jesus's name, AMEN!
Rev Scott Williams
Christ's First Presbyterian, Hempstead, NY
***************************************

Remember to join us for a virtual worship service this Third Sunday of August on Zoom.

Pastor Ralph

I too was raised in Brooklyn and can vouch for the reality of the story. I read this story in an e-mail sent out this week by the Presbytery of Long Island. Call me, or send me an e-mail with your reflections on this story, as well as your requests for prayer for yourself, your family, and friends.
631-475-3322–office; 631-289-5761–home: e-mail: rbwright1@aol.com.

***************************************


Again, this Saturday, August 15, will be joining with the community's "Let's Come Together - BLM/Justice ride" through Bellport & East Patchogue, leaving from Boys & Girls Club at 4 pm.









Thursday, August 6, 2020

This Week at Old South Haven Church

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church:

It is with pleasure that I announce that Rev. Glorya Johnson will be coming to Old South Haven Church to be our Pastor starting on September 13th. You should be receiving a letter with more details about Rev. Johnson shortly.

Rev. Wright will continue to be with us until the end of August. Please see his letter to the congregation, which is attached and also pasted below.

The Committee to Reopen the Church is working on a plan. The church is to be open from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Sunday afternoons for those who would like to pray or meditate in the church.

Please join us this coming Sunday for a Zoom Church Service--the details are below.

God Bless,


Linda

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Sunday Zoom Service
Time: Aug 9, 2020 09:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2425544200?pwd=M3JpbUVPMWplL3FHWjlGR1pmK0c2dz09

Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Passcode: 092003
One tap mobile
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Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Passcode: 092003



` August 5, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,
Allow me to share with you the meditation I had with the Yaphank Fire Department this week.

9/11 & Corona Virus Commemoration
September 11, 2001, a day now etched in history. Thousands lost their lives when two planes were crashed into New York's World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and a fourth, headed for Washington D.C. fell short in a Pennsylvania field. We fire personnel where there, maybe not at the time of impact but for months afterwards providing support to those working in the pit. The price our men and women of this region and our nation paid is much more than the 3,000 plus who died in the collapsed World Trade Center…the hundreds, nay thousands who have had their lives shortened by inhaling the fumes and dust of the collapsed buildings.

We come now to the year 2020, a year which too will be etched in history. Over 150,000 have lost their lives to the Corona Virus Pandemic. Another almost five million have contracted the disease, including two members of our department, Chuck Mapes and Jonathan Steeckler. They have recovered, but we all feel their pain. We too have been in harm's way, risking our health as we responded to the crises and needs of our community.

Just as the senseless attacks destroyed buildings and our feelings of security, and the disease created distress and pain, these acts also threatened our concept of a loving God.

We are led to ask the question, Where was God in those critical moments that meant the difference between life and death for so many? He was there. He was with those who lived and those who died, hearing every prayer. He felt the anguish of every person suffering in confused darkness and silence.

Please take a moment now in quiet meditation to explore and personally discover or deepen your understanding of the God who cares and to remember those who died on September 11, 2001 and in this year 2020 plus all those who have served our nation since then and continue to serve in our armed forces, or as first responders, or as essential medical and support staff or in other operations.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains, to the prairies,
to the ocean white with foam.
God bless America, My home sweet home.
And God bless everyone here and their families and our community. Amen.

***************************************

Remember to join us for a virtual worship service this Second Sunday of August on Zoom.
Pastor Ralph
631-475-3322–office; 631-289-5761–home: Others may answer but they will put you through.





Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

This Week at Old South Haven Church


Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

As many of you know, we always have a virtual coffee hour after our Zoom Church Service on Sundays. This past Sunday, the Committee to Reopen the Church asked participants to stay after the service to let them know how each person felt about opening the church. If you were not able to be with us last Sunday and would like to let us know how you feel, please email Ken at ken.asselta@gmail.com.

Pastor Ralph will be with us until the end of August. We are thankful for his time with us and for his wonderful letters to the congregation. Please see below for the exceptional one this week. And, please see below for the details for joining the Zoom church service this coming Sunday.

