Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,
Can you believe it? We will now be having our fifth Zoom Church Service this coming Sunday, May 3rd. Please join us on Sunday. The details are below.. And, a copy of the Bulletin is attached.
This being the first Sunday of the month, we also will be having a "virtual" Celebration of the Lord's Supper. You may wish to have wine or grape juice and bread available. See bulletin for liturgy.
Please see another wonderful letter from Pastor Ralph, which is attached and also printed below.
We look forward to your participation on Sunday and please remain after the service for our Virtual Coffee Hour. If you have any prayer concerns, please let Nancy Best know. Her contact information is as follows: 631-286-1659 and email@example.com.
You also may contact Pastor Ralph. His contact information is at the bottom of his letter.
Please Stay Safe and God Bless!
A Message from Pastor Ralph Wright
April 30, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Presbyterian Church
Almost everyone knows that Jesus said "Love thy neighbor". We happily accept this if we have good neighbors. It's when we don't, that we look for exceptions to this commandment of our Lord. The act of not loving our neighbors goes back for centuries. It has not just been acts of individuals, it's been acts of families, of neighborhoods, of states, of nations, of the world itself. Having had a few noisy and difficult neighbors, I can appreciate this response. But knowing of the destructiveness of World Wars I can appreciate the basic truths of Jesus' statement "Love Thy Neighbor". When we show the "love", our world is much better.
The present Covid-19 pandemic presents us with the same challenges of a world war. This time the weapons are not guns and bullets, but medical science and social distancing which may include lockdowns at home and in the community. As we all well know, not everyone is a happy camper. Not only are there those who are going stir crazy, but there are those for various reasons are objecting to the lock downs and social distancing, even within the religious community of our nation. When Protestant pastors and Roman Catholic priests are quoted to have stated in sermons, preached from their pulpits, that "obedience" is a word we have to respect one needs to take notice. This is not purely obedience to the Lord, but to our medical and governmental leaders who are trying to save the lives of their citizens. I can only add a "God Speed" to these officials.
We are also aware of the various vulnerable communities; senior citizen homes, people of color, those living in poverty, first responders and medical workers… the list goes on. We as Christians have been challenged to answer the call of our Lord by reaching out to help all those in need. We have responded through food banks, housing for the homeless, masks and PPEs for those on the front lines of the pandemic. And, yes, we need to continue to support these acts of being Good Samaritans.
In the midst of this worldwide health crisis, a pastoral letter was sent out by the leadership of the Presbyterian Church, USA, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II and the Rev. Dr. Dione Moffett, offering each one of us their prayers and support. They also encourage us to learn from one another and share ideas with one another, as well as with them. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also of note is the release from the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness, along with 70 other religious and non-governmental organizations of a request to our president and our government leaders during this world wide pandemic to ease the sanctions that have been previously imposed. "We write to you out of deep concern for the health and well-being of ordinary people in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and other heavily-sanctioned locations. We also seek relief for people in Gaza, the West Bank, Yemen, and other countries being sanctioned by U.S. security partners and where U.S. laws and policies sanction non-state groups that control territory or political structures."
Signing this letter included the leadership of Church World Service, the National Council of Churches, the American Friends Service Committee, the United Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ, the United Church of Christ, The Lutheran World Federation, the Episcopal Church, and the Mennonite Central Committee. The letter also said that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the precarious position of many of these countries and territories and that without immediate aid they can face severe economic hardship, infection, and death. It quoted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling "for the waiving of sanctions that can undermine countries' capacity to respond to the pandemic."
There is much we can do in the midst of this pandemic, including keeping in touch with those in our community that are hurting and alone, providing support for food banks and crisis centers, as well as the church. And we can write letters to those who make our government function. Let them know we "Love our Neighbors!"
Peace, and please share your concerns and prayer requests with me.
Rev. Ralph B. Wright, Jr.
516-606-7671 (cell) or email@example.com
Topic: Old South Haven Sunday Church Service Sunday, May 3, 2020, at 9:45 AM
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