Ministry News

You can check back here for regular news and updates on our common life at Church of the Resurrection. You can also sign up to receive news by email, just send an email to office@resurrectionph.org.
<< Previous 1 - 2

August 29: Preschool Update

From the Rector
 
Dear friends,
 
I'm writing to you with a heavy heart this week as I share the news that I have made the decision not to reopen Peter Pan Preschool this fall. Our preschool director Diana worked incredibly hard this summer to restructure the classrooms and program to meet the new health guidelines made necessary by Covid-19, and the teachers joined wholeheartedly in preparing for the school year. I am so grateful for their vision and creativity. Unfortunately, we recently saw a significant and sudden drop in enrollment, and all the best efforts to reach out to other potential families have not borne fruit. As such, we would be looking at running at a large deficit each month, not including the likelihood of greater costs incurred related to the pandemic and possible re-closures.

This past Monday, I called an emergency Vestry meeting to gather the wisdom, perspective and counsel of that body, and I am grateful for how thoughtfully and carefully they considered all the possible risks and benefits of the various ways we might proceed - as planned at a deficit, moving online, or waiting to reopen. Ultimately, we were in agreement that there are simply too many unknowns and risks for us to move forward with reopening the school: risks both to the physical health of the preschool community, and also to the financial sustainability of the school and church. 
 
I am so inspired by the service this school has offered to the community for many years, and I am deeply saddened to have to press pause on that important ministry. My fervent hope is that by making this decision now, we will be able to return to offering a wonderful and robust preschool program in a healthy and sustainable way when the pandemic has subsided.

For, now please join me in praying for Diana, for our teachers, Jennifer, Sophia and Yvonne, and in giving thanks for their remarkable gifts to this community. Please pray also for the families who had been planning on enrolling their children here in September. I lament that the school cannot open as we had hoped, and, at the same time, I trust that together, we will be able to carry this ministry forward in time. 

Thanks and peace,
Liz+
From the Rector
 
Stepping onto Sacred Ground


There is no question that much will be written in history books about the year 2020. My hope is that alongside the reflections on a world shut down by the coronavirus, future generations will also read about a world that woke up and made substantial, live-giving movement in the service of racial justice. Over the last few weeks, I've been returning again and again to the parting words of elder in the faith and statesman John Lewis. He wrote that in the last days and hours of his life, you inspired him. He wrote that you filled him with hope for what is coming for America when "you used your power to make a difference in our society." Given the brutality this man faced all throughout his life, I find it remarkable that he would end his days pointing us still in the direction of hope, and trusting yet in the God-given capacity for change and good that resides in us all. I found his words both humbling and deeply motivating.
 
I have already witnessed a hunger and a readiness in this congregation to dig in, to discern, and to give ourselves to the call for working for racial justice in the Church and in the wider community. No doubt this can take many and varied forms: service and advocacy, prayer and art, listening deeply and getting into what Lewis calls "good trouble." After taking in the letter from the Northern California/Vivian Traylor Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, which Bishop Marc asked to be read in every congregation of this diocese, a team of leaders at Resurrection began to discern how we might begin to respond together in this place. 
 
To that end, we are really excited to share that we will be launching Sacred Ground here at Resurrection this fall. An offering of the Episcopal Church, the creators describe it this way: "Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America's history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity." I have heard phenomenal and inspiring reports from colleagues and friends across the church who have already begun engaging the Sacred Ground series, and I feel hopeful that it will offer us the framework and material to take a deep dive together: into our shared history, into our sacred stories, and into the stories of our own lives, as they are all intertwined. 
 
On a practical level, the series will happen in small groups over Zoom, with ten sessions meeting roughly every three weeks, hopefully beginning in September. Once we have a sense of who wants to take part, we'll work on figuring out meeting times and the like. There will be things to read and watch between sessions, which explore Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories, as they intersect with European American histories, helping us to "peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day - all while grounded in our call to faith, hope and love." This series is explicitly not anti-racism training, nor does it direct us toward taking specific actions once we have finished. My hope and prayer, though, is that it will serve to connect us with one another, with our shared histories, and with our community, and that it will ground us in growing trust, all that we may then listen for where God is calling us next, together.
 
