Calvin Presbyterian Church
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Pastor's Message

Previous Message

on March 31, 2020

Dear Calvin Family:

I was just getting my bearings in this unusual time, when today I saw a neighborhood park surrounded by temporary fencing. Nearby, a National Guard center (which was always just "part of the background") had its parking lot packed with military vehicles, equipment and supplies. It signaled, in a visceral way, that difficult times are ahead. The worst is yet to come.

From the federal to local level, "stay at home" remains in place for another month. Despite hopes to the contrary, our Easter alleluia's will reverberate within our own homes, not Calvin's sanctuary.

"How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?" This was Israel's response when their captors insisted they sing songs of their homeland while in exile. Although we are not in a geographical exile, being told to stay in place feels like being exiled from one another, from Calvin, and from our usual life.

I have been lamenting. My granddaughter's high school graduation was to be this year. It, like sports, concerts, non-essential shopping, people's jobs, and a myriad of things has been cancelled. Seasonal holiday celebrations and rites of passage - weddings, baby showers, funerals - will either be canceled or happen in the most minimalist way. All of us either have, or will, miss some event, activity, relationship or plan that is important to us. We are grieving the loss of "normal."

Jeremiah's response to those in exile was, (Jer 29:5) "Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce." In other words: Hunker in. This is where you are for now; make the best of where you are. I'm not suggesting this situation will last years, rather that Jeremiah's words have wisdom to offer. We have today. We have the moment. We can do what we can do. Make the best of where you are. (Or, in the words of the hippie generation "go with the flow.")

If you haven't yet done so, find things to help make your life at home comfortable and sustainable. This is temporary. We, like the people of Israel, will make our way back eventually.

Now, just for fun:
Making my way home from Sunday's virtual worship, I noticed at Ohio Pike stoplights I was stopping several feet farther away than normal. Physical distancing had permeated my psyche! When I realized it, I laughed out loud at the absurdity.

Below is a message I forward to you from Cyndi Yunger, regarding One Great Hour of Sharing.

Peace, blessings, and physical safety to you all,


Together, we become the household of God.

One Great Hour of Sharing logo

Picture of African woman with bowl and text from Isaiah 50 'You shall be called repairers of the breach

Together, we become the household of God.

One Great Hour of Sharing is the single, largest way that Presbyterians join together to build God's household to ease the burdens of the vulnerable and suffering around the world. Join with Presbyterians worldwide in sharing God's love with our neighbors-in-need providing relief from natural disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed.

This Lenten season, please give generously to One Great Hour of Sharing. Our gifts help to improve the lives of people in challenging situations through three impactful programs:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance ~ Restorers of Streets to Live In

  • Works alongside communities as they recover and find hope after the devastation of natural or human-caused disasters

Presbyterian Hunger Program ~ Share your Bread with the Hungry

  • Takes action to alleviate hunger and the systemic causes of poverty so all may be fed

Self-Development of People ~ Loose the Bonds of Injustice

  • Invests in communities responding to their experiences of racism, oppression, poverty and injustice and educates Presbyterians about the impact of these societal ills.


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