As light gives way to darkness
and the busyness of day concedes to night’s stillness,
As conscious thought surrenders to dreams
and our bodies long for rest,
we pause to listen
for the beat of your Presence in all things
pulsing in the light of distant galaxies,
sounding in the depths of our soul,
vibrating in each vein of earth’s body.
One Sound as vast as the universe,
one universe filled with Presence,
one Life within every life.
In the darkness of night,
in the stillness that surrounds us,
in the unknown depths of our being,
we pause to listen.
~ by John Philip Newell, excerpt from Praying with the Earth
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 for others.)
9:00-9:50 a.m. – Adult Sunday School. The discussion of the book, Climate Church, Climate World, continues. Contact John Zlatnik about how to join this group and for information about what part of the book they are discussion this Sunday.
10:00 a.m. – Worship Service. We celebrate communion every week, so please have “bread” and “cup” available so you can participate with us. If you haven’t already registered for worship, do so now at bit.ly/reg4worship. Once you’re registered, you’ll get the link to join us on Sunday mornings for the worship of God, brought to you on the Zoom platform. Click here to preview the order of worship and to listen to the music ahead of time. Please note that everyone registered for worship will received (on Saturday) a new link for the worship service. See the announcement below.
11:00 a.m. – Annual Meeting. Stay in the worship service; the Annual Meeting will begin at the conclusion of the worship service, around 11:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m. – Bay Association Meeting. The Bay Association of the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ holds their Spring Meeting. Get more information here.
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.
12:30-1:30 p.m. – Daytime Fellowship virtual lunch. Stay after the Bible Study, or click the same link at 12:30 to join the Daytime Fellowship for a virtual lunch. You supply your own food; the gathered community supplies the fellowship.
7:15 p.m. – Cabinet Meeting. You are welcome to attend the Cabinet meeting. Click here to join.
A Pastoral Word
How are you sleeping? How are you eating? These are two questions I’ve been asking myself fairly regularly for the past eight weeks, ever since the shelter in place order started in Alameda County. I’ve been asking these questions because changes in our sleeping, appetite, and eating patterns can be symptoms of a shift in our emotional wellbeing.
At first, I was running on adrenaline. There was a crisis and so I responded as if it was a crisis. And then the crisis dragged on. Everything we know has been disrupted and it is exhausting. And upsetting. And grief inducing.
So, how are you sleeping? How are you eating?
There are other signs, too. One author suggests we watch for these eight signs of emotional and mental exhaustion:
- Easily irritated
- Feeling completely unmotivated – even about things we normally enjoy
- Experiencing anxiety or panic attacks
- Having trouble sleeping
- Have almost no patience and find yourself short with colleagues and family
- Experiencing indigestion or a low-grade stomachache all the time or feel like there’s butterflies in your stomach
- Crying unexpectedly
- Feel detached from reality – you go through your days without really responding or connecting to anything. You feel empty.
Our Regional Minister, the Rev. LaTaunya Bynum, advises, “Reach out to someone you trust, talk to people who can help ease your anxiety. Pray and practice the disciplines that give you a sense of calm.” I second that advice.
And hope. Hope is real. Hope, as the photo above reminds us, is closer than you think. God is at work and you can choose to trust it.
Toni reminds us, “We will not be the same after this pandemic as we were before it devastated so much of what we have known. There will be new ways of understanding ourselves, of imagining church, and of understanding God.
“Until we can be together in all the ways we want again, have hope.”
Use the New Worship Link: To increase safety, we’ve added a password to our worship service Zoom gathering. If you’ve saved an old email with the link to worship, delete it. Use the link in the email you will receive on Saturday. Please do not share your link (it’s unique to you) with anyone else. If you have a friend who wants to join us at worship, ask them to register at bit.ly/reg4worship.
Call to Annual Meeting: Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Niles Discovery Church will take place on Sunday, May 17, immediately following worship, on Zoom. All church members are urgently and prayerfully requested to attend. The annual report is available online here. Please download it and read it prior to the meeting.
How this will work: To attend the meeting, register for worship at bit.ly/reg4worship. The worship service that day will simply continue into the Annual Meeting. If you are having problems getting onto Zoom for worship, please contact our Moderator John Smith as soon as possible. We want every church member to be able to attend.
In Memoriam: A service celebrating the life of Mark McConville will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, June 10, at 6:00 p.m., PDT. Advance registration is required; to register for the memorial service, click here. Michele McConville welcomes you to send her a brief memory, thought, story, or picture about Mark in this time of her grieving. These can be written or videos. She may ask four or five of you to share these during the service.