10:30am - Worship St Francis Sunday, consider worshiping outdoors and/or bringing your animals
online here: https://zoom.us/j/338100220
or call in: 301 715 8592
(Meeting ID : 338 100 220)
2pm - "Dear Church" Book Group final session
see links for online events at www.hopecp.org
Dear People of Hope,
Sometimes things just don’t go the way you planned. And often that is exactly when God shows up.
This past Sunday evening I was driving to Pat’s house for an in-person communion service. As I was about half-way there, I got a text from a neighbor letting me know she had tested positive for COVID-19. We had crossed paths in our apartment hallway just a few days ago, talking for only 5-10 minutes, wearing masks the entire time, but my baby and her dog were also there -- no masks for them!
This news was something to take seriously, but I still felt healthy, and confused about what to do. It was too late to cancel the communion service; people would already be on their way. It was too late to find a replacement pastor; no substitute could arrive in time to bless the elements. Even so, knowing this recent exposure risk, it seemed unsafe for me to go join 10-15 church people.
Rolling with this last-minute change of plans, I called Pat at 6:45pm with the news; I wouldn’t be coming. When people arrived, she would share the news, and participants could simply pray together before departing. I texted the intern, Madeline, to say the same, floating the idea that she could lead the group in a somewhat improvised service.
I turned around and drove home, disappointed to miss the moment of community, prayer, and communion. Leaving people hanging on such short notice left me feeling sad, and unsure how they would adapt.
Madeline was hurrying to the communion service from Humble Walk evening worship, discovering the change of plans only upon arrival. Pat laid the scene, and Madeline quickly rose to the occasion. She led the group in sharing stories from their lives, a moment of prayer, and even some guided imagery recognizing God’s Light surrounding us all. Throughout the rest of the evening, I received texts, emails, and calls from people reporting it turned out to be a nice time.
Sometimes things just don’t go the way you planned. And something that is exactly when God shows up.
There’s a song that I learned in childhood that says:
The church is not a building where people go to pray
It’s not made out of sticks and stones, it’s not made out of clay
In recent months, I believe we are learning this truth so deeply. The church is beyond the walls of the building. This week I believe God reminds us that the church is also not a person, not a pastor, but a community of people. Thanks to Pat for hosting, to Madeline for leading, and to all who came and shared. And thanks to God for showing up, even (and perhaps especially) when our plans don’t work out.
Blessings of Christ,
ps- My family and I feel healthy. We have taken COVID tests and are staying home, awaiting results. Hope will still host in-person communion this Saturday at 4pm. If I am able to be present I will be there; if not, I will have time to find a substitute to officiate this week.
------ Coming for communion Saturday October 3, 4pm at Hope?
Please follow these parameters::
- If you’re feeling sick, stay home
- Wear your mask the entire time
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet
- Bring your own chair if you will want to sit (or just plan to stand for 15 minutes)
- Use the bathroom before you come
- If you test positive for COVID-19 later, contact Pastor Julie
------- Watch our Sunday worship services here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb3sPisSvuvo7IhDIFQklbg
------- For additional calendar notes or Zoom links, visit our website: www.hopecp.org
Mini-Retreat on Spiritual Grief and Lament Saturday October 10, throughout the day, on your own
There is tremendous loss in our lives, our country, our world. We need to acknowledge and express our grief. And as people of faith, we know we do not go through life alone. This retreat will help us name our grief, both specific and general, personal and collective, contemporary and timeless. This retreat will also invite us to acknowledge and seek God’s presence with us, in all things, including grief.
In several parts:
1. 10am-11am: We gather by zoom for introductions, and to learn some tools to guide our prayer for the day.
2. Throughout the day: you are encouraged to pray and reflect on your own.
3. optional 3pm: Some people will choose to meet at Greenbelt State Park for outdoor communion, healing prayer, and/or a prayer walk.
4. 7:45-9pm: We gather again by zoom to share experiences and reflections from the day, and to close in prayer together.
All zoom meeting will be here:
Meeting ID: 861 7011 4301, Password: 123456
movies@hope presents "John Lewis: Good Trouble" Friday October 9, 7:30pm, outdoors and online
Join us for the recently released documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble. From bold teenager on the frontlines of the civll rights movement of the 1960s to legislative powerhouse and elder stateman, this American icon has left an indelible mark on our country. Don't miss this celebration of Lewis' life and legacy!
Weather permitting, we will be showing the film outside on the lawn at Hope -- wearing masks and practicing social distancing. For that reason, outside spaces are limited, so you must make a reservation with Paul T in advance to claim one of the individual/family spaces. Spaces will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Due to Covid-19, masks must be worn throughout the evening and there will be no refreshments.
Because of the limited spaces available at the church, we will also offer the film on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86455123132
Giving to the Community through the end of September
In August Hope's Council decided to give $2000 for Langley Park Food Assistance and $2000 to the College Park Food Bank. Through September, join the church and other individuals in giving money for:
*children's school supplies *food assistance for Langley Park families *food assistance for the College Park Community Food Bank
You may write a check and put it in the mail to Hope. Or you may give online and select one of these funds in the drop down menu.
Calendar and Links
Tuesday September 29 (and following Tuesdays), 6:30-8:30pm Bible, Art and Poetry Conversation
Saturday October 3, 4pm
Front yard communion at Hope
Sunday October 4, 9am Kids Sunday School
Sunday October 4, 10:30am Worship
Sunday October 4, 2pm "Dear Church" Book Group final session https://umd.zoom.us/j/92081497545?pwd=ZjgrTTdMVmVDeW14eTk2K1JWR1IyUT09
Wednesday October 7, 7-8:30pm St Andrews Coffee & Theology Chat on The Anglican Communion
Friday October 9, 7:30pm
movies@hope presents John Lewis: Good Trouble, outdoors and online
Saturday October 10, 10am and 7:45pm
mini-retreat in your own space, details above and forthcoming
Sunday October 18, Baptism of baby Felix in morning worship Please pray for Felix and his family as they prepare for this celebration
Tuesday October 20, 8:30-9:30pm, Anti-Bias Parents Group
Wednesday October 21, 7-8:30pm St Andrews Coffee & Theology Chat on The Book of Common Prayer
Sunday October 25, 9-10am, "Just Mercy" adult faith formation book discussion with St Andrews
Sunday October 25, 1pm Hope Church Council Meeting
Thursday November 5, 12 and 19,
8pm, Celebration of 50 years of Women's Ordination in the ELCA panel discussions link forthcoming
Friday November 6, 7:30pm movies@hope presents Slay the Dragon https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86455123132
Sunday November 8, 9-10am, "Just Mercy" adult faith formation book discussion with St Andrews
Wednesday November 11, 7-8:30pm St Andrews Coffee & Theology Chat on High Church, Low Church, Broad Church... What?
Sunday November 15, 1pm virtual Congregational Meeting to discuss 2021 budget link forthcoming
Saturday November 21, 2pm
Celebration of 50 years of Women's Ordination in the ELCA online event with Pastor Beth Platz link forthcoming
Friday December 4, 7:30pm movies@hope presents While You Were Sleeping