Niles Discovery Church Daily – Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Special Edition

This is a special edition of the Niles Discovery Church Daily. Generally, we don’t publish on Fridays. Since today is Good Friday, we’re bringing you this special edition, listing opportunities for you to enter into prayer on this day when we remember Jesus’ execution.

Reflection

Good Friday Prayer Opportunities

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Every hour on the hour, we will repost one of the 7- to 8-minute meditations on the seven last words of Christ that were live streamed last year on our Facebook page.

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – The Northern California Nevada Conference’s virtual Chapel. Come in as you have time throughout the day to meditate, post prayer requests in the chatroom, and view meditative 5- to 7-minute looping videos based on the Stations of the Cross. The meditation on each Station will be up for half an hour and then change to the next station, moving through all 14 Stations of the Cross during this time period. Enter the chapel at any time while it is open by clicking here. Pastor Jeff contributed to this Conference-wide project.

1:00 p.m. – Disciples Call to Prayer. Join Disciples from all across the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for a Church-wide prayer time. This time of prayer will be live-streamed at breachrepairers.org/livestream.

Smile

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Niles Discovery Church Daily – Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020

Today’s Prayer

Though we are scattered in homes, apartments, and households,
still we can gather in your heart, O God.
We can gather as your scattered household, your deployed church.
And in doing so, we can find ourselves together in your heart and your love.
And perhaps this year – alone, with family, with just our pets, with just ourselves –
we begin to understand the weariness, the uncertainty, the questions
that lingered in the hearts and minds of Jesus and his friends.
And so we remind ourselves that we are still your beloved,
we are still the followers of Jesus,
we are still comforted by the Spirit,
Amen.

Inspiration

Today’s Scripture Reading

John 13:1-10a, 12-16, 31b-35

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him.  And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am.  So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.”

Then Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.  If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.  Little children, I am with you only a little longer.  You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’  I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A Pastoral Word

The story of the Last Supper in John’s gospel is markedly different from the stories in the other three gospels. John’s story focuses on Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and then talking about it. When we look at the description that John gives us of what Jesus did, we see Jesus acting like a slave. He stripped down to what is essentially his underwear, to the simplest garment, the garment of the slave. And then he kneels to wash his disciples’ feet. He takes the posture of a slave, tending to the needs of a master.

Peter’s reaction is completely appropriate for his culture. It was absurd to have a teacher washing his students’ feet. This simply would not be done. And if Jesus felt it was somehow appropriate for him to wash his students’ feet, then perhaps he should wash his students’ entire body. Peter doesn’t understand what Jesus is doing. Peter doesn’t realize that Jesus is acting out what he is going to tell his disciples to do.

Jesus acts out a servant-love. Then he calls his disciples to servant-love. He gives them what he calls a new commandment. The word “maundy” is a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means “command.” Jesus gives his disciples a new command, a new commandment:  to love one another, to love the way he loves.

In this strange time, in this time when we must keep physical distance from one another, we cannot wash each other’s feet. So, what does it mean to embody servant-love? What does it mean to love each other the way Jesus loved his disciples, to love each other the way Jesus loves us?

That is your assignment for today. Your assignment, if you’re willing to undertake it, is to find some way to live out servant-love before 7:00 tonight. We invite you to come to this evening’s Zoom gathering at 7:00 p.m. and to report on how you managed to embody servant love, or to report on what got in the way.

You also get a bonus assignment: to celebrate communion at home. Here is a resource to help you do that.

Closing Prayer

God of unfailing hope, guide us this day. Fill us with your hope, fill us with your grace, fill us with a desire to serve one another and opportunities to live your love in action. Amen.

Smile

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Niles Discovery Church Daily – Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Today’s Prayer

My genesis is in you, O God,
my beginnings are in Eden,
my origins are those of every man and woman.
Forgive me the falseness of what I have become,
the ugliness and divisions of which I am a part.
Restore me to the truthfulness of my birth in you,
the heritage of all that has being.
Renew me this night in the genesis of my soul,
the beauty of Eden deep in each created thing.

~ by John Philip Newell, excerpt from Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter

In the Days Ahead

(Doing what we can to make your Zoom experience safe, we are now using “waiting rooms” for some of our meetings and require advanced registration or others.)

See the Paschal Triduum and Easter section of this email.

Monday

11:30-12:30 – Monday Morning Bible Study. Join us every Monday morning on Zoom for a discussion about the coming Sunday’s scripture lesson. Click here to join us.

