Weekly Thoughts & Themes

 

Dear Neighbors

How are you doing?

We have completed our first week of ‘shelter in place’. Our Santa Clara County is one of the ‘hot spots’ of the infection in the state. Our daily discipline has changed.  And everyone is saying:  Who would ever have thought that we would be in this situation?

Aren’t we tired of hearing that we need to wash our hands for 20 seconds and keep 6 feet apart?  The important question is:  Are we following this discipline?

It doesn’t take long to shorten, forget or give up on it.  All of a sudden we want to be close and to hug and shake hands now that we know that for the sake of those we love we shouldn’t be close or hug or shake hands.  

It’s that quiet voice in the background that keeps us at it.  Yes.  Thinking of the possible consequences and the impact on my children and my neighbor in addition to myself.  We grudgingly or joyously are resigned to keeping at it.

It seems that ‘caring for each other’ is a part of human psyche. It is as much as being human as it is to eat and sleep.  And helping each other is a way to feel better about self and place in community. The world changes one person at a time.  And what we do influences what other do too.

I am trying to create a list of things we can do to help others while we are in ‘shelter in place’.  I’m sure you have better ideas but here are some things that I have heard suggested:

-Call or text a neighbor and simply ask:  “How are you doing?”

-Call or text someone you suspect may be alone and ask:  “How are you doing?”  Don’t make the call a ‘one time event’!

-Contact a food bank and drop off when they are able to receive.

-Take a walk with your pet.  You need to get out, change scenery and exercise a little.  Maintain distance from others.

-Get into a comfortable position, read something inspirational, take a deep breath, and reflect on the meaning of: “God is with us”.

 
Religion pops up in time of crises as we search to find answers and reassurance.  Over the years I have found that religious people like myself, are restless people. They develop rituals and disciplines to guide them to experience beyond themselves.  Yoga is like that as we learn to abandon distractions and to focus.  The religious (not all religions) hunger to  see as God sees - all that is ‘seen and unseen’.  Not gonna happen of course!  But it is a wonder filled goal to enlighten and brighten the life path! And it does illuminate the heart not just the mind.
 

And for those who have said they find this helpful,  here is a prayer to reflect upon:

“Keep watch, dear God, with those who work or watch or weep, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, comfort the afflicted, shield the joyous;  all for your love’s sake.”  Amen.

We are restless people.  We all want God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God rarely acts on our timetable and never as soon as we like.

 
Any way that I can be helpful to you please let me know.  Send prayer requests to info@gracechurchsj.net or via nextdoor.com using the private channel.
 

SELECTIONS FROM THIS COMING SUNDAYS READINGS

Our readings for Sunday turn our attention to this life journey.  Ezekiel provides a vivid description of the ‘dry bones’ of the desert taking on life when God speaks.  Jesus will bring the sleeping Lazarus out of the grave as a sign that God’s timetable is different from our own.  He will also demonstrate that we are all restrained by the limits of our ways of thinking, our restricted vision and failing expectations of what God can and shall do.  The journey of the godly person is a journey for place and meaning.  “We are restless until we rest in You!” 

Ezekiel 37:1-14

14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord.

John 11:1-45

“Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
 

 

 

 

Helping GRACE Financially

Grace Church like all Churches are pressured economically by this pandemic.  Our commitment, outreach and service to the community is for the long term. 

We ask that everyone make Grace Church a part of their stewardship plan during this difficult time.  Some will be buttressed from or find a way to come out ahead in this economic situation.  God bless you! We ask that you be willing to share some of your creative stewardship.  Most of us will be doing a balancing act with their income and expenses. 

I ask that you keep Grace within your mix of responses and help us weather this time when the traditional income streams will be the weakest.  We want to be here to service today and into the future! 

One time and regular support can be set up on our Pushpay account.  Use a credit or debit card:

PREFERRED On phone:

Text ‘GRACESJ  GIVE’  to 77977. 

Follow simple instructions!   This is a secure way to make a gift. 

On our website www.GraceChurchSJ.Net click on 'Giving' tab.

CHECKS: Please make out to Grace Church of Evergreen.  Mail to 2650 Aborn Road San Jose CA 95121

 
 
 
 
- Pastor John