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Pastor Cheryl Matthews Report

Dear Friends in Christ:

Pentecost Sunday is one of the most exciting days in our Christian Year. It is the birthday of the church; a time when disciples no longer feared but were energized to proclaim the good news of God's love through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The traditional colors for this day are bright Red (for the tongues of flames) and White (for the dove of peace). I encourage you to dress in red on Pentecost Sunday before you join us for the Facebook Live worship service that day. It's true we can't be together physically, but we can all get into the spirit of the day and be bonded together in this way. And consider some of the activities on our Celebrating Pentecost at Home page in this newsletter. Bake that cake and sing a joyous "Happy Birthday" to the church!

Here is a wonderful prayer for Pentecost that was posted by a colleague and friend. I share it to encourage you in your faith and in your life in the spirit!

Knock us off our seats, O Lord, with the wind of your Holy Spirit. Don't let us just sit back and rest as though nothing important was happening. Remind us that you have come to bless and prepare us for your service. Now is the time of proclamation and celebration! Now is the birth of your church, not as an exercise in futility, but as a dynamic group of people who know you and love you as you know and love each of us. Flame up our hearts! Make us so joyful that we find it difficult to sit back and watch. We want to be part of your healing love and mercy. We want to be people who bear the word that your love for us is eternal; that Jesus Christ, our Savior, proclaimed and taught that love in all that he did and said modeling for us a new way to live. Pick us up and propel us forward into your world. Help us to remember that you have given to us what we need to be your disciples. We just need to say a resounding "Yes!" to you. Thank you for all the wondrous patience and blessings you pour into our lives each and every day, as we offer our lives back to you in joy and hope. AMEN.

May we have a joyous, spirit-filled worship on Pentecost Sunday! Be sure to tune in!

The following pages provide an article on dealing with Covid-19 as we are moving out into the world more. It was written by a highly respected physician at U-W Madison, Dr. Stein. He writes in his conclusion: We are social creatures. We need each other. We will survive with and because of each other. Social distancing just means that we connect differently. Being afraid makes us contract and shut each other out. I hope we can fill that space created by fear and contraction with meaningful connections and learn to be less afraid of each of other.

I couldn't have said it better! Remember, perfect love casts out fear. Be not afraid, God goes before us and we will be well!

Grace and Peace to you and those you love,

Pastor Cheryl L. Matthews

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