Weekly News​

March 24, 2020 
Dear Friends,
​  
I pray fervently that this message finds you well. Please know you are in my heart and prayers. 
 
Our church is doing what we can to continue meeting the spiritual needs of folks in our faith family while also reaching out to those is the wider community who are in great need right now. 
 
After learning of increased needs at Leelanau Christian Neighbors, your missions committee will begin responding to that need promptly. Also, we have ended the drive-thru snack program at our church due to the stay in place order. We donated all the snacks that had been purchased to the LIFT youth program--they are delivering 130 packages of food to homes of families in need. We will continue to stay up-to-date with needs and encourage you to continue giving to the church if you are able to help us meet the needs.
 
I am delightfully surprised at how well our online ZOOM gatherings are going. Adult education groups, Bible studies, and even folks tuning in for worship are using this internet platform. The overwhelming feedback from Sunday's service was that tuning in via ZOOM was meaningful because people could see their fellow worshipers. To join ZOOM for worship, log in around 9:50 AM on Sundays using the church's ZOOM code 799 479 8496. Please be sure to mute your audio. If you want to practice using ZOOM, I'll be on the platform Friday from 10-11 AM so you have a chance to get it figured out.
 
If you are not currently receiving Evening Prayers from me via email, Facebook, Instagram, or text, and would like to, please let me know. My heart is full of gratitude to Lisa Rudgers for supplying me with photos to accompany the prayers. When all of this is over, the prayers will be compiled into a devotional booklet.
 
Our Deacons have called through their Congregational Connections lists to find out what needs you might have. In addition, I will be calling everyone in our directory over the course of the next few weeks just to check in. But, if you want to communicate, there's no need to wait for me to call you, feel free to call me. (231) 534-4821.
 
My prayer for you this morning is that, even in the midst of all of the upheaval, you are finding moments of calm, images of beauty, and glimpses of joy. I believe in the Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I believe that all of us are God's beloved children, and God will get us through this. I believe that with all of my heart.
 
Love to you!
  
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Robin
​​ ​​​​​​Thank you, Linda Miller, for providing the weekly reflection and prayer.​​
____________________________________________________________
 
Dear friends,

Cabin fever was something I never really understood … until I had a couple of rip-roaring Michigan winters under my belt. At least during those winters I could see what was keeping me snug in my house: snow drifts, icy roads and sidewalks. I could deal with the cold and the drifts by shoveling that snow. I could walk like a penguin on those icy sidewalks. I could let my husband drive if we needed to get out of the house. (Ha-ha!) We could just deal with it because we are hearty Michiganders, right?

Now we are house-bound by what is being called the “invisible enemy.” There is no way to tell if that person in line behind us at the grocery store was restocking their shelves after a trip abroad. There’s no way to tell if there are viruses lurking on the handle of the mailbox outside the post office or the pump handle at the gas station. We see statistics on the news and photos of people in far-way cities lying on the floors of overwhelmed hospitals, and we think “Oh, it can’t happen here. I’ll just stock up on toilet paper and beer and it’ll all blow over.” Those words have been spoken before, under a variety of circumstances. No matter where this virus is spreading, this IS a war and we are all on the front lines. Although some are closer to the action than others. As “inconvenient” as this social lockdown is, as over-the-top as it might seem, there has to be a positive spin on the situation. So. Wash your hands or pump out some sanitizer (rub it in good!) and get busy. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off; write that letter – YES, a real letter! Do that jigsaw puzzle you’ve been too busy to tackle. Maybe, like my friend Dan, this is the perfect time to battle that dingy tile grout in the bathroom. Perhaps this is the perfect time to do what I’ve been putting off for years: read the Bible from cover to cover. (You can skip the “begats” in the Old Testament. Or you can look up those tricky name pronunciations and be prepared to be a liturgist sometime!) Or like I said last week, this is the perfect time to make prayer a regular part of your life. While you are taking that solitary walk – which we are still allowed to do – use that time for prayer and praise.

Don’t ignore the health warnings on the news. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Fresh, cold air is such a blessing! Breathe deep the love of God who will get us through these uncertain days.

Dear God,
Walk with us as we navigate
these winding roads of uncertainty.
Incline our hearts to your goodness.
Thank you for all the healthcare workers
who tirelessly battle the “invisible enemy.”
May you be their invisible but ever-present
strength and shield.
Amen.
                                                                      
​​*****
​Linda
 

A video message from our very own Len Niehoff:






​Thank you, Len!
Len's video
(BlueJeans website)
The audio recording of this past Sunday's service is below.


Part 1

Part 2