Join us for an hour or more of fun games via Zoom! Laura Delaney is our game leader – and she has another fun evening of games planned for us. Contact Pastor Amy for more information.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121: 1-2
Did someone you know graduate this year? We celebrated with several graduates– including EPC’s Kate S-D. As I watched portions of their online graduations, I was impressed with the way the colleges and high schools tried to make the day special for each graduate. Even elementary and middle schools across our area held graduation parades, with teachers standing at a social distance along the side of the street and parents with the children in their cars driving past in long lines. As they passed one another they shouted words of thanks, congratulations, and encouragement. Each graduation was creative and heartwarming, but it also just wasn’t the same. And that small discomfort I felt is a reminder that we crave the in-person connections with each other that we are missing in this time.
Earlier today I watched a recorded video of the Rev. Otis Moss III preaching a sermon for an annual Festival of Homiletics. He preached standing in the aisle of his church, surrounded by empty pews. Standing in that empty sanctuary, he talked about the alone-ness of this pandemic. The pews beside him were once filled with worshipers (and he showed us photos of them), singing, rejoicing, and praying together. But now they are empty. And it is easy to be discouraged. “Don’t lose heart,” Rev. Moss proclaimed. Why? Because we are not alone. He then asked the camera operator to widen the view, and he showed us that he was not alone – his wife was there praying for him as he preached, seated just outside the frame of the original camera angle. The camera operator was also there. And then Rev. Moss wondered about each of us. We can feel alone, but God is there with us, sometimes just out of sight, just outside of the frame.
It’s in times like these, preaching to an empty room, that I appreciate the Apostle Paul’s reminder to the church in Colossae, “… since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (Colossians 4:1). Our ministry together at Edmonds Presbyterian Church looks far different than anything we could have imagined even six months ago. While you may not see them at work, your session, your deacons, your staff, your property volunteers are all at work doing the ministry of this congregation – seen or unseen. This month’s newsletter is one place for me to offer them my thanks for not losing heart, for praying for one another as we continue to be the church in these changing times.
Friends, do not lose heart. God is at work – seen and unseen. God is at work in those near us and those just outside our frame of view. God is with us and will continue to encourage us in this walk of faith.
with thanks your prayers,
It is a challenging time to be on the Session!
We have :
Vision House is one of EPC’s mission giving organizations. It is primarily associated with the Women’s Association. I don’t know for how many years, I first became aware of it in 2014. Pastor Amy brought it to my attention. I applied for the Maintenance position for the Shoreline complex. All of us have job titles, but if you ask any of us, we eagerly get involved in whatever we can.
I won’t go into detail here about the organization. You can contact me separately for info, printed materials or if you have a computer, go online to https://visionhouse.org/
There you will find direction to:
About Us, Services, Get Help, Get Involved, Ways to Give, Volunteer; and much more.
Vision House is a Christian non-profit that provides transitional housing, critical support and life skills training and the time needed for a family experiencing homelessness to identify their strengths to become more resilient and housing ready.
Vision House has 19 apartments in Renton, with more in the planning/construction phase. Shoreline has 12 apartments, with 10 more that will be ready for families by end of Summer.
In addition the new Shoreline building will have a Full time, licensed Daycare for Infants, Toddlers, Pre-school. We will be expanding our Before and After School, School Age program with more indoor facilities and teachers.
Vision House relies on donations, daycare and our small thrift store for operation. As you might expect, Covid-19 has hampered all of those but we keep charging forward. Donations are always welcome. You can give online as an individual donor, to the church Mission Fund as individual or through Women’s Association. If you or anyone you know use Amazon, Go to Amazon Smile and choose Vision House as your non-profit. A portion of what you spend will go directly to Vision House. The 1st quarter this year $202 was given to Vision House.
(Those pennies add up)
You are invited to join us as we undertake the “21-day PCUSA Racial Justice Challenge” over the course of 7 weeks beginning Monday, June 29th.
At this particular time in history it is good for us to study what the issues are concerning racial justice, and in particular how our faith informs our individual response. What is structural racism? How does it affect our lives and the lives of those around us? What can we do about it?
You may participate in this 21-day challenge by taking the challenge on your own time and schedule (see https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/matthew-25/racism/ for the content of the 21 day challenge) or by following a 3-day a week calendar with others from the congregation, and participating as you are able with a 30 minute discussion online to reflect on what we have read that day. The discussions and prayer together will be on zoom at 7 PM Monday, 7 PM Wednesday, and 2:30 PM Friday. A calendar will be emailed soon to all participants. We will begin on June 29th.
Linda R, Kim W, Don I, and Pastor Amy will be your leaders for the online discussion and prayers.
If you would like to participate with others, please contact Kim or Pastor Amy so we can send you our discussion calendar. You are also welcome to invite friends or family to join us. Printed packets of many of the materials from the 21 day challenge are available if that would be helpful for you (there is a lot of reading in this challenge). We can leave the packet at the church for you to pick up, or mail it to you.
And whether you participate or not, I encourage you to include racial justice in your prayers, perhaps as inspired by the signs held by the children in the photo below. “May God’s love transform us into friends.”
While we cannot gather in person, we will gather over the internet to share the Lord’s Supper together. On Sunday, July 5th, at 2 PM (following our usual 1 PM check-in) we will gather via Zoom for home communion together. As we have done previously, please have your own bread (simple is best), and grape juice / wine or other beverage common to your home. You may “zoom in” in from your phone, smartphone, or computer.
Many thanks for Donna P-D, our neighbor, for tending the garden by the sign and including all the amazing painted rocks. She is also watering our roses when she is there. Thanks to Tim A, Kim W, and Eric S for mowing and weed whacking the lawn. There’s room for more volunteers – we’d love to have your help if you’d love to garden, mow, or otherwise beautify the grounds. Contact Gay H or Pastor Amy for more information.
Your session is working on the required re-opening document that will allow us to re-open the building for different types of gatherings starting as early as Phase 4 of the Washington state COVID-19 phases for Snohomish County. A task force has been formed and has begun meeting. On Sunday, June 28th at 2 PM (following our 1 PM check-in), we invite you to log-in by Zoom to ask questions of the task force regarding our re-opening plans. We will schedule other opportunities to learn more as we get closer to re-opening the building for group use.
In order to track who has been in the building, should we need to answer that question for a public health contact tracker, we have placed a sign-in sheet at the main entry to the church. Please log in and log out, indicating which areas of the church you visited. Currently there are no meetings scheduled at the church building and staff is using the facility on a limited basis.
We also ask that you monitor your own symptoms and if you are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, please do not visit the church building.
A monthly newsletter of upcoming events, celebrations, and news of the church community.