Dear Church Community,
Happy Earth Day! As I write this, it’s a picture-perfect April day, though I know tomorrow calls for rain. I’m feeling so grateful for the almost completely unfurled leaves of the trees, and the rustling noise the wind makes blowing through them. Even those cooped up in apartment buildings can open your windows and hear this sound. So, thank you God, for “most this amazing day, and the leaping greenly spirits of trees.” (e.e. cummings)
I’ve wrestled over the past month with the balance between suffering and joy, as there’s currently so much of the former. And yet, the skies are bluer over DC than they’ve ever been, the water cleaner, the traffic lighter. All of which supports our health and well-being! So, I’m practicing the embrace of both suffering and joy, knowing there are no simple, clear cut answers. Today I celebrate the healing of Mother Earth.
Sunday’s Service: This week’s worship will honor the connections between our earth and each other, knowing there’s no real disjunction between the two. What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves. Just as, what we do to one another, we do to ourselves. And so, let us love the earth. Let us love one another. Let us love our own sweet selves. Amen! See below for Zoom Worship information (you’ll receive an email reminder Saturday evening).
As we continue this Season of Easter, I offer you the following poem by Mary Oliver:
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say,
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
Reaching In: If you need help, please know you are not alone. Don’t hesitate to contact me, email@example.com. You can also request assistance from the Cleveland & Woodley Park Village: firstname.lastname@example.org/(202) 615-5853 or DC Mutual Aid Network: (202) email@example.com.
Reaching Out: If you’re able to give help, these organizations need both financial donations and volunteers. To volunteer for the Cleveland & Woodley Park Village: Village Volunteer. To volunteer with or donate to the DC Mutual Aid Network: Mutual Aid Volunteer and Mutual Aid Donation. Click here for a longer list of organizations in our area working to make sure vulnerable populations are cared for during this crisis.
Finally, at the beginning of the DC Area shutdown, the German news outlet, ZDF, did a video short about our church. It’s in German, but you’ll “understand.” Isoliert durch Corona translates to Isolation during Corona. We’re all one world family!
Easter Blessings to you and yours,
Our Weekly Online Schedule and Upcoming Events
– email firstname.lastname@example.org for links –
Tuesday Prayers—Each Tuesday, I’ll email the entire congregation, checking in and sharing prayer requests. Please send your requests to email@example.com. We’ll hold one another in prayer, more than ever, during this time.
Wednesday Morning Meditation—Please join me for half an hour of peace and quiet via Zoom, each Wednesday at 8 am.Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
Wednesday Family Connection—Each Wednesday, I’ll email our families with children some ideas for connecting with each other virtually, along with some resources for keeping occupied at home and reaching out to others.
Thursday Children’s Time—All children and youth are invited to “hang out” online with Pastor Ellen for half an hour via Zoom each Thursday at 11:30 am. Email email@example.com for the link.
Thursday Pastor’s Page—Each Thursday, I’ll email the entire congregation with suggestions for ways to take care of ourselves and others. I’ll also share information about the upcoming Sunday service and any church groups meeting virtually.
Friday Moderator’s Memo—David Grimsted will continue to offer his historical reflections every other week, so we all have something to think about besides COVID-19!
Sunday Morning Worship—We’ll meet via Zoom each Sunday at 10:30 am, followed by an online Coffee Hour (the chat window will remain open for 20 minutes after worship). See below for this Sunday’s Zoom information.
Bible Study, 5/3—This group is currently reading the Book of Daniel and will meet after worship on May 3 at 12:30 pm via Zoom. For study resources and the Zoom link, email firstname.lastname@example.org.