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

Inspiration

A Pastoral Word

I’ve been wondering if I’m keeping myself too busy. I think that maybe I am. If you look at the “Something You Can Do Now” section of today’s “Daily,” you’ll see two opportunities that both seem important to me, both happening in the next few days. The only thing is, this is Holy Week and I want to keep my focus on the Jesus story. And, just because I can do something, it doesn’t mean I need to do something.

Maybe for you it’s the opposite. Maybe you’re feeling bored, so finding things to do while you shelter at home is important. In that case, find something to do. It’s just not the case for me. I’ve been busy trying to figure out how to be a pastor in the midst of a pandemic. It feels a little like trying to build an airplane as I fly it.

Here’s my bottom line:  Whether you’re doing too much or too little, don’t lose track of the story we’re remembering this week. Check out the Paschal Triduum and Easter section of this email for ideas of how you can keep your faith a central part of this week. Then pick and choose the rest of what you do carefully. As our “Inspiration” above reminds us, this is a marathon; we need to pace ourselves.

Shifting subjects, there are two other details I want to share.

It is really important to me that the “Zoom with the Children” gathering is a safe space for our kids. That’s why I started requiring registration for that meeting. If you missed out on it this week, please register here so you can join us next week.

Also, just an FYI, tomorrow’s “Daily” will be mailed at around 9:00 a.m. and will have a different look … because it’s specific for Maundy Thursday. We’ll still send out a Saturday edition.

Peace,
Pastor Jeff

Paschal Triduum and Easter

The Paschal Triduum is the fancy name for the the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week. Traditionally, worship over these three days is seen as one continuous worship service and then end with the Great Vigil of Easter (traditionally a late Saturday night). Here are some options available to you this year.

Maundy Thursday – April 9

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Maundy Thursday worship and assignment. Join Pastor Jeff and Pastor Brenda in a simple service of prayer, scripture reading, reflection, and assignment. (The assignment will also be emailed to everyone on this mailing list at about the same time.) Join this simple service by clicking here.

12:30 p.m. – Worship with the United Church of Christ. We don’t have the details yet. All we know is that the leaders from across the life of the denomination will be leading a streamed worship service. Watch here for more details as they emerge.

7:00-7:30 p.m. – Maundy Thursday assignment check in. This is simply a time to check in with each other about how you did with your Maundy Thursday assignment. Join this gathering by clicking here.

Good Friday – April 10

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Every hour on the hour, we will repost one of the 7- to 8-minute meditations on the seven last words of Christ that were live streamed last year on our Facebook page.

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – The Northern California Nevada Conference’s virtual Chapel. Come in as you have time throughout the day to meditate, post prayer requests in the chatroom, and view meditative 5- to 7-minute looping videos based on the Stations of the Cross. The meditation on each Station will be up for half an hour and then change to the next station, moving through all 14 Stations of the Cross during this time period. Enter the chapel at any time while it is open by clicking here. Pastor Jeff contributed to this Conference-wide project.

Easter Sunday – April 12

10:00-11:00 a.m. – Easter Festival Service. Join us for our Easter Festival Service on Zoom. Registration is for our Sunday morning worship services is required. Go to bit.ly/reg4worship to register.

Anytime on Easter – Worship with the Disciples of Christ. We don’t know what at what time, yet, but at some point during the day, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be streaming an Easter Worship Celebration on their YouTube channel. We will update this announcement when we have more information.

5:00 p.m. – Great Vigil of Easter. Grace North Church in Berkeley is inviting us to join them as they celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter on Easter afternoon. Click here to join them. And download the liturgy (ahead of time) here.

Announcements

Pledges and Donations:  If you are able to keep up with your pledge or if you are able to continue making donations to the church, please do so. We continue to have and pay expenses. Checks mailed to the church (by your or your bank/credit union) are deposited weekly. Contributions made online (www.nilesdiscoverychurch.org/give) or through the Givelify app are processed almost immediately. Cecilia continues to record your giving in our records. Thank you for helping our church continue to be a voice of hope in our community.

Special Edition of The Bell:  The Shelter In Place (SIP) order has left our plans for April in a state of flux, so our Pastors decided that we wouldn’t produce a regular edition of The Bell in April. Instead, they started this almost-daily email. That has left our The Bell editor with a special opportunity – if you’re willing to do some writing and take some pictures. We would like to do a special edition of The Bell, a “Stories from the SIP” edition. Over the next two weeks, you (and this is a very inclusive “you”) are invited to take pictures, write stories, and draw pictures about your experience of living under the Shelter In Place order. Submit these to tothebell@comcast.net by Thursday, April 9, and our intrepid editor will create our “Stories from the SIP” edition of The Bell that we will make available via email. So, tell your story!

