Younger Children’s Bulletin for April 19, 2020

Older Children’s Bulletin for April 19, 2020

Good morning and welcome to our online worship! We pray that these online services will be a blessing and encouragement to you, even as we are not able to gather together.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our online Easter Album above!  We hope you enjoy the sharing of Easter blessings and celebrations!

Please be in prayer for the health of our church and our neighbors, and especially those who are working to keep the rest of us healthy in so many ways.

Please particularly be in prayer for the nursing homes in our region, as they work hard to keep their residents and staff safe. We acknowledge that some of these nursing homes are now short-staffed and that those able to work are working harder than ever. Please also offer specific prayers for Accordius Health in Harrisonburg as they wrestle with a COVID-19 outbreak inn their facility.

May God’s care, compassion, and healing come with power in our communities.

We have a list of volunteers that are ready to help you by running errands (picking up groceries, medication, etc.).  Please call the church office, your deacon, or our Administrative Assistant, Anne Bowman, at home to make arrangements.

The Church Board is inviting those who are able to make donations to our Community Needs Fund.  If you are receiving a Government Stimulus Check that you do not really need, this is one way to get the funds to those who do need them.  We have received a couple of inquiries for help at the church so far.  We expect this to accelerate in the coming weeks.

The Stewards are working hard looking for ways to reduce expenses during this difficult financial season. If you are able, you can submit offerings through the church website, or by by mailing a check to the church. Please note that offerings submitted through the website do incur a small processing fee. (That fee is smaller for donations from a checking account (ACH) than it is for credit card processing.) When you give your online offering, you can elect to either donate the amount required to cover the fee, or have it deducted from your offering amount. Either way, the total amount is included in your tax-deductible giving. Thank you for your continued giving to the ministries of the church.

If you have any notes or stories that you would like to share with the congregation, please send them to We will be putting together a May newsletter at the end of the month, and we would like to include a section of your sharing. Do you have a “Thank you” to share? Maybe you have seen God’s Spirit moving in a particular way recently that should be celebrated. Maybe you simply want to share a word of encouragement with others! All are welcome! If we have more than we can fit in this month’s newsletter, then they will be shared at future dates.

Thank you to all who are contributing to the life of our congregation in so many ways during this challenging time!  From music, to communications, to tackling administrative challenges, people are contributing in many ways!  The most important of them is prayer.  Please be in prayer for the church and its ministry as we navigate this ever-changing road together.

The Strife is O'er

by Jeremiah Padilla, Joshua Burtner | Streamed with permission. CSPL121366

Morning Prayer

Creator of the mountains, the rivers, and the rolling hills,

You reached down to the dust and molded us in your image. You breathed your divine breath into us. You made us to be in relationship with one another and with you.

As our ancestors came of age, they told stories of walking side by side with you or of angelic visitors sent by you. Throughout our first sacred testament, the people were faithful to you only to fall away. This pattern of back and forth of remembering to love and forgetting to love continues to this day. We do a good job of loving you and our neighbors only to turn our backs when it gets hard.

Still, your love and faithfulness to us — to your people of dust and divine breath — is steadfast. Thank you! Thank you! for your patience with us.

God of microbes and humanity, of puppies and alligators, creator of hope and purveyor of wisdom, in this time of fear and anxiety, of pandemic and polarization we turn to you.

We turn to you in this inexplicable time. God, we’ve never experienced a global pandemic before. We don’t know how to do this. It is so easy for us to be fearful and, yet, we know that is not the way you created us to be. You tell us time and again in our sacred text, “Do not be afraid.”

But it is hard. REALLY hard. Our anxiety threatens to separate us from one another. We forget our connectedness and hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Help us to share that toilet paper. Help us to use this time of physical separation to reach out to one another by telephone, or Facetime, email, or text.

In the silence, perceive what is on our hearts. Hear the names of those about whom we worry and those who need your healing caress.


Holy one, remind us, nudge us, move us in this time to see just how connected we are as a human family. Move us to be responsible and trust that you journey with us in this time of pandemic. Remind us that we are called in the midst of this time to choose love — of ourselves and of one another.

In the name of the Human One, we pray.


Tim Graves, adapted

Thine is the Glory

Thine is the glory,
Risen, conquering Son;
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment
Rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave clothes
Where Thy body lay.
Thine is the glory,
Risen, conquering Son;
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won;
Lo! Jesus meets us,
Risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greets us,
Scatters fear and gloom;
Let his church with gladness,
Hymns of triumph sing;
For our Lord now liveth,
Death hath lost its sting.
Thine is the glory,
Risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won.

Thine is the Glory

by David Tate, Jeremiah Padilla, Josh Burtner | Streamed with permission. CSPL121366

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession
(inspired by John 20:19-31)

Creator God,
we confess that at times we are skeptics.
At times we doubt that You exist
because of the evil we have seen in the world.
Oppression, marginalization, and plain hate still plague our world,
and it is hard to see Your love and light.
Sometimes, even those who bear Your name
do not walk in Your ways.

