Even working from home, we have a chance to help some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Columbia Lutheran Home has shared resources to create masks, robes, and notes of encouragement. These items are in tremendous need, and will go a long way toward helping staff and residents be safe and feel cared for during this crisis. See this pdf for more information. Even if you aren’t a sewer, people of all ages and abilities can create artwork or notes of encouragement. Thanks for your help!
There are few things more difficult to explain to one’s children than why there is evil, suffering, and death in the world. And few things more perilous—it’s too easy to take refuge in a tidy explanation of the inexplicable, or thrash about for some measure of acceptance of the unacceptable. But rather than seeing these things as tragic necessities that we must all somehow come to terms with, today’s gospel diverts our gaze to the undimmed light of creation and redemption. In the story of Lazarus, Jesus demonstrates that death has no place in the world as God first made it, and still less in the world which God was about to call into new being, beginning from Jesus’ own resurrection and in each moment ever since.
This little song attempts, not an answer to our perplexities, but an invitation to a place of waiting and watching and learning to hope.
Sing of the wonder long before we were:
In the beginning, God so loved the world;
Each little creature, woven into life
Each brother’s sister brought to be through love.
How soon we wandered, hiding from God’s face!
We took our own way, saw the vision fade.
Each now a stranger, far from them we ran,
In fear forgetting love had made us one.
Come, blessed Spirit; teach our hearts to know
The love that seeks us—in us let it grow.
Bind us together, through all time and space,
That we again may see God’s loving face.
Assistance and Church Office Closure
If you have an unmet need, or hear of one among members of the church community, please email email@example.com so we can make these known. Likewise, if you are able to assist with grocery runs or in other ways, please let us know.
The church office will be temporarily closed, but staff members will continue to check email and voicemail remotely.
From the Administrator’s Office
One of the impacts of coronavirus containment on PRLC is financial. In-person worship services and special events with outside groups have all been canceled, and the revenue they would have generated has been lost.
We will be tightening our belts wherever possible. But when church employees are furloughed, they are not eligible to receive unemployment insurance, as churches do not pay into that tax structure. We wish to delay that necessity if we can.
We understand that many of you are feeling the financial stress of this crisis as well. But if you can, please continue to fulfill your pledges. You can mail in checks, or give online at this link. With grace and love, we will get through this difficult time together.
Prayers and peace,
Food Bank Update – Still Open!
The PRLC food bank remains open to continue to serve our clients despite the challenges of this unusual season. In fact, during yesterday’s shift we met new clients who sought us out specifically because of lost hours at work related to the quarantine. We’ve followed recommendations to limit interactions with and between our clients, and stepped up our sanitization practices. We’ve encouraged volunteers to make their own decisions about whether they’re able to continue to serve, and we understand and fully support anyone who can’t work. If you’re not a regular food bank volunteer, but suddenly find yourself with a lot of time on your hands (especially on Tuesdays from 1–3pm or Wednesdays from 6–8pm!), please let Minister of Outreach Patrick know if you want to lend a hand. We can all work together to keep this vital service available to our community while protecting our higher-risk volunteers.
Circle of Welcome Update
Our team is following basic safety guidelines set out by Lutheran Community Services Northwest, but work continues with our wonderful family from Afghanistan. They have certainly been through challenges before, and we continue to grow in our service to them. One BIG way you can help this effort is to donate to our Lenten fundraiser for rent support for our family. We intended to do this fundraising at church, but have had to shift our focus to an online campaign. If you follow the link for online donations on the church website, you can designate “Refugee Outreach” as part of your gift. If the online process doesn’t work for you, please consider mailing a check to the church, or find our fundraiser on the PRLC Facebook Group page. Thanks for helping out!
Outreach Assistance Continues
We’ll continue to offer emergency financial assistance through the Outreach Fund even while the office is closed. Minister of Outreach Patrick will work with clients over phone and email, and do whatever can be done to safely administer help during this time when need is likely to increase. If you know of people in need, please send them our way either to firstname.lastname@example.org or the church phone number of 206-783-2350. Please consider contributing to the Outreach Fund so we can bring stability and care to more people. Thank you for your partnership in this ministry!
All students in grades 6-12 are invited to join an online zoom meeting at 3pm today, Wednesday March 18 with this link. Download the zoom app to your phone or computer in advance and create your login. Quench is a weekly gathering time for youth (usually at Bread for the Journey) to literally quench their thirst with a fun beverage, as we quell our spiritual thirst with time to connect to one another and to God. This can and will still happen through our screens, even if we can’t pour water and pray together in person.
Are you a parent or youth and NOT receiving emails from Nicole? Contact her at email@example.com and be sure to get all the youth specific news and information about new ways to creatively be community.