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Weekly Words for the Journey

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