If you are interested in participating in Sacred Ground, please fill out this form. I am eager to begin this journey of learning and reflection with many of you. Know that you're in my prayers as you consider taking this on - I recognize that it is a significant commitment of both time and heart, and I am grateful for your courage as you discern.
 
Peace,
Liz+



Monday Bible Study Continues!
After our experiment with Bible study by Zoom this last month, we've decided to keep going - it's been a wonderful weekly downbeat to connect and reflect. Join us on Mondays at noon for an hour of conversation about the coming week's readings -- bring your lunch if you like, and a readiness to dig in together. What leaves you scratching your head? What have you always wondered about? How do these stories connect with your life right now? We will probably gather more questions than answers, and leave with plenty to ponder until we hear the same lessons again six days later. Contact the office for the Zoom link.


Zoom Coffee Hour 
Come together on Sundays to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We gather at around 11:30 on Sunday mornings, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Contact the office for the Zoom link.


Project Peace: Digital Days of Service
Project Peace is a wonderful nonprofit in the East Bay that works for biblical justice by activating a network of churches to serve and sustain their local communities. They host days of service throughout the year, which we hope to take part in together in the future. Because of the pandemic, the next day of service can't happen as planned, but they are offering some other great options. Project Peace is launching Digital Days of Service with a focus on "Sustaining the Journey". Beginning August 6th, they will be kicking off a month of online opportunities to equip and encourage volunteers to engage with biblical justice for the long haul, including:
 
- Historical prayers on key local justice issues
- Wisdom on sustainability from seasoned community
  partners 
- A range of service options (in-person and online) 

To take part, 
  • Follow Project Peace on Instagram and Facebook to receive Digital Days of Service updates.
  • Subscribe to their newsletter to receive full details of the campaign. 
From the Rector

Living While We Wait


Dear friends,
 
Here is a confession: generally speaking, patience has not been one of my virtues. I often open curious envelopes while still walking back from the mailbox. I am tempted to try to figure out surprises before they happen. I was even that child - the one who hunted high and low for Christmas presents, climbing up to top shelves in the closet and even on one occasion unwrapping and then very carefully rewrapping a gift. I just don't like waiting!
 
And yet, here we are. Waiting to reopen, waiting to see what school might look like in the fall, and most especially for me, waiting until we can gather in person as a church. I long for us to be together, I am eager to be together, and yet, here we are. As I've shared previously, we've been exploring possible ways to begin coming together very carefully for outdoor worship, and I'm grateful to so many of you for sharing your perspectives in the recent survey. 

One of the key things we learned from that feedback is that more than half of you would not feel comfortable attending in-person worship any time soon, and many more would only want to try it occasionally. In addition to that feedback, Bishop Marc has asked that the whole diocese continue to refrain from gathering in-person, for worship or for most other activities. Because of the recent spike in Covid-19 here, his belief is that it's just too risky for us to gather right now, even if it is legal to do so. As impatient as I am to be together again, I agree with him, and I am grateful for his leadership. Staying apart is not without cost, but I share Bishop Marc's belief that our highest priority is to safeguard one another's lives, and I am unwilling to risk your health in order for us to be together. It's not easy, but here we are, and we'll be here a little while longer, yet.
 
That said, life and church need not be on pause while we wait! On Wednesday night your vestry reflected on the many ways we see God right here, right now, and how we hear God's call even while we remain apart. We are exploring more ways to serve our community, (and see each other, from a distance, in the process!) new ways to connect and learn together (check out our new Bible study on Monday!) and researching more ways to keep improving our live stream for worship.  
 
So, thank you friends, for teaching me patience, for sharing your generous spirits, and for finding new ways to walk through these times together. I trust God is here, no matter where "here" is, or what it looks like, and I am eager to keep living into that promise with you all.
 
Peace,
Liz+



Brown Bag Bible Study
Ok, so if you aren't leaving home, you probably don't need to put your lunch in a bag. But for the next four weeks, you are invited to bring your lunch and your curiosity to Zoom, and join Rev. Liz to discuss the readings for the following Sunday. What leaves you scratching your head? What have you always wondered about? How do these stories connect with your life right now? We will probably gather more questions than answers, and leave with plenty to ponder until we hear the same lessons again six days later. Join on Mondays, July 13 - August 3rd, at noon. Please contact the office for the Zoom link.


