Pastoral Letter #18

Dear Members and Friends,


I’ve been writing you, but I haven’t asked the most important question: How are you doing? I know it’s tempting to answer “Fine” or to think this is only a socially polite question. I’m asking because I cannot care for you as your pastor without asking and meaning it. I cannot help Session think about programs and what needs to be done without going to you and asking “How are you doing?” What do I and what do the church’s leaders need to be doing or thinking about to care for you? I look forward to hearing from you.


We are going to celebrate communion this Sunday. We will be doing it electronically, that is, I will lead worship and you will follow what I say and do on Facebook live including serving yourself the elements, and, if you’re in living quarters with others, serving them.


Here is how you prepare for communion at home this Sunday, communion you will be taking together with others from First Presbyterian Church and, of course, with others around the world. It is the Lord’s table. When you participate, perhaps you can see yourself with Jesus and his disciples at the table, or with people from another period in the church, or this Sunday with people from FPCM.


1.Have bread on hand. Bread is anything you may have such as a slice from a loaf, a loaf that you bake, a tortilla, a cracker.


2.Have wine or juice on hand. This may be more challenging in some circumstances than obtaining bread. What kind of wine or juice? Use something that reminds you of what we use at church. You don’t have anything like that on hand? We can trust that whatever drinking liquid you have available can be used by the Holy Spirit to represent the new covenant in Jesus Christ. You’ll need a small glass, cup or something else to receive this liquid during worship.


3.When you get up Sunday morning, prepare a place – the table of the Lord in your living quarters – to place the bread and cup (at this point the cup is probably empty).


4.When we come to communion during worship, listen to the directions I give and copy my actions. It will help to have the bulletin on the table beside you.


5.Watch our worship on Facebook Live Sunday morning. When we come to communion, I will ask you to do as I do and repeat some of the words I say as we break the bread, receive the cup, and pray after communion. Remember, we are all gathered around the table, together.


My pastoral letter tomorrow will contain the April birthday list and the monthly calendar.


Mark Thursday evening and Friday afternoon for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday worship, which will be streamed on Facebook live.


God bless and keep you.

God be gracious and kind to you.

God’s face look upon you and grant you peace.


With gratitude,