Help us to see Your goodness in this world.
Help us to know Your love.
Fill us with Your love and goodness,
so that we might love one another,
and lift up one another in faith. Amen.

Words of Assurance/Blessing
(from Psalm 27:13-14)

The psalmist says,
“I am sure I shall see the goodness of our God
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!”

Know that you do not wait alone.
God has given us one another for this journey of faith,
to help one another.
Know that you do not wait alone;
Christ is with us.
Be encouraged, and encourage one another.
Go and share the Good News. Amen.

by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell,

Luke 24:13-32
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe it?”

We believe you are the Christ, the resurrected Lord!

What about those times when our world caves in around us?

Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!

Or in those seasons when it looks like all hope is gone?

Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!

And even when our dreams are shattered, and it feels like we have nothing left to show for it?

Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!

What about when the world has turned against us, and it looks like Satan will win?

We have nothing to fear, and do not need to be discouraged, because Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!

Do we believe this?

May this simple truth burn within our hearts–Jesus is the Christ, the resurrected Lord!

 by Ryan Cooper
Pastor, Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren
Used by Permission

Open the Eyes of my Heart

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy…
Holy, holy, holy…
Holy, holy, holy…
I want to see you!

Open the Eyes of My Heart

by PVCOB Praise and Worship Team | Streamed with permission. CSPL121366

An Easter Prayer: Awaken Hope

When I meet people in whom you are hidden from view on my Emmaus road of life…
Awaken hope in me.
When the planet’s war, terrorism, hunger, violence and disease envelops me with its pain…
Awaken hope in me.
When, Like Mary in the garden, my own illusions and expectations keep me form finding you…
Awaken hope in me.
When the best in me feels beaten down by the worst in someone else…
Awaken hope in me.
When you surprise me by showing up unexpectedly in what I cannot resist…
Awaken hope in me.
When I cannot heal the ones I care about or take away their struggles…
Awaken hope in me.
When I refuse to come close enough to you and keep you at a distance by my self-endeavors…
Awaken hope in me.
When the mystery of death and the secret of the soul’s ongoing journey take me into darkness…
Awaken hope in me.
When my inner goodness is entombed and I lack the courage to bring your love to life…
Awaken hope in me.
When the Fire of Pentecost seeks to fill me with your challenging energy and enthusiasm…
Awaken hope in me.

by Joyce Rupp
from Out of the Ordinary:Prayers, Poems, and Reflections for Every Season

We are held in God’s love. We proclaim the power of that love every time we decide that we will not fear, and reach out to someone in love. May this time in our lives be defined by love, not fear, in our interactions with everyone we meet. All are held in God’s love.

Please be in prayer for the ministries of the Church, and for the resources to support those ministries. The need around us is great and is growing. We all need an understanding of Christ’s presence in order to reassure us and guide us through. I encourage you to be sharing these services with those outside our community, and be in prayer that they will be blessed through them, building new and stronger relationships with Jesus, and finding God’s sheltering care.

Thank you for all of the ways in which you are sharing and choosing to be God’s church.

Death Is Only the Beginning

Orient to my voice.

Hold on…
Blink again.

Open your eyes and tell me what you see.
Do you remember me?
Your perspective has changed, take a moment.

The lens of the Spirit is compassion and grace,
Can you see it?
Do you feel it?

Go slow. It’s just you and me,
and we have nothing but time.

Take a moment to center on your heart,
it is completely unfolded, wide open.

All the emotions from the journey
can catch up to you all at once—
there’s a lot to feel.

Take yourself in,
you are still you,
just different.

I have sealed your wounds but left your scars,
because everything in your life has mattered,
remember, but don’t dwell on the past.

Take my shirt, and here, have my coat as well.

I am sure you are hungry,
so have a seat, I will bring your plate.
Here’s your cup, full of wine—there is plenty.

I am about to send you out, are you ready?

You should know, the world has not changed.
It knows no difference in you today from you yesterday.
In fact, they will try to identify you by the marks of your old ways,
and hold you to the mythology of your former life.

They will look at you sideways,
they will wonder what they see,
they may even ask you who you think you are,
but I know exactly who you are.

So rise up, my Hope,
and carry the message:
I AM still alive and well in the world,
active and fully present.

Death is only the beginning.

by Kelly Ann Hall

The other night I ran across this video that may have been the first I ever produced for worship at Pleasant Valley. It was a sharing of what words or images described faith for us in that moment in 2017. May God continue to increase our faith!

You are not alone.
In times of joy, and times of sorrow,
In times of plenty, and times of need,
In times of strength, and times of weakness,
In times of peace, and times of anxiety,
In times of certainty, and times of doubt,
Know that you are not alone, for Jesus is with you.

Ryan Cooper
Pastor, Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren
Used by Permission