Blessings all!
I pray that you are well, and that if you are not well, that you are recovering and will be well soon. May God surround each of us with his healing Spirit and give us the strength to get through. This week, I have heard from close to a dozen people in and around our congregation who are in recovery from COVID-19. Most of them were diagnosed by doctors, but no test was available, so they were not included in the state’s official count. This says to me that the virus is much more prevalent in our area than many of us think. So please be careful! If possible, I strongly encourage you to stay at home! Also, if you are older, or immune-compromised in any way, and are in need of supplies, please call our Administrative Assistant, Anne Bowman. She is working from home and has a list of people who have volunteered to help with such errands.

On the note of helping, I have some information to share from the Church Board:

Announcements on Community Needs Fund

The Stewardship Focus Team (Jon Garber, Tom Emerson, and Chris Auville) along with Carol Wilson (Board Chair) and Keith Wilson (Treasurer) held a phone conference last week to discuss some church finance issues. The following motion was made during the conference call and then approved via email vote by the board.

Motion:

I (Jon) propose that we open the Community Needs Fund to donations given by any church member who would like to do so. Also, the disbursement of these funds will be managed by the members of the Stewardship Focus Team and the Church Treasurer.

Background information: A church member suggested to our board chair that some folks who are still working while the pandemic is going on will be getting stimulus checks from the government, and these individuals may be interested in giving a donation to support others in need. Our Community Needs Fund would provide one way that such contributions could be made. Additionally, having a smaller group (four individuals) making the decisions regarding disbursement of funds expedites the giving.  Members of the Stewardship Focus Team reserve the right to seek the direction of the entire board if there is any question about a donation request.

If you are giving online, you will note that there is an option on the giving form to pick between the General Fund, and the Community Needs Fund. Also, if you are aware of a neighbor’s need or are in need yourself, please contact a member of the Stewardship Focus Team.

How to celebrate Easter!
Remember, our celebration is not a party for ourselves. It is in honor of Jesus, a celebration of his resurrection! I invite you to celebrate Easter this week by getting ready. Put on your Easter finest! If you have been worshipping on your couch, consider moving your worship to the dining room. Lay out a fresh tablecloth (if you have them; I confess we don’t). Go outside and pick some flowers for the table. We cannot gather this Easter, but we can still give our honor and praise to Jesus.
I invite you to take a picture to share! I will compile an album of Easter pictures from our congregation that will be placed on our church website! Happy Easter to all! Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

In addition to our online Easter worship service, we will have a Drive-Through Prayer Walk at the church. Starting Friday morning, you can drive around the church to visit stations remembering the events of Holy Week. Please stay in your car! A guide, including scriptures and prayers, will be available at https://pleasantvalleyalive.org/wp/drive-through-prayer-walk/. We expect the stations to be available 8AM-8PM, Friday through Sunday, contingent on the weather.
You may also wish to participate in the Online Love Feast service being hosted by the denominational staff of the Church of the Brethren. This will take place on Thursday evening at 8PM. https://livestream.com/livingstreamcob/lovefeast2020

The Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center is hosting an Online Easter Sunrise Service at 8:30AM on Sunday Morning. A link will be posted at https://brethrenmennoniteheritage.org/home .

In Christ’s Love
Pastor Daniel