WCC Weekly Message – April 2

Dear WCC Friends,

Grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you in this time of “safe distancing” and “sheltering at home.” There is much anxiety but also much opportunity for renewed faith in this time of pandemic. While I would not wish mortal illness, suffering or worry on anyone, the shared sense of vulnerability and “we’re in this together” has also been a blessing on my faith. Sharing Midday Prayer and online small groups and worship with those who’ve taken advantage of these ministries has provided a deeper sense of connection, in some ways even more so than our more familiar routines. And I now have deeper appreciation for those routines! I can’t wait till we are back in the sanctuary together! What a joyous Sunday that will be!

But in the meantime we are continuing to do and be the church in new ways! With Holy Week coming up next week we will be challenged to provide new ways to celebrate and observe ancient holy days. Here is what we have planned:

– This Saturday, April 4, after 9 AM, there will be a table and basket of palms outside the Norris St (kitchen) entrance of the church with palms to pick up if you are out doing your essential errands. (Religious service is among the business deemed “essential” in the Governor’s decree). Please come help yourself, and if anyone else is ahead of you, of course, greet them from a safe distance. (No one will have touched the palms without gloves and gloves will be there to pick out your own).

– PALM SUNDAY, April 5: Worship at 9:45 AM will again be accessible through a Zoom Webinar format AND streamed to the WCC Facebook PAGE (not group). Here are the links:

Facebook Link:
www.facebook.com/WestbrookCongregationalChurchCt/ [scroll down the page till you see the window announcing worship will begin soon]

Zoom link:
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
zoom.us/j/698437325

As was noted in the Bell Buoy that went out yesterday, when you set yourself up to watch the worship service, please have with you a piece of bread and a cup of wine/juice/other beverage. We’ll be celebrating Communion together.

MAUNDY THURSDAY: April 9.

There will be a prerecorded service available for watching on both our Facebook page and Website. This commemoration of the Last Supper will include the “Service of Tenebrae” (“shadows”) with the reading of the Passion and the extinguishing of candles.

Again, we suggest you bring with you when you watch: bread and cup of wine/juice/other beverage, a cross (table top, picture, jewelry), and your own candle to extinguish.

GOOD FRIDAY:

In place of our Good Friday Vigil in the sanctuary we invite you to find an hour sometime during the day or evening and use the Prayer Vigil Guide found here to pray, reflect, meditate, journal in whatever way is most meaningful to you.

If you would, please go to our Facebook page and post a thought for the day that day, or a picture of your vigil place or posture, or anything else that speaks to you of Good Friday.

EASTER SUNDAY: April 12

(The same links above at 9:45 on Sundays will access live worship streaming for you each Sunday).


DAILY MIDDAY PRAYER:
Remember we will still have daily midday prayer live on Facebook at 11:45-Noon Monday-Saturday. Though Maundy Thursday and Good Friday worship (above) will not be “live” you can participate in a live worship experience on those days through daily midday prayer.

PRAYER REQUESTS:
If you have specific prayer requests for Sunday worship (all Sundays going forward) please email them to me by 9:00 AM on Sunday morning.

MORE THAN HOLY WEEK:

– Midday Prayer (11:45 am – Noon) Mon-Saturday on (above) Facebook page

Ongoing online small groups:

– Lectionary Lunch on Tuesdays at Noon via Zoom (zoom.us/j/327460011) We enjoy real time, face to face conversation on the scripture from the past Sunday and more!
– Lectio Divina on Wednesdays at 7 PM ( zoom.us/j/126200609) We enjoy real time, face to face discussion of a selected Psalm using the spiritual tool of “holy reading” that asks, “How is the passage speaking to my life?”

(You need to download and set up a Zoom account for these but it’s VERY easy; Mairi and I (or your children/grandchildren) would be more than happy to talk you through it)

Peace be with you this day and into our holiest of weeks just around the corner!

Rev. Jan