Christmas in July is here!
We are again celebrating Christmas in July on Sunday, July 19th. We are collecting both food and the traditional backpack supplies including: 
  • Plain colored backpacks
  • Hand Sanitizer 
  • Face Masks
  • Printer Paper 
  • Other typical school supplies  

This year we are also looking for gently used and new children's books and young reader chapter books.

This year  Hope Solutions, formerly Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, is collecting money for backpack supplies in an effort to reduce viral exposure. The Monument Crisis Center is still in desperate need, with the reduction of school breakfast and lunches, for canned and dried goods.   

We will be safely collecting all donations, both school supplies and non-perishable food on July 19th from 12:00 - 2:00 pm the parking lot in front of our church. A masked volunteer will gather the goods from your trunk in a contactless transaction. There has never been a year with a higher need.  


Make Your Voice Heard
Are you longing to hear and/or sing a favorite song or hymn during the Sunday service?  Now is your chance to let us know.  Please send an email Colleen  with your request(s) to music@resurrectionph.org.
 


2020 Men's Retreat Postponed to November 12-14, 2021
Because of the uncertainties about the Corona Virus, the Ranch has canceled all group meetings for the coming months. So let's think positive and plan for a retreat in November of next year. Questions: contact Klaus.


2020 Women's Retreat Cancelled
It's with great regret that we're cancelling this year's Women's Retreat in early October. The Ranch, in accordance with the Sonoma County authorities, has limited rentals across the 30 odd rooms available to families living together and single people. So in Harrison House, we could only have a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 9 (if a family group were to join us). Instead, we've decided to reserve Harrison House again for 2021.  The dates will likely be October 1--3, 2021 so you can save them if you remain interested. While we remain disappointed, at least no one will blame the Women's Retreat for any Covid-19 outbreaks! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Theresa Nagle.


Zoom Coffee Hour continues!
It has been a sweet joy to come together for a coffee hour on Zoom! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather at 11:30 Sunday morning, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Contact the office for the Zoom link.


Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.org/. Contact the office for the Zoom link.


Hymn Sing Zoom Invitation!
Join our Hymn Sing this week at 7pm on Thursday evening. Come and sing with us - no hymnal or special skills needed.  We will take requests during the meeting, or if you wish to submit one ahead of time, you can email Colleen Henry. Contact the office for the Zoom link.
Regathering: what do you think?
 
A fantastic team of creative members of Church of the Resurrection have been hard at work these last two weeks to imagine what it would take and what it might look like to begin gathering again in person. Doing so within the necessary safety guidelines will require some real collaboration and flexibility, and we're very eager to hear what you think, and what you would be interested in showing up to do together. Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey this week so we can do our best to tailor our plan to what the congregation most wants! The survey will be open until June 26. If you would like to lend your energy towards the effort of regathering in one form or another, please email Rev. Liz.



Huge Success for the Monument Crisis Center
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our Food Drive last Sunday was a massive success! Many thanks to all who donated, and also for spreading the word so effectively: we saw countless new faces who had heard from friends that this was happening and made the effort to show up. There was a near constant parade of cars through the parking lot, with only a few occasional minutes of quiet. By the end of the two hours, we'd collected 13 barrels of food - the same amount we collected during the whole of Lent, and enough to feed a family of four for a whole year. Way to go! And the goodwill continues: there will be a barrel outside at church, ready for your donations, between 9 and 3 every Sunday and Wednesday. Please swing by! They are particularly in need of low-sugar breakfast cereal, peanut butter, tuna, and canned vegetables. Thank you! Check out the huge MCC van, filled to the ceiling with your generosity! 


Zoom Coffee Hour continues!
It has been a sweet joy to come together for a coffee hour on Zoom! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather at 11:30 Sunday morning, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Contact the office for the Zoom link.


Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.org/. Contact the office for the Zoom link.


