Eek! Sorry for the delay in getting this update to you. I hope you are well. We've made in yet another week in our common circumstance. Staying home, yet, staying in touch. Technology has been so helpful during these times of isolation. It has allowed us to communicate and reach out to others from our homes and be connected and encouraged. Texting and calling family and friends is invaluable. FaceTiming and Zooming with our jobs, our neighbors and our social groups has been very life giving and supportive.
Yet, as I have engaged in many zooms myself and spoken to others using it for their jobs and socializing with friends, I am finding a common reaction. It's exhausting. And obviously not the same as meeting with the person face to face, but they don't know why. I found some of the answer to that difference in an article this week. It lauded the benefits of our social media and tech, while also describing reasons that contribute to the fatigue and oddity: Turns out one of the chief straining elements about video conferencing is that there is no genuine eye contact. It feels like we're all looking at each other but we can't get contact with each others eyes and see one another genuinely. The screen intervenes and prevents the deep contact we are hoping for.
I share this to affirm what I think we already know. Presence is irreplaceable. It shows one small evidence that although we can find a kind of connection through media it's ultimately not completely what we truly desire. Video and text and phone calls can transmit information, can express some feelings, can display desire but they can not translate presence, touch, and the satisfying sense of seeing into the heart and being seen and embraced. We need to be with each other. Technology is a welcome bridge to get us to that future day when we will be able to have the presence and touch we value. This even highlights the work Christ that he did not send messages or miracles. He came. He lived among his people and when he left, he left behind his presence, in the person of his Spirit, in the hearts of those who trust him. A presence that he promised would never leave us nor forsake us, a presence that knows us and that can be known. That sees us to our depths and loves us despite what he sees and promises to repair and embrace through his grace.
Live Streaming and Cancelations
We continue to offer live streaming of the weekly worship service on Sundays at 10 am. The link is below and the bulletin is attached. Please feel free to invite others to join in. Share the link on social media or pass it along to folks who may find it helpful. All other services are cancelled through the month of May, but small groups and youth group continue on zoom. Please contact me if you would like to be involved. As we approach June and keeping abreast of community guidelines, the session and I will determine whether we can begin to meet again face to face.
Let me know if you have or are aware of any needs. Stay home and stay connected. We love you all and are praying for you day by day.
HANOVER VALLEY PRESBYTERIAN BULLETIN
May 17th, 2020
Call to Worship
Almighty, Most Holy God
Chorus: Almighty, most Holy God; faithful through the ages.
Almighty, most Holy Lord, glorious Almighty God.
The beasts of the field, the birds of the air
Are silent to call out Your name.
The earth has no voice and I have no choice
But to magnify God unashamed.
Let the rocks be kept silent for one more day,
Let the whole world sing out, let the people say: Chorus
Well, time marches on with innocence gone,
And a darkness has covered the earth.
But his spirit still dwells, he speaks, it is well,
And the hopeless still offered new birth.
He will break the leash of death, it will have no sting.
Let the prisoner go free, join the dance and sing: Chorus
Corporate Prayer of Confession
Father of mercy and God of all compassion, in Christ you have given us a sacrifice for our sin we do not deserve and a rightness in him that we could never attain. Yet, day by day we rely on our merits, reputations and efforts to gain your approval and activity in our lives and by doing this we sin. We place our confidence more in our own goodness than in the goodness of Christ to find hope and blessing. Please forgive us. Convince us again of the power of your grace to change us and lead us through that to joy and love for you and your world. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Words of Encouragement
The Lord builds up His people; he gathers the outcasts. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. - Psalm 147:2-3, 5
Announcements & Prayers of the People
Offering & Special Music
Shaking Things Up - Pastor Drew Derreth
Song of Reflection
In Christ Alone
In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my all in all,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on the cross, as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied,
For every sin on Him was laid,
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground, His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine,
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand,
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
Parting Song of Praise
How Great is Your Love (Chorus)
How high and how wide, how deep and how long
How sweet and how strong is Your love
How lavish Your grace, how faithful Your ways,
How great is Your love, O Lord