Recent News

To My Beloved PBBC Community

I find it hard to believe that it was over a month ago when we gathered in the sanctuary for our Ash Wednesday service. It was the last time I saw many of you, and it was the last time I spoke to some of you, saying “Your past is behind you; God’s future is before you; walk the road to Jerusalem with Christ.”

We had no way of knowing what that road would look like this year…that we would meet for only two Bread and Broth suppers, that we would only just begin our Lenten study series, that our “words” for Lent would speak to us in isolation from one another, that our hands would not wave palm branches, that our bodies would not eat this bread or drink this cup, that our eyes would not see the cross taken down and lifted to the balcony.

As I prepare services for next week, I think of the words of a colleague who said that as she thinks about Holy Week she feels like those first century disciples must have felt…holed up in their own homes, locking the doors in fear of the growing darkness, trying to walk with Christ and keep the faith, seeking to live in love and wait for Easter’s light.

It may not be the road we imagined, but we are walking it together, and God still holds the future before us. In the words of one of my favorite hymns, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.”

As we prepare for the worst and pray for the best, may your past be behind you and may you know peace, comfort, and even joy in the days ahead. Thank you for your blessings and your prayers, for your gifts and your offerings, for your faith and your friendship.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness, and great is my love for you,

Pastor Claudine

To My Beloved PBBC Community

I greet you with great and unsurpassed love, knowing that God’s great and unsurpassed love is holding us, connecting us, strengthening us, and preparing us for the long road ahead.

I share these words written by Taylor Duvall

a human connection of love, not a building
a lifestyle, not a weekly activity
an act of service, not a service to attend

These simple words remind me that we are still a church, even as we miss gathering in the building we so love, even as we long for the weekly activity of worship that challenges our minds, inspires our hearts and renews our spirits, even as we dream of the day when we can once again attend services and be together. We are still finding ways to connect in love, to adopt new lifestyles of faith and friendship, to serve one another and the world around us. Please ask about the ministries that are sustaining us day by day.

All of you are doing your part there at home and at the places you work…you are connecting us in love, living lifestyles of compassion and care, performing acts of service for the members of your household and for all of us here at church, a church that still lives on!

Thank you, God bless you and keep you, my love remains with you…now and always.

Pastor Claudine

To My Beloved PBBC Community,

Our faith has long assured us that where two or three are gathered, Christ is there in the midst of them. We have never needed that affirmation more than we do now…that wherever one or two or three are gathered, in homes, workplaces and grocery stores…that wherever many more are gathered by necessity in hospitals, medical facilities and nursing homes…we can trust that Christ is indeed present, and that God is surely among us.

Please know that I am holding each of you in my heart and lifting you in prayer every day!

It breaks my heart that we cannot be together in these uncertain times, but for now we must keep our physical distance for the sake of everyone’s health, safety, protection and well-being. How we long to share laughter and tears, encouragement and wisdom! How we long to enjoy the interaction of the faith community and the tangible spirit that binds us together!

But for the time being, most likely the next two months instead of the next two weeks, we will continue to cancel Sunday worship services, Bread and Broth gatherings, AA meetings, and any other public gatherings. Together we will find new ways to share life, do ministry, and “be church.” Together we will find new ways to pray, serve, reach out and love from afar.

Here are a few thoughts…

We will continue to keep the church office open during our regular hours.

You are invited to mail in your pledges and offerings, or drop them off. You are welcome to drop off food locker donations and we will make sure they get to Groton Social Services.

We will create an “Adopt-a-Member” ministry of keeping in touch. If you are willing to volunteer and be assigned a few church members, people to call, text, or email to make sure they are okay, please let Barbara know.

I remain your Pastor at all times, even if I am not able to speak directly or personally to all of you at all times. Please let me know, or someone else at church, if you need help or assistance of any kind. Please pray for our congregations and pray for children, families, individuals, workers, healthcare personnel, our nation, and our global community.

I received this poem from the Mercy by the Sea Center, and I want to share it with you.

“Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath -
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray.
Touch only those to whom
you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body
has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love -
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

May the Spirit of peace be with you in unexpected ways. May Christ be present among you as we gather in thought and prayer. May God bless you and keep you; may God hold you in care and consideration and compassion each day. And may we journey on to find a way through this together, for God will be with us all…until we meet again.

With abundant love in the midst of despairing moments, but still with unfaltering faith,

Pastor Claudine

Dear Friends,

The Town of Groton has announced that all schools will be closed for a minimum of two weeks, beginning tonight at 5:00pm.

In light of this community decision, we will cancel worship services and “Bread and Broth” for the next two weeks as well. We will tentatively plan to resume Sunday services on March 29th but may need to re-evaluate before then.

Thank you all for your help, patience and understanding as we journey together through these difficult days.

With steady prayers, strong love and abiding faith in the God who cares for us all…

Pastor Claudine