Something You Can Do Now

Take a Bystander Intervention Training:  Offered Friday at 11:30 a.m., this one-hour, online, interactive training will teach you Hollaback!’s 5D’s of bystander intervention methodology. We’ll start by talking about the types of disrespect that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now, then move on to the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities – and how to do it. Learn more and register here.

Attend Fremont’s Earth Day Summit:  Organized by a dynamic 15-year-old from Fremont who has won several international awards in the last year for her greywater saving devices, this Earth Day Summit, this event (on Saturday, April 11, 10:00-noon) will celebrate the work of local students and reveal plans for the Tri-Cities and beyond. There will be invited speakers and fun. Learn more and register here.

Start collecting for a SAVE ditty bag. Each year, Niles Discovery Church receives a special offering for SAVE (Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments). The offering includes ditty bags, hand sewn bags filled with personal hygiene items. This year, the special offering for SAVE will be on the first Sunday of May, so if you would like to start collecting the contents for a ditty bag now, you can read more about it here.

Smile

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Niles Discovery Church Daily – Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Today’s Prayer

In the Days Ahead

(Doing what we can to make your Zoom experience safe, we are now using “waiting rooms” for some of our meetings and require advanced registration or others.)

Wednesday

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Pray with Terri Hord Owens. The General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – one of our denominations – invite you to pray with her when she livestreams on her Facebook page. You do not need to have a Facebook account to join her.

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

3:00-3:30 p.m. – Zoom with the Children. The kids of our church are invited to join Pastor Jeff on Zoom for conversation and sharing. You must register for this event. Click here to register. This week’s assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to bring a toy you deeply love and the story about how it came to be part of your life. (Of course, parents and grandparents and other interested adults are welcome to listen to what the kids have to share, too.)

Thursday

10:00 a.m.-noon – Retirement Reinvention Group. During the Shelter In Place order, we need this time to offer each other support, and to receive it. Contact John Zlatnik for information about joining this Zoom gathering of retirees who are supporting one another as they live into new ways of being retired people.

See, also the Paschal Triduum and Easter section below.

Inspiration

A Pastoral Word

I admit to being a bit stunned by our worship attendance. We had over 100 people gathered for worship on Sunday, 25% more than our typical Sunday attendance. Granted, the commute was much easier than on a typical Sunday morning and there weren’t any sports events to compete with. Still, gathering online is not the simplest thing to do (especially if you’re not used to the technology).

Those attendance rates make me realize that we have an opportunity as a church to do some Progressive Christian evangelism. For most fundamentalist Christians, evangelism is about saving people from eternal damnation in the afterlife. If you believe that and you care about your neighbors, that creates a pretty good motivation to “save” them.

As a Progressive Christian, I don’t believe in a punitive God. I trust God’s grace and love to embrace all of us who are willing to be embraced when we move from this life into the next, so my motivation to invite people into the church is different. I want to share my church because I believe we are making a difference here and now, in our lives and in the lives of people and animals and plants around us. I want to invite people to be part of this caring, compassionate mission initiated by Jesus. So I want to invite people to be part of our community. That’s what Progressive Christian evangelism is to me.

And here we are, in a situation where the primary thing we do – worshiping God – is readily accessible. Someone who hasn’t been into a church building on a Sunday morning in decades (if ever) can join us for worship and still hold on to that record. If you want to invite people to worship, too, ask them to register for worship by going to bit.ly/reg4worship.

Of course, making worship that accessible means that people who simply want to disrupt and shock can come in, too. It’s called Zoombombing. I was in a meeting on Monday that got Zoombombed. It was handled swiftly and the offenders were kicked out. It was, nonetheless, annoying and offensive and, yes, upsetting. The fact is, the same sort of thing could happen in our worship service, too. That’s why we have people prepared to act to restore order and safety as quickly as possible. The reality is that we could just as easily have a disruptive person come to one of our worship services in our church building. It would be just as annoying, offensive, and upsetting – perhaps more so – than online. And we would deal with it.

So, yes, I do want you to evangelize. Do invite friends and family – near and far – to register for worship. And trust that we are doing what we can to keep our Zoom worship spaces as safe as possible.

