Monday of Holy Week, 2020: What annoys Jesus is far more significant than what annoys me, thankfully! Join me for 8 minutes with Mark 11:15-19, Jesus' cleansing of the temple. How was it viewed? Why is it so important? Music for today: 'Christe Eleison' (Christ have mercy) from JS Bach, B Minor Mass https://youtu.be/g1kdc2ZbM3U
How does a 'middle-age' white presbyterian make friends with a group of black teenage girls? A shared appreciation for Fred Hammond, of course! 3 minutes with Romans 8:26-27, and how sometimes the best prayers (and songs!) are when you get past the words. Today's song: 'You are the Living Word', Fred Hammond Let's go to church!
Three piece suit on the outside. Track suit on the inside. Ever have one of those days? Take a few minutes with Psalm 100 and 102 to consider our moods and worship. Our song today: 'Enter His Courts' by Ashley Cleveland. From her album, 'Lesson of Love', one of my all time favorites. If you like rock, blues, and gospel, you will love this! https://youtu.be/L7-8a6hiuXE
*p.s. for Cup church: neither funeral was for a member; nor were either COVID-19 related. Life (and death) is still happening outside of that, believe it or not.
'Some have greatness thrust upon them.' Let's take a moment to be grateful for those on the front lines who are stepping into important and courageous work even when they weren't expecting such a role. A few minutes with Queen Esther and her transformation in 4:14-17. Perhaps you or I will also have a part to play 'for such a time as this.'
Today's music: Elgar's Cello Concerto, first movement. An amazing and unexpected swan song from this composer following his wife's death and the devastation of WWI, created a masterpiece largely unappreciated until a 13 year virtuoso named Jaqueline du Pre 'discovered' it and transformed our understanding of it. (She's 21 in this recording; she was only able to perform until 28 due to MS, from which she passed in her early 40s. She was married to the conductor of this performance, Daniel Barenboim.) https://youtu.be/UUgdbqt2ON0
Needing some comfort today? Can you think of someone else in need of comfort as well? Let's take 6 minutes together with 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Music today comes from John Prine, a wonderful songwriter on my mind who's in critical condition with COVID-19. He's like Van Gogh in that he wordpaints 'ordinary' people with great compassion and understanding. And, like Dylan and Van Morrison, he's done some of his best songwriting in recent years, not just in the '70s.
Last night our church session met in a virtual meeting to discuss our plans for worship in light of the latest guidance given July 15 from Governor Wolf. The governor specifically exempted churches from his restrictions of no more than 25 people in an indoor facility and has not placed Beaver County (or any other county in Western Pennsylvania) back in a ‘red’ phase.
We also carefully considered all the feedback we received from those of you who have replied over the past month to our questionnaire.
As a result, the Cup church session adopted unanimously the following policy:
We will continue to meet for sanctuary worship at 10:30 on Sunday mornings.
We are requiring masks through the entire worship service unless a medical condition prevents this. If someone desires not to wear a mask for personal reasons, we can provide a location for seating where the service can be heard, but outside of the sanctuary.
On that page, click on ‘subscribe’ and on the bell icon in order to receive a notification when we post the worship service for you to view. We are currently working on ‘live streaming’ the service and have had some technical difficulties in recent weeks, but are working on solving those. Additional subscribers to our YouTube channel will help our processing time in getting the video up, so please subscribe – and tell your friends about us!
We continue to monitor the situation involving COVID-19 and aim at providing the proper balance of spiritual and physical care to our congregation and community. Our policy will be adapted as circumstances warrant.
We are thankful for God’s provision and your support in these challenging times and look forward to the time when all of us will feel comfortable and secure in attending worship together. Until that time, let us ‘fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . .so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ (Hebrews 12:2-3)