Linda

**********

Topic: Sunday Church Zoom Service
Time: Jul 26, 2020 09:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2425544200?pwd=M3JpbUVPMWplL3FHWjlGR1pmK0c2dz09

Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Passcode: 092003
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,2425544200#,,,,,,0#,,092003# US (New York)
+13017158592,,2425544200#,,,,,,0#,,092003# US (Germantown)

Dial by your location
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Passcode: 092003

**********
A Message from Rev. Ralph Wright


` July 23, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

Having been a youth pastor, a summer youth camp counsellor and a parent of four children, I remember well the celebrations we had in July that highlighted Christmas. Yes, Christmas. We would celebrate July 25th as "Christmas in July". On the one hand, it provided the kids with the chance to enjoy a holiday in the middle of summer, they didn't have to worry about the cold and the snow forcing them inside, and we as Church leaders could use the time to express the truths of the Christmas story without the interference of Santa Claus, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, or the many Christmas parties they would attend.
So, Welcome to Christmas in July for the kids and adults of Old South Haven Church. This coming Sunday we will sing some Christmas Carols and we will share some Christmas stories. One story is a bit too long to discuss in the sermon without it having been read in advance by the congregation. Please find below the fiction story written by the Rev. Marvin L Mobley. It's a small town story that was written some years when human relations were simpler. For some the story may be too fictitious, but for others it may open up the message of Christmas in today's auto driven world.
Let me know your reactions! And, join us this Sunday on Zoom. And if you can't, just give me a call.

Peace and stay safe,
Pastor Ralph
631-475-3322 – office; 631-289-5761 – home – Other folks may answer the phone but they will put you through.

CHRISTMAS at the Gas Station By Reverend Marvin L Mobley

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go." "Not without something hot in your belly." George said. He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh."
Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. "You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.
"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good." George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ….." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on. "Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me." George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance." The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."

George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain." George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked. "None for me," said the officer.. "Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before. "That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer. "Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt." The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!" The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."
He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away." George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week."
George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out." The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer." "Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer. "Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?" "GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man. Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran." George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued. "Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?" Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything."
"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems." George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day." The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you." "And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours." The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier. "And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."
"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?" "I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"

"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby." The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man." George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man.
"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again." The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room. "You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."
George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus."

This story is better than any greeting card.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

Now clear the lump from your throat, blow your nose, and send this along to a friend of yours or someone who may need a reminder as to why we celebrate Christmas.








Thursday, July 16, 2020


Again, this Saturday, July 18, will be joining with the community's 7th "Let's Come Together - BLM/Justice ride" through Bellport & East Patchogue, leaving from Boys & Girls Club at 4 pm.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

This Week at Old South Haven Church


Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

We are delighted that we still have Pastor Ralph in the pulpit this week and I invite you to join us on our Zoom Sunday Service.

The details for joining our church service this coming Sunday are below.  Please make sure you use these links and telephone numbers.
There was a problem last week with the information.

The Property and Finance Committee will be meeting this coming Saturday and then the Sub-Committee to Reopen the Church.  Session will meet on July 20th.    If you have any concerns and questions, please get in touch with us.

God Bless!

Linda


Linda Majowka is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Zoom Church Service
Time: Jul 19, 2020 09:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2425544200?pwd=M3JpbUVPMWplL3FHWjlGR1pmK0c2dz09

Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Password: 092003
One tap mobile
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                                                                                                                                                 July 15, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

We are entering a new phase in the history of our community.  It has been called a new normal.  Most of us are not sure what that means.  However, we are aware it will be some time, if ever, before we can go back to the way we lived six months ago, no less five or ten years ago. 

This is not only true for us as individuals, it is also true for the church.  Yes, we are still members of the body of Christ, but as one writer stated we are entering a "New Kind of Christianity".  For those of us who were raised on the idea that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" this may sound quite radical.  But from an historical point of view, the church of Jesus Christ has changed with the times.  From being basically a house church in the times of the New Testament, to being a church of large sanctuaries and cathedrals, while at the same time becoming a world-wide movement of various cultures, nationalities and ethnic groups, Christianity has evolved with the times.

At the same time we have, or have struggled to, live lives that follow the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.  To live a life that is consistent to the Gospel of love, the Gospel of compassion, the Gospel of mission, the Gospel of reaching out to help all those around us.  It has never been easy, but in recent times there has been a tendency for the church to become more inward looking, more culturally and ethnically centered, particularly in an immigrant nation such as the United States.  Long treatises and studies regarding this phenomenon line the bookshelves of our seminaries and denominational headquarters.  With that said let us look at what can be done here on the south shore of Long Island, more particularly here in the hamlet of Brookhaven.

Allow me to raise only one such area, namely how we relate to the children and youth of our neighborhood.  It is true that with the greying of our churches, we often do not have a ministry to children and youth.  Here is a list of activities that we can find in Presbyterian churches across America.  Pre-school child care, day camps, summer camps, tutoring centers with computers, after school programs, family counselling, trips to museums and beaches and city centers and cultural events, the list goes on and on.