Peace,
Pastor Jeff

Paschal Triduum and Easter

The Paschal Triduum is the fancy name for the the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week. Traditionally, worship over these three days is seen as one continuous worship service and then end with the Great Vigil of Easter (traditionally a late Saturday night). Here are some options available to you this year.

Maundy Thursday – April 9

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Maundy Thursday worship and assignment. Join Pastor Jeff and Pastor Brenda in a simple service of prayer, scripture reading, reflection, and assignment. (The assignment will also be emailed to everyone on this mailing list at about the same time.) Join this simple service by clicking here.

12:30 p.m. – Worship with the United Church of Christ. We don’t have the details yet. All we know is that the leaders from across the life of the denomination will be leading a streamed worship service. Watch here for more details as they emerge.

7:00-7:30 p.m. – Maundy Thursday assignment check in. This is simply a time to check in with each other about how you did with your Maundy Thursday assignment. Join this gathering by clicking here.

Good Friday – April 10

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Every hour on the hour, we will repost one of the 7- to 8-minute meditations on the seven last words of Christ that were live streamed last year on our Facebook page.

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – The Northern California Nevada Conference’s virtual Chapel. Come in as you have time throughout the day to meditate, post prayer requests in the chatroom, and view meditative 5- to 7-minute looping videos based on the Stations of the Cross. The meditation on each Station will be up for half an hour and then change to the next station, moving through all 14 Stations of the Cross during this time period. Enter the chapel at any time while it is open by clicking here. Pastor Jeff contributed to this Conference-wide project.

Easter Sunday – April 12

10:00-11:00 a.m. – Easter Festival Service. Join us for our Easter Festival Service on Zoom. Registration is for our Sunday morning worship services is required. Go to bit.ly/reg4worship to register.

Time to Be Announced – Worship with the Disciples of Christ. We don’t know what at what time, yet, but at some point during the day, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be streaming an Easter Worship Celebration on their YouTube channel. We will update this announcement when we have more information.

5:00 p.m. – Great Vigil of Easter. Grace North Church in Berkeley is inviting us to join them as they celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter on Easter afternoon. Click here to join them. And download the liturgy (ahead of time) here.

Announcements

Prayer List: Since we don’t have the green attendance sheet in our worship service currently, the only way to can share an update for the prayer list is by contacting Pastor Jeff. Email or phone him, please.

 Coffee Hour Tables:  It is great to see faces during our worship services over Zoom and it’s nice to give people a chance to say “Hi” to everyone during “Coffee Hour.” And it would be nice (at least for some of us) to connect with a smaller group of people. To that end, six volunteers have stepped forward to host “Coffee Hour Tables.” These are Zoom meetings that will start after “Coffee Hour” that are limited in size.

If you would like to join one of these “Tables,” please sign up by clicking here. This link will take you to a Google spreadsheet. Add your name and email address to list for one of the “Tables.” The “Tables” won’t be longer than 40 minutes (and probably shorter, and you can always leave if you need to). The “Table” that you join is also free to meet during the week if you want to.

Sometime on Saturday, the “Table” hosts will check this list. The host for your “Table” will send you an email with the link to you Table’s Zoom gathering.

If you have trouble opening the spreadsheet or adding your name and email, or if you’re having trouble getting Zoom set up on your computer, you can call B. Newell, Martin Williams, John Smith, or Jim Thomas.

Something You Can Do Now

Make (or help purchase) PPE:  The Tri-City Health Center contacted the church yesterday, asking for help with Personal Protective Equipment – things like gowns, masks, face shields, gloves for their medical staff. They are, of course, accepting monetary donations (click the donate button on their website). Pastor Jeff asked if they have specifications for making any of these items and he was referred to this website for information about making face shields.

Sign this letter:  While we Californians and Nevadans are sheltering in place, racism and hate crimes are still a powerful plague on our society. A member of the United Church of Christ and the Chinese-American community was recently kicked off a BART car, being blamed for COVID-19. Our Conference Ministers, in consultation with leaders from our PAAM (Pacific Islander, Asian American Ministries) community, have composed an Open Letter and are inviting all members and friends in our territory to:

  • Read this letter. If you want to add your name to the letter, click here. The letter’s signatories will be updated each afternoon.
  • Consider submitting letters of their own, using ours as an example, to local community newspapers and media outlets.

