Thursday, April 23, 2020

OSHC This Sunday Third Week of Easter

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

I am again inviting you to join us at our next virtual church service on Sunday, April 26, 2020.  Details on joining the service are below.
Please see also Pastor Ralph's wonderful letter to the congregation.  If you have any prayer concerns, please contact either Pastor Ralph
(his numbers and email are on the bottom of the letter) or Nancy Best, 631-286-1659 or

I look forward to your participation in Sunday's church service.

God Bless and Be Safe,

Message from Pastor Wright
April 23, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church

Say it Again!  Say it Again!  Say it Again!   Those were the words of a school drama coach.  I never thought I would begin a letter to church members with those words.  But repetition is not only good for the memory when learning lines for a play, it is also good for the soul.
"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.  Little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong!"  These are the well written words, based on I Corinthians 6:19, of Anna Bartlett Warner who penned them in 1859.  The music was composed by William Batchelder Bradbury in 1862, who also added the chorus "Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so."  After publication as a song it became a most popular hymn in churches in America.  Christian missionaries also used it to proclaim the Gospel overseas. The hymn or chorus as some refer to it gained a worldwide following. It was particularly a favorite of children in Sunday School.

It is also interesting to note that in 1943 during the Pacific campaign of World War II in the Solomon Islands, John F. Kennedy's PT-109 was rammed and sunk. The Islanders who found Kennedy and survivors remember that when they rode on the PT boats to retrieve the survivors, the Marines sang the "Jesus Loves Me" chorus with the natives, who had leaned it from Seventh Day Adventist missionaries. 
In today's world we tend to sing hymns that are more theologically compatible to modern society.  We are also led by Christian professors and Bible teachers to develop a Biblical understanding that highlights the complexities of the Christian faith.  The story of Jesus is interpreted to fit into a scientific world.  And yet, when thrown into a crisis, such as the Corona Virus Pandemic which we are experiencing today, it is the simple truths of the Gospel that gives us strength and a means to deal with our fears, our anxieties, and our loneliness.  Yes, Jesus loves us.

Today we are in the midst of the Season of Eastertide, a seven week season which ends with Pentecost.  Therefore it is appropriate that we continue in church and in our homes to celebrate Easter not just on Easter Sunday but for some time afterwards.  It is also appropriate to reflect on the events of Jesus' life.  It is noteworthy that Jesus had highs and lows.  He experienced in one moment God's powerful, life-changing love and the next moment was tempted not to trust God's love (Mark 1:9-13).  We too, are tempted that way.  The Biblical story of the woman accused of adultery points out her sins, yet puts forward the idea that we as Christians should not be condemning her by throwing stones at her but that we should protect her.  We are called to be stone catchers instead of stone throwers.  A revolutionary idea in a society of legalists.

There is so much fear and division in our nation and our world that we need to provide compassion and love to all, including those who disagree with us.  We can show compassion by giving help to all those in need.  We have neighbors and possibly family members who are angry because they are not able to work and earn money because of the virus and the mandates of the governmental authorities to keep us at home.  How we extend Jesus' love to help those who are suffering in such a way is a great challenge not only for us but for all in our community.  As Christians we need to lead the way in providing help while building bridges of trust and communities of love and respect.   

In closing, let me also invite you to read this week-end the last chapter (#24) of the Gospel of Luke and follow the events of Easter and the days following.  .Please feel free to contact me with your concerns and prayer requests and don't forget, "Jesus loves you."

Pastor Ralph
(516) 606-7971 (cell) – (631) 475-3322 (office)

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

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