After the Storm
Post date: Aug 06, 2020 6:6:12 PM
Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,
Grace and peace to you!
First, beloved one, how are you doing? This has been some week with Tropical Storm Isaias affecting our area quite terribly. I write this from the Hofmann home because we are still without power at the church — as are many of you — and the Hofmanns have electricity and internet. Despite our lack of power in the area, people are continuing to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community . . . even more so. I have witnessed such acts of kindness and generosity through this tough time — food deliveries, coffee deliveries, opening of homes so that others can charge their devices or just have a moment in the air conditioning, and phone and text check-ins. Thank you for loving your neighbor. And let us continue to pray that power will be restored and that people will be safe during the long nights lacking illumination.
It is most likely I will not have power back by Sunday (I pray I do!), but if not, we will still have Zoom church for those who can get online. Bob and Dolores have graciously agreed to allow me to set up church on their back deck so we can still worship together.
Come this Sunday when we will gather online at 10:15 AM to chat with one another, and then worship together at 10:30 AM. Our music was recorded in the Sanctuary featuring Izaak Thorpe singing our anthem, “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love.” I am preaching the second part in our series Just Amos and my sermon title is Seek God and Live.
Also this Sunday (with weather permitting) we will have our Vespers in the Meditation Garden at 6 PM. At this worship service we will pray, read Scripture, and award the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Youth Group Memorial scholarships. We will be socially distancing (6 feet or more), so please bring your own chair and a mask. I would ask that you let me know if you plan to come so that I can prepare the garden accordingly. Based on the space, we must keep attendance to 25 people.
I leave you with this blessing from John O’Donohue called “For Equilibrium.” For truly, we all need some holy balance right now. May you feel surrounded by God’s steadfast love and enduring grace as we recover from the storm and continue to live in a pandemic.
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.
As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.
Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As silence smiles on the other side of what's said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.
In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,