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 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)

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Meeting ID: 813 1902 8722
Password: 949116
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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.

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