Our reading for this Sunday from the gospel of John and its imagery of being born again used to always elicit a sigh of annoyance from my mind. The idea of being born again takes me right back to my days in high school where some of the Christians I knew would use that language about their faith. It always felt so exclusive to me, the way they described how Jesus came into their heart and radically changed their life. I remember wondering, why hasn’t God done that for me? Have I not said the right words? Is my church bad or ineffective? The born again movement was a revival that began way before my high school days and means a lot to some strands of Christianity. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more curious than certain...and as I have employed that mindset, passages like this one have new meaning for me...my mind has been born again, if you will!
Jesus and Nicodemus are talking past one another about birth, and maybe because I have had kids and the idea of being born involves pain, life changes, and suffering (in addition to an amazing experience, I know!) the idea of birth is not romantic to me. The bringing of a new life into the world is messy, filled with a myriad of emotions, and results in a mom having to heal for quite some time. In other words, it is not easy! And so as I ponder with all of you and with our staff what the next months look like as we come together for outdoor meals, fellowship events, and in-person moments, it is clear that while we will have great joy, it will also be a slow unraveling of some of the habits that we have made for ourselves over the past year. We will need to be respectful of distancing, of those who have young kids and are not vaccinated. And it may very well feel awkward and unsafe to be inside worshipping; and that awkwardness may effect how it now feels to be in our lovely sanctuary with people we care about.
There are many emotions and feelings that may be part of us re-gathering and re-connecting. And I want you to know that it is ok to feel all the feelings about this transition back. We’re taking it slowly, offering opportunities for volunteering and small gatherings throughout the month of June. We invite you to come to one or all of them. And know that if we don’t see you we’ll be reaching out to check on you as we all are born again into this curious time in our world’s life.
When you go to the swimming pool are you a dive-right-in kind of person? A dip- a-toe in the water person? Or, do you let others jump in and watch them swim for a while?
I ask these questions because the living of these days, (the slow reopening post-pandemic), requires caution, for sure. But we are also at the point, with high vaccination rates in our church community, low community spread, and the green light from the county to gather with social distancing protocols; that we can start to gather safely and reacquaint ourselves with one another. We know that some will wait and watch, and we respect that. We know, too, that many of us deeply yearn for human community again, especially the human community that loves and cares for us.
With that in mind, we want to offer the opportunity to be part of a delicious fellowship and community-building opportunity on Saturday, May 15th here at Prince of Peace.
We invite you to drop in for a pancake and sausage breakfast (gluten-free and vegan options available!) from 8am-11am.
Volunteers from our PoP Community will be serving through our convenient patio window. Seating will be spread out, on the patio, inside with all doors open, and/or on the grass in the center courtyard. Bring a blanket, your kids, and your masks. We’ll be following all covid-related protocols while also spending meaningful and relaxed time together.
We invite you to RSVP if you can, so we have a tentative idea of how many are coming. Also, if you would like to help with set-up, cooking, or clean-up we would love a few extra hands. For safety reasons, only those who are vaccinated can serve food. To be clear, you need not be vaccinated to come, but only to serve food and be in proximity to others inside the kitchen. Friends are welcome!
We hope to see you there!
As we close out April, National Month of Hope, signs of renewal are everywhere: flowers are blooming, vaccines are available to everyone over 16, choir rehearsals are scheduled, and groups are inquiring about returning to campus. In addition, Vacation Bible Camp, Jazz Camp, parties, and events that have been delayed for a year will all be on campus starting in May. This summer has the potential to be very busy!
The Property Committee and Wednesday Crew have been working hard during the pandemic to ensure many major needs were addressed while no one was on campus. This week the Hall is being tented for termites, after fully renovating the floors and painting the walls and ceiling. It looks amazing! Thank you Todd H., Brian D., Bill Y., Andrea P., Barbara E., Ian M., Drew, Pastor Nate, and everyone else who has helped make this renovation possible!
Now you can help Prince of Peace use this beautifully updated space to supplement the budget. Do you know someone planning an event this fall? Suggest they rent the Hall! You will find more photos and details on the website, Facebook and Instagram. Please share!
by Anne Hess