Yet, I have found here on Long Island, many churches that are right across the street from schools, have no interfacing with the schools, its students, its faculty, its leadership.  The phrase, "separation of church and state" has been used in our secular age to justify our lack of involvement with the children who will be the future leaders of our community.

The above may be a bit too much for any church to successfully address.  Yes, it will take time, it will take money, it will take good planning, but it is one way to reach out to our neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The above is a pastor's way of sharing some food for thought.

Once again, I invite you to join us this Sunday on Zoom for a time of worship, a time of friendly sharing, and a time to ponder "when can we return to our beloved church sanctuary?"

Peace and stay safe,
Pastor Ralph
You can reach me at 631-475-3322 – office;  631-289-5761 – home – Other folks may answer the phone but they will put you through.














Saturday, July 11, 2020

This Week at Old South Haven Church


Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

We are again having a Zoom Church Service this coming Sunday and the Bulletin for it is attached.  Pastor Ralph's letter to the congregation is attached and pasted below.  Also, details for joining the Church Service are below.

Session members have been active in calling a pastor and it looks like we may have a new pastor starting in September--barring any unforeseen circumstances.  Session members look forward to introducing a new pastor but it still has to go to the Committee on Ministry at the Presbytery.  As I said in last week's letter, we are grateful and blessed to have Pastor Ralph for this time and let's enjoy the rest of his time with us.

Also, the Committee on Reopening the Church, consisting of Richard, Ken, and myself, will be meeting shortly.   Please let us know how you feel about opening the church at this time.

God Bless,

Linda



Linda Majowka is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Sunday Church Zoom Service
Time: Jul 12, 2020 09:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81319028722?pwd=R3FNMEJXVEpsZXE2T2ttQVRMNHRUUT09

Meeting ID: 813 1902 8722
Password: 949116
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,81319028722#,,,,0#,,949116# US (New York)
+13017158592,,81319028722#,,,,0#,,949116# US (Germantown)

Dial by your location
        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

******


Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

Fear and depression are two emotions that we all have at one time or another.  God offers us the peace and understanding that should overcome fear and depression, but given the right (or wrong) circumstance even the strongest of the faithful wind up struggling with the events of the day.  When I was in seminary, our pastoral counselling professor would often state that for many mothers and families the month of January is the most depressing. 

Why?  Because the previous month, though fraught with all the pressures of Christmas, getting the tree up, finding the right gifts for grandma, making sure the kids knew their lines for the Christmas pageant, writing all those Christmas cards and mailing them in time, was a part of every Christmas and it was exciting.  Then, comes January.  The kids go back to school, the Christmas tree comes down, and all of a sudden Mom has time on her hands.  The house feels empty, the streets are now covered with snow and it's impossible to get out without shoveling up a storm.  Boom, depression sets in, or we become afraid of strangers in the neighborhood.

That's why in the many parishes I have had the privilege of serving, January was a time for fellowship, a time for church dinners, a time for Bible studies, a time for mutual support.  The words of Jesus, "Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world" (Matthew 8:20) give us support.  Or the words of the Hebrew Testament, Book of Isaiah, chapter 41  verse 10, "Have no fear, for I am with you; do not be looking about in trouble, for I am your God; I will give you strength, yes, I will be your helper; yes, my true right hand will be your support."

Pastor, you ask, "Why are you telling me this now, we are in the month of July?"  Because, just as the Corona Virus Pandemic knows no borders, it also cannot be contained by an arbitrary time line.  Many of us are depressed as if we were in January.  Folks in New York are tired of being cooped up for four plus months in their homes and apartments, no school, no jobs, no social mingling, and yes no church services in the church sanctuary.  

Here on Long Island we are gradually opening up our communities but there is still the "wear a face mask" and "remember to social distance by six feet." On the other side of our nation the pandemic is reaching new heights and cities and towns are closing down and worried they don't have enough hospital beds and staff for all those in need. We are all concerned.
Once again, allow me to turn to the Scriptures.  Not directly, but think about this. How many times do we find the words "Fear Not" in the Scriptures?  I haven't counted for myself, but I've heard it said, "Fear not" is in the Bible 365 times. That's enough for one "Fear not" per day of the year.  I admit this is not a deep theological statement.  However, I believe given our present situations, a light hearted way of saying "the Lord is with us", no matter what our fears or depression, is a good lesson from the Bible.  Praise the Lord!  And join us this Sunday on Zoom with a smile on your face. And if you can't smile, consider giving me a call.
Peace and stay safe,
Pastor Ralph
631-475-3322 – office;  631-289-5761 – home – Other folks may answer the phone but they will put you through.