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Niles Discovery Church Daily – Monday, April 6, 2020

Today’s Prayer

That in the elements of earth, sea and sky I may see your beauty,
that in wild winds, birdsong and silence
I may hear your beauty,
that in the body of another and the interminglings of relationship
I may touch your beauty,
that in the moisture of the earth and its flowering
and fruiting
I may smell your beauty,
that in the flowing waters of springs and streams I may taste your beauty,
these things I look for this day, O God,
these things I look for.

~ by John Philip Newell, excerpt from Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter

Tomorrow:

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) regions have been asked to pray for health care workers during Holy Week. Our region is asked to pray Tuesday, April 7. People can choose their time to ask God’s presence and protection for all of those caring for people with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.

Calendar (for the next few days)

(Doing what we can to make your Zoom experience safe, we are now using “waiting rooms” for some of our meetings and require advanced registration or others.)

Tuesday

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

Wednesday

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Pray with Terri Hord Owens. The General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – one of our denominations – invite you to pray with her when she livestreams on her Facebook page. You do not need to have a Facebook account to join her.

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

3:00-3:30 p.m. – Zoom with the Children. The kids of our church are invited to join Pastor Jeff on Zoom for conversation and sharing. You must register for this event. Click here to register. This week’s assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to bring a toy you deeply love and the story about how it came to be part of your life. (Of course, parents and grandparents and other interested adults are welcome to listen to what the kids have to share, too.)

Thursday

10:00 a.m.-noon – Retirement Reinvention Group. During the Shelter In Place order, we need this time to offer each other support, and to receive it. Contact John Zlatnik for information about joining this Zoom gathering of retirees who are supporting one another as they live into new ways of being retired people.

See, also the Paschal Triduum and Easter section below.

Inspiration

A Pastoral Word

Well, my friends, this is going to be a short Pastoral Word because what I was planning to write about ended up being the new section of our Daily newsletter, “Paschal Triduum and Easter.” It’s right below this Pastoral Word, and it lists offerings for worship, prayer, and reflection that are available during the three holy days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (the Paschal Triduum), and on Easter. Some are things our church is doing; some are offerings from the wider church.

If you’re at all like me, you’ve been trying to find a way to give these days of sheltering in place a rhythm. “A schedule,” I say to myself, “will make the days feel a little more normal.” And here the church goes, offering things to participate in that are going to mess up any semblance of order a schedule was trying to create.

Yep.

And that’s the point. No matter what’s happening in the world and in our lives, the events of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday should interrupt our routines, call us to reflection, deepen our spiritual awareness, and give us a hope that passes understanding.

So, come. Participate in something that will draw you out of yourself and deeper into the story of Jesus – at least for a few days. You’ll be better for having done so.

Peace,
Pastor Jeff

Paschal Triduum and Easter

The Paschal Triduum is the fancy name for the the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week. Traditionally, worship over these three days is seen as one continuous worship service and then end with the Great Vigil of Easter (traditionally a late Saturday night). Here are some options available to you this year.

Maundy Thursday – April 9

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Maundy Thursday worship and assignment. Join Pastor Jeff and Pastor Brenda in a simple service of prayer, scripture reading, reflection, and assignment. (The assignment will also be emailed to everyone on this mailing list at about the same time.) Join this simple service by clicking here.

12:30 p.m. – Worship with the United Church of Christ. We don’t have the details yet. All we know is that the leaders from across the life of the denomination will be leading a streamed worship service. Watch here for more details as they emerge.

7:00-7:30 p.m. – Maundy Thursday assignment check in. This is simply a time to check in with each other about how you did with your Maundy Thursday assignment. Join this gathering by clicking here.

Good Friday – April 10

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Every hour on the hour, we will repost one of the 7- to 8-minute meditations on the seven last words of Christ that were live streamed last year on our Facebook page.

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – The Northern California Nevada Conference’s virtual Chapel. Come in as you have time throughout the day to meditate, post prayer requests in the chatroom, and view meditative 5- to 7-minute looping videos based on the Stations of the Cross. The meditation on each Station will be up for half an hour and then change to the next station, moving through all 14 Stations of the Cross during this time period. Enter the chapel at any time while it is open by clicking here. Pastor Jeff contributed to this Conference-wide project.

Easter Sunday – April 12

10:00-11:00 a.m. – Easter Festival Service. Join us for our Easter Festival Service on Zoom. Registration is for our Sunday morning worship services is required. Go to bit.ly/reg4worship to register.

Time to Be Announced – Worship with the Disciples of Christ. We don’t know what at what time, yet, but at some point during the day, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be streaming an Easter Worship Celebration on their YouTube channel. We will update this announcement when we have more information.