Hymn Sing Zoom Invitation!
Join our Hymn Sing this week at 7pm on Thursday evening. Come and sing with us - no hymnal or special skills needed.  We will take requests during the meeting, or if you wish to submit one ahead of time, you can email Colleen Henry. Contact the office for the Zoom link.
From the Rector
 
Not just our Future, but our Present

 
One of the ways I have often heard young people celebrated is by how we trust they will shape our future. There is no question they will carry it — such is passage of time — and still, we often look to our youth with hope and gratitude for the ways we anticipate them making this world a better place in the years to come. All this is good, true and warranted. And, I’ve often felt that this sentiment misses an important truth, especially in the Church: our youth are not only the future of the Church, they are the Church now!
 
This beautiful reality is one of the things that first caught my attention about Church of the Resurrection, and continues to amaze and inspire me. I am so grateful for the many ways that teenagers, in particular, have been given center stage in this community, to lead in their own right. Whether in worship, service, or fellowship, our youth have both voice and vision, and from what I can see, we are so much the richer on account of their collective generosity of self.
 
This Sunday, we will be celebrating the many graduating seniors in our midst. This is one more way that the pandemic is proving bittersweet, as we must reach for ways to honor and support our graduates from afar, even as we get to witness their tenacity and spirit in such trying times. I am so grateful to Shannon and Colleen and all the parents for their enthusiastic work supporting our youth in leading us once again, and in finding a way to lift them up in prayer and celebration. So please, join me in getting excited for this Sunday morning, when our worship will be led primarily by these amazing high school graduates. It is such a good thing that they are our future, and we are all the more blessed that they are also our present, now. Thanks be to God!
 
Peace,
Liz+



Food Drive for Monument Crisis Center and Christmas in July
 
How can I help, you ask?

Just in case you are looking for a way to step into the solution.  We have ways to plug in to our community in easy but significant ways. 
1. We will be kicking off the food drive Sunday June 14th between 12-2.  You are welcomed to drop the food off at the church. The barrels will be outside the church every Wednesday and Sunday Between 9-3.  The Monument Crisis Center is generously giving food to any and all who need it.  They are in desperate need currently.  
2.  For the Christmas in July campaign this year we will be collecting school supplies and gently used and new children's and young adult books. Please look for our traditional Christmas Tree in the church and the online invitation for supplies.


Shake the Apples Trees!

Dear Congregation:

Our row of apples trees are alongside the schoolyard fence of Peter Pan.

At this time of year, the apple trees have small, green apples which grow in clusters on several of the trees (see the photo).  In order for the apples to mature in August & September, these clusters need to be thinned to provide more room for the remaining fruit to grow.

The easiest way to thin the clusters is to shake the tree branches and some apples will fall to the ground.  If you happen to be on the church grounds, take a few minutes to walk up and shake some apple tree branches!  If you don't have time to pick up the results and throw them away, I'll gather it up on my Saturday trips to the orchard.
We will get better fruit come September for eating and baking!

Thanks,
 Bill Deane (Orchard guy)



Zoom Coffee Hour continues!
It has been a sweet joy to come together for a coffee hour on Zoom! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather at 11:30 Sunday morning, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee.


Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.org/


Hymn Sing Zoom Invitation!
Join our Hymn Sing this week at 7pm on Thursday evening. Come and sing with us - no hymnal or special skills needed.  We will take requests during the meeting, or if you wish to submit one ahead of time, you can email Colleen Henry at cbhkeys@gmail.com.
A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Marc Andrus
 
Bishop Marc has asked that this letter be shared with all congregations in the Diocese of California this weekend. Read on:


Dear friends in Christ,
 
I and the other bishops of the Episcopal Church in Northern California (Diocese of California, Northern California, San Joaquin, and El Camino Real) received the statement, below, from the Northern California/Vivian Traylor chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) yesterday (June 10). We in the Diocese of California have already published the statement in our online Diocesan News and Events.
 
I am writing today to be clear that I personally, as Bishop of the Diocese of California, endorse this statement. Though I issued (Tuesday, June 2) a statement on structural racism and the President’s threats to use U.S. military in our states and cities to quell protest, I feel my endorsement of the UBE statement is even more important. This clear, strong, grounded, and heartfelt statement leads our way forward, and I am committed to engaging with the UBE in this work.
 
