Younger Children’s Bulletin for April 26, 2020

Older Children’s
Bulletin for April 26, 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.

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.

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. Please submit your sharing by April 28.

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.

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

My Faith Looks Up To Thee

by Jeremiah Padilla and Josh Burtner | Public Domain

Risen and revealing God,
you walked with us for a long time
before we knew who you truly were.
We talked about this world
as if we were the ones who saw it clearly.
Now that we more fully recognise
your continued presence with us,
give us eyes to see the beauty
that surrounds us,
as well as the problems
we have too long ignored.
And may our hearts then burn
with your illuminating and catalysing fire
that we might see the world that you envision.


Poet and Iona Community member Joy Mead’s musings on the nature of resurrection, read by Iona shop manager Lyn Meier against the backdrop of the North End in the evening light.

The question is not: Did it happen? It happens every time we tell the Jesus story and when we share our own stories. It’s in the remembering, the letting go and the moving on. It happens every time the green bursts out of the winter dark, buds open and daffodils yellow the earth. It happens in the excitement of ordinary meetings and the conversations of home. It happens every time someone forgives, and heals another, every time bread is shared. It happens every time I’m surprised by a rainbow, feel new life in the air or that unexplainable warming in my heart. It happens when I light a candle and let go my dreams into the dark spaces. The flame stays when I have gone, connecting me with others, kindling hope in their hearts. It burns itself out but does not die.

I know resurrection happens. The question might be: What is it? I don’t know what resurrection is, and I don’t need to know. I believe it is something like coming through on the far side of a day; that it comes quietly in moments of light where love is strong to bear regrets and banish fears.

Hope is resurrection in waiting.

by Joy Mead
From Growing Hope, Neil Paynter ed.

In the Secret

In the secret,
In the quiet place
In the stillness you are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour
I wait, only for you
Because I want to know you more.

I want to know you
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more
I want to touch you
I want to see you face
I want to know you more

I am reaching for the highest goal
That I might receive the prize.
Pressing onward,
Pushing every hindrance aside,
Out of my way
Cause I want to know you more

[Chorus x3]

I want to know you more
I want to know you more

In the Secret

by PVCOB Praise Team | Streamed with permission. CSPL121366

It occurred to us as we were preparing this Children’s moment, that Pastor Rebecca is sitting at the feet of the painting of Jesus in the Open Door classroom. That feels very appropriate to us as we share with our children. May we all take advantage of the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus today.

If you are worshiping in a group with family, I would encourage you to share the reading of the scripture texts between you. Or, if you prefer, you can play the audio recording below the text.

Luke 17:22-33
Then he said to the disciples, ‘The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, “Look there!” or “Look here!” Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all of them —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it.

Matthew 24:3-8
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Messiah!” and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:8, 10-12, NIV).

Oh Lord, we confess we are quick to blame;
We give thanks for your compassion.

Oh Lord we confess we are prone to worry and anxiousness;
We give thanks that you are abounding in love.

Oh Lord we are sometimes burdened with a sense of our own inadequacies;
We give thanks that you do not treat us as we deserve.

Oh Lord we confess it is sometimes difficult to forgive ourselves and others:
We give thanks that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Oh Lord we give thanks for your great love.

John Jantzi
District Executive Minister
Shared by Permission

Rejoice, The Lord Is King

Rejoice, the Lord is King,
Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals, give thanks and sing
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart. Lift up your voice.
  Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

His kingdom cannot fail;
He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell
To Jesus now are giv’n:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
  Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

Rejoice the Lord is King

by David Tate, Jeremiah Padilla, Joshua Burtner | Public Domain

NT Wright is a former Bishop of the Anglican church. In this video, he shares about God’s redemption working through people in small and powerful ways.


  • Wright talks about his work as the bishop of Durham, England. This city has fallen to economic ruin and many people have given up hope.  Wright talks about how the church has taken the place of social services in Durham.  How can churches think of worship as “sustaining the life that is going on around”?  What are creative ways in which we can help restore the brokenness in our communities?
  • Wright talks about the “street pastor project” that seeks to care for young people who are in the streets after partying at clubs.  How can churches create ministries that support people, instead of judging or condemning them?
  • In response to the question about these ministries and their relationship to “salvation,” Wright talks about how the renewal of creation is not some otherworldly paradise, but something that takes place in the world (see Rom. 8 and Rev. 22).  How do we intentionally talk about salvation as redemption rather than escape?
  • How can the church be a part of this kind of renewal?

by Phuc Luu, adapted

Last month, the Church Board voted to send a contribution to Valley Mission, to aid in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, even as they lost income from the closing of their their thrift shops. John Garber shares from their “Thank-you” letter in the video below.

Earlier this month the Walking Roots Band invited friends and fans of the group to submit videos of themselves singing the song “Shelter in the Time of Storm.” They then took those videos to compile the virtual choir below.

This song does feel particularly appropriate for this time. It is also a song that leaves me with a deep sense of peace. I hope that Christ will use it to minister to you in the same way.

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright,
A Shelter in the time of storm.


O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.


Arr. Seth Thomas Crissman © 2013

Jen Pollock Michel offers a prayer list and guidance on her blog and on the website of Christianity Today:

“I have needed to be reminded that this is the time for us not to panic but to pray. Maybe you have needed that reminder, too? I have needed to be reminded that this is an opportune moment for the Church of Jesus Christ to proclaim the good news of the gospel and to remember Jesus’ promise to his disciples on the night of his arrest and execution. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.

“For myself and for others, I’ve created a prayer list for this pandemic. It is perhaps something you can print out and pray with your spouse or children or roommates in the weeks ahead. It can be an active way to resist worry—or as the Message translates it, shape your worries into prayers. I’d encourage you to turn to this list (or to other prayer guides) before you turn to media.”

1. For the sick and infected: God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of infection.
2. For our vulnerable populations: God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.
3. For the young and the strong: God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.
4. For our local, state, and federal governments: God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.
5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.
6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.
7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.
8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: God, provide them every necessary support.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Protect them from disease, and provide isolation shelters in every city.
10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: God, help them return home safely and quickly.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.
12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: God, keep them from panic, and inspire your church to generously support them.
13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.
14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: God, present them with creative solutions.
15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: God, help them to stay patient and positive.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.
17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: God, help them to creatively imagine how to pastor their congregants and love their cities well.
18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are canceled, whose graduation is uncertain: God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in you.
19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.
20. For frontline health care workers, we thank you for their vocational call to serve us. We also pray:
• God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy.
• God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
• God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic.
• God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
• God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
• God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
• God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many would ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
God, we trust that you are good and do good. Teach us to be your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus, who laid down his life for the sake of love. Glorify his name as you equip us with everything needed for doing your will. Amen.

 May God’s light shine brighter for you today than yesterday.
May you see his love more clearly and share his grace more freely.
May your tomorrow always be still closer to God than before.