5:00 p.m. – Great Vigil of Easter. Grace North Church in Berkeley is inviting us to join them as they celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter on Easter afternoon. Click here to join them. And download the liturgy (ahead of time) here.

Announcements

Special Edition of The Bell:  The Shelter In Place (SIP) order has left our plans for April in a state of flux, so our Pastors decided that we wouldn’t produce a regular edition of The Bell in April. Instead, they started this almost-daily email. That has left our The Bell editor with a special opportunity – if you’re willing to do some writing and take some pictures. We would like to do a special edition of The Bell, a “Stories from the SIP” edition. Over the next two weeks, you (and this is a very inclusive “you”) are invited to take pictures, write stories, and draw pictures about your experience of living under the Shelter In Place order. Submit these to tothebell@comcast.net by this Thursday, April 9, and our intrepid editor will create our “Stories from the SIP” edition of The Bell that we will make available via email. So, tell your story!

Giving by App:  The church has signed up with Givelify to be the app to allow your giving from your smart phone. Pastor Jeff downloaded, set up, and used the app today. Read about his experience here. You can watch a video overview of the app (once it’s set up) here.

What You Can Do Now

Make (and use) masks:  The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending that people where a cloth mask when in public to help reduce spread of the novel coronavirus. Kaiser Hospital in Fremont is recommending the mask production that follows these guidelines. You can download and print these directions by clicking here.

Learn stuff. http://www.openculture.com/2020/03/use-your-time-in-isolation-to-learn-everything-youve-always-wanted-to.html

Smile

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Niles Discovery Church Daily – Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,
Some of us are exhausted by a constant stream of bad news.
Some of us are exhausted from the effort of trying to not freak out.
Some of us are exhausted by not knowing how we will pay rent.
Some of us are exhausted from the effort of trying to entertain and educate and feed and love children who are stuck at home.
Some of us are exhausted by the 13-hour shifts in a hospital we no longer recognize, working a job we are afraid might kill us.
Some of us showed up to this pandemic with pre-existing physical and mental health conditions that were already exhausting.
Some of us are exhausted by loneliness.
Some of us are exhausted by waiting so long for a new season of Succession.
And some of us are exhausted by the effort of trying to make this all ok for everyone else.
Life is so strained and tender right now.
I know that not a single one of us is promised another day, God.
But I guess I am asking for the strength for just the one we are in.
Give us today our daily strength.
Strength for today, and if you could spare it, bright hope for tomorrow.
AMEN.
P.S. – HOSANNA in the highest!

(Written by the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber)

Calendar (for the next few days)

(Please note: Zoom is updating their security. As of this hour, it appears that the links below will work. You may end up in a “waiting room” before you can enter the “meeting;” be patient; you will be let in. If you run into a problem, please call Pastor Jeff.)

Monday

11:30-12:30 – Monday Morning Bible Study. Join us every Monday morning on Zoom for a discussion about the coming Sunday’s scripture lesson. Click here to join us.

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

Tuesday

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

Wednesday

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Pray with Terri Hord Owens. The General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – one of our denominations – invite you to pray with her when she livestreams on her Facebook page. You do not need to have a Facebook account to join her.

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Community Drop-In. A simple a time to chat, hang-out, and pray. One of our Pastors will be present. Bring your own coffee; no agenda; just a time to be together. This link, j.mp/ndc-cdi, will take you to the Community Drop In every time it’s held.

3:00-3:30 p.m. – Zoom with the Children. The kids of our church are invited to join Pastor Jeff on Zoom for conversation and sharing. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to bring a toy you deeply love and the story about how it came to be part of your life. (Of course, parents and grandparents and other interested adults are welcome to listen to what the kids have to share, too.) Click here to join in.

Inspiration

Smile

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Start Collecting for SAVE Ditty Bags

Each year, Niles Discovery Church receives a special offering for SAVE (Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments). The offering includes ditty bags, hand sewn bags filled with personal hygiene items. This year, the special offering for SAVE will be on the first Sunday of May.

During the “shelter in place” order, we’re not supposed to go out except for essentials. That means we can go to the grocery store. So, when you’re shopping, you can pick up some of the items to fill a ditty bag. We’ll figure out the stuffing of the actual bags somewhere down the road.

If you decide to gather the contents for a ditty bag, here’s the list:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • brush
  • deodorant
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • soap/washcloth /sponge
  • other items like lotion, etc.
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