While injustice in our country and in the world have been in plain sight from the first moments of colonization in this land, I do sense, with many, that we have reached the verge of genuine, widespread, and, by our faithful commitment, lasting change. I will work with UBE to enact the areas of resolve in their statement and ask you to join me in this undertaking. The thunderous, prophetic call, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an everlasting stream” (Amos 5:24) is both our petition to the Divine, and God’s call to us. Let us so pray and so act.
 
+Marc


Northern California/Vivian Traylor Chapter’s position on the eradication of racism in the Church and society

The Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE), whose members are of African descent, has fought to eradicate racism for over 200 years by encouraging the involvement of Black people in the total life of the Episcopal Church — on every level and in every way — stewardship, evangelism, education, leadership, governance, and politics. We have stridently worked to dismantle power structures within the Church and in society that have gone askew. Today as members of African descent in the Episcopal Church, we are deeply hurt, gravely offended, and morally wounded by the unconscionable acts and senseless and horrific killings in the first half of 2020 of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, in addition to the many other Black and Brown people who have been unjustly victimized and murdered by the police; those who are charged with protecting, helping, and serving our communities. It has been a collective awakening for us, the Church, and society as a whole. 

Recognizing that history cannot be undone and that we must move forward working for change, we invite all members of the Episcopal Church to join us in the fight to eradicate the systemic racism that has plagued our country and the Church. Eradicating racism in the Church is UBE’s charge, but it is not, and cannot be, solely our responsibility. Our Chapter of UBE has established the following goals with that aim in mind: 
  • Identifying and exposing structures of racism where they exist within the Church and society. We must confront and root out racism, racial injustice, racial bias, and racial inequities wherever it exists — in the Church, our communities, our workplaces, and our homes. This is the responsibility of everyone in the Church. Our white brothers and sisters in Christ also have to educate and inform themselves about the ways racism is perpetuated in the Church and actively partner with UBE to eradicate these structures. We need to require that everyone who serves in the Church, lay or ordained, take an oath to confront this issue and work for change;
  • Seeking removal of such racist structures.  We must educate the Church and our members, and advocate for the dismantling of racist structures, organizations, programs, both within and outside of the Church;
  • Promoting and increasing the representation and participation of lay and ordained persons of color on all governing bodies of local churches and in dioceses. We must honestly and clearly establish policies that ensure the selection of lay and ordained persons of all racial, gender and sexual backgrounds so that we achieve equity and inclusion.
  • Providing a safe and comfortable place for people of the African diaspora to interact and fellowship with each other. We must recognize that having a diverse and inclusive church enriches the Church and grows our mutual appreciation and understanding of the many parts that make up the whole body of Christ.
We believe that it is imperative that the Episcopal Dioceses in Northern California: California, El Camino Real, Northern California and San Joaquin join us in working not only to achieve the UBE goals but also to create better communities, state and nation by: 
  • Creating safe and whole communities for all. Everyone should live in a community where they have good, safe, and healthy access to housing, schools, health care, libraries, open spaces and parks, transportation, and religious institutions so they can thrive. No one should be forced to live in an environment riddled by drugs, crime, poor schools, inadequate housing, lack of services and being over-policed. We call for the redistribution of police resources and the reinvestment of those resources into needed community resources and services to achieve this goal.
  • Using our voices, our churches, our collective power and resources to demand social change and the end of systemic racism that permeates every sector of our society. We must change the current system which leads to racial, economic, physical, environmental, and social inequities in the form of poor housing; lack of adequate transportation, health care, and childcare; poor performing schools; food deserts; limited access to services and over policing. These conditions adversely impact the majority of Black and Brown people, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and ultimately impacts our larger communities, the state, and this nation.
  • Supporting the rights of organizations and movements to peacefully protest and advocate for a just and equitable society free of racism, oppression, suppression and unjust acts.  Collectively using our power, our resources and voices to eradicate racism, inequity, and injustice and support and promote movements working for unity, peace, hope, dignity and justice for all.
  • Calling for the end of “qualified immunity,” This legislation has shielded officials from the unforeseeable consequences of their “reasonable acts” and now provides near-impunity for police officers who engage in unconstitutional acts of violence.
Adopting Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community”. This would be an extension of the Jesus Movement and The Way of Love platforms of the Church. By using the “Beloved Community”  tenets and lens to guide Church decisions, programs and allocations, we would ensure that the Church, by its actions, supports: all people sharing in the wealth of the earth; poverty, hunger and homelessness are not tolerated or allowed because it conflicts with human standards for decency; racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice are replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood: and that economic and social justice are the pillars of a healthy society where everyone has equal access and equity.



