A message from Rev. Jim
Dear Members and Friends of CCEH,
Holy week is nearly here with Palm Sunday this coming Sunday, April 5. As you know, Church Council made the decision to continue our current virtual (online) mode of all church related events and gatherings, including worship, through April 20, at least.
Holy week this year, shaped by our online life of physical distancing, will have the same familiar themes, but done differently. For Palm Sunday, you’ll be invited to bring your own “palm” so to speak, and the same for our sacrament of Holy Communion which we will celebrate on both Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday (April 9). Stay tuned for more details.
These words from Rev. Bill Worley, Conference Minister of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC are apt:
“Despite our current challenges, there is much to celebrate beginning with Jesus’ Palm Sunday courage. The deep pain and fear he confronts riding into Jerusalem bring to mind the courage and pain of medical practitioners and first responders who everyday ride into the presence of the coronavirus to bring hope and healing. His vulnerability is matched by theirs and I want to be part of that which, in our day, means staying home from the parade.
Still, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we join Jesus who isn’t just heading towards those who plot his death. He knowingly moves towards the confrontation that would let down those who had laid so many expectations upon him. But he went anyway. Still, Jesus shows us that disappointment doesn’t have to have the last word; and neither will this disease. Disappointment can walk out of a tomb and shatter the present powers of this world.”
While COVID-19 has revealed to us the limits of our narratives of personal freedom, consumer availability and blind belief in technological progress and growth, it has also revealed the strength and creativity of our communities. I am grateful to say that our CCEH church family has more than met the challenge of holding our community together as we traverse these uncharted waters.
To help us continue to do so, I share below some fun and inspiring video clips –
Virtual ‘Love Sweet Love’ From Quarantined Berklee College of Music Students
“Do Re Mi – Covid 19 version” (a la, “The Sound of Music” movie)
Daily Digital Divine – Mental Health: My Personal Tools, with Robin Kempster(Note: Robin is the parish nurse at 1st Congregational Church, UCC, Berkeley, CA, my former home church for many years.)
Lastly, in case you missed an online CCEH worship event or want to view one again, the below link will take you to where they are archived on our church website:
Please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email for pastoral support – a prayer, a conversation. Your questions and concerns are most welcomed.
I’ll be holding online office hours every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. through the end of April. Longer if needed. These are “drop in” office hours. No appointment is needed. We can talk together, pray together, commiserate together or laugh together. You set the agenda.
Rev. Jim’s Office Hours: Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Join by clicking here (https://hartsem.zoom.us/j/246611260) anytime during that hour. If you prefer to call in by phone, dial 646 558 8656 and enter the meeting ID: 246 611 260.