The writer to the Hebrews talks about “the great cloud of witnesses” who watch over us to cheer us on. The late Carlyle Marney, a baptist pastor and prominent speaker in the middle decades of the 20th Century talked about “our balcony of approving faces,” those people alive and dead, who sit at edge of our consciousness and approve of us, giving us confidence in difficult times.
I have been thinking about Moravian “firsts.” I wish we could have avoided the new first of canceling so many public services, even the Easter Service in God’s Acre. I am glad it will be streamed online from the Home Church. Here is a link.
So, too, I am glad that, people at Fries Memorial Moravian, including Michael Westmoreland, are working to prepare some on-line versions of the Holy Week Services. That will be a first, though I wish we might have avoided it. That said, one of the positives brought about by the pandemic is that it forces all of us to embrace life in the 21st Century creative new ways. That which does not kill us, as individuals, as a church, as a society will make us stronger. St. Paul affirms this for Christians in Romans 5.
I pray that you will all “take-care.” I don’t need to tell you to pray for your friends, neighbors, church, nation and world. You are doing that.
While you are self-isolating, turn to page 2 using the buttons below, and consider a few of the important Moravian firsts from times gone by. They are from a paper I am currently revising for use in classes at church entitled “The Moravian Experience.”
We all have more opportunity that ever before for spending “Quiet-Time” with “the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” In a previous post, I mentioned Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan brother who is one of the teachers at The Center for Action and Contemplation (CAD). Fr. Rohr is a thoughtful Catholic who combines with deep roots in our faith with a broad and engaging presentation of it. Though I don’t always agree with what he says, I am always stimulated by it. For sometime I have been receiving a Daily Meditation from the CAC, and several of them have been especially helpful as I have been thinking about a personal and pastoral response to the Corona Virus Pandemic. You can find a listing of the CAC’s 2020 Meditations for the Month of March at this Link. I would encourage everyone to read Rohr’s Meditation for March 19, entitled “Love Alone Overcomes Fear.” Therein he writes:
I just made and posted a video to YouTube. I am new to this, but thought the effort worthwhile so I offer up what I normally never allow anyone to see. At the risk of becoming a laughing stock, I am linking to the video and its message. If I become a fool, I hope I am “a fool for Christ.” I am posting it in part to see what is possible. It looks like we will still be out when Holy Week and Easter roll around, and we are looking for ways to help you remember and celebrate those high and holy days.
Click here for the video. I apologize in advance for beating on my chair and computer. In future attempts, I will try to improve. I have added a few titles and trimmed some of the excess.
I hope and pray that each of you are well and safe. Look back to this page often. Several of us will be posting all sorts of things.
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, And give you peace.
Thank you for your faithful leadership in challenging times.
These days provide opportunity for all of us to draw on our Moravian heritage of missional resilience and the capacity to figure out how to keep moving forward. The members of the PEC are praying for you, your staff, the church boards, and the members and ministries of our congregations, fellowships and emerging ministries.
Recent developments call for response and adjustment: (DON’T FORGET TO HIT PAGE 2 BELOW)
Out of an abundance of caution, Fries Memorial has decided to suspend worship services and other large gatherings until further notice. The PEC has strongly encouraged this decision with the health and well-being of our members and the wider community in mind.
We all continue to watch and to pray for those around the world who are being impacted by the spread of COVID-19. We pray for those infected, the families of those who have lost their lives, those providing care and relief, and those making important decisions
NEW POST EVERYDAY. Check back often.
This Online Giving Link is for the convenience of our members. Visitors to the FriesChurch.Org may also use it to designate Memorials. It is a secure link.