 

June 6th: Next Steps

From the Rector

Next Steps
 
As shelter-in-place orders begin to relax some, both on the state level and here in our county, there are understandably many questions about what this will mean for us at Resurrection! The simplest - and probably not very satisfactory - answer is that we are working on it. In a recent Zoom call with clergy and wardens from all across the diocese, Bishop Marc shared his desire for us to begin gathering together again, certainly, but only when we can really do so safely. A diocesan team is hard at work creating guidelines and resources to support us in this work, and while I hope it won't be too far off, we will not be phasing back in-person gatherings right when the county first permits them on June 15th.
 
Bishop Marc has said that the earliest he can imagine in-person worship happening - without making any guarantees - is June 28th, but that the most important thing is that we do this carefully and safely, for all involved. He also emphasized that we'll be moving in this direction as a body, though he has revised his plan slightly to say that we'll be opening deanery by deanery, rather than as an entire diocese at once. In this way, we'll be able to lean on our sister congregations for support, share resources, and collaborate, as together we navigate these new questions and challenges.
 
What does this mean for us? Well, we are once again hard at work with a new set of goals and parameters, many of which are still unknown. At this point, it looks likely that when we first resume in-person worship, it will probably need to be outside, possibly on the labyrinth. We'll most likely be looking at wearing masks, using lots of sanitizer, and still maintaining at least six feet of distance between households. I also want to emphasize my awareness that for many people, it will not feel safe or make sense to resume in-person gatherings any time soon. For this reason, we are also exploring how we can continue live-streaming the service, even after some form of in-person gatherings begin to meet again. My commitment is that we make worship accessible for as many people as we possibly can, even with all these strange and shifting limitations.
 
To that end, we need help! As we build a team to envision the way forward, we are especially in need of folks with experience in public health and technology - particularly in setting up the new way to effectively live stream while also holding in-person worship. People who are wise and creative with space use will also be especially helpful, as we'll need to reimagine how we move through our campus, set up and break down chairs and shade structures, adequately sanitize everything, and so forth. If you have experience in any of these areas, or suggestions of folks who fit the bill, I would be most grateful to hear from you! 
 
Over the last months since we first had to pivot to live-streaming our services, I've been reminded again and again of why I felt so compelled to join this community, and I trust that this next phase will be no different. I remain immensely grateful for the countless ways members of this community have stepped up, harnessed creativity, offered deeply of your time and love, and engaged one another (and me!) with such flexibility, grace, and patience. In one way, we're all flying with a blindfold on, making this up as we go along. And, at the same time, I think this is just the latest iteration of Resurrection being most fully itself: a community that sees a fresh challenge and a new call to love one another in different ways, with the everyone stepping up graciously and enthusiastically to do their part. It is so very affirming and encouraging to witness this response, again and again, from all of you. Thank you - and onward!
 
Peace,
Liz+



Food Drop for Monument Crisis Center 
Sunday, June 14

As the pandemic continues and unemployment worsens for many, the Monument Crisis Center continues to see incredibly high levels of need for food. An average of more than 320 families are coming each day for emergency food; 10,358 individuals were served in April alone. To do our part to address this need, we will soon have barrels out in front of the church again (stay tuned!) and we will also be hosting a donation drop-off day on June 14. You can bring non-perishable food to the church between 12:00 and 2:00 pm that Sunday, June 14 - just drive up in front of the church, pop your trunk, and we'll take your groceries out. It will be safe, distanced, and without contact. Thank you!


April Vestry Meeting - by Zoom
Wednesday, June 10

Our Vestry (the elected leadership board of the church) meets every month, and the meetings are always open to the whole congregation. While we are sheltering in place, our vestry meetings are being held over Zoom. Church members are still welcome to attend and observe the meeting. This month it will be held Wednesday, June 10 at 7:00 pm.


Zoom Coffee Hour continues!
It has been a sweet joy to come together for a coffee hour on Zoom! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather at 11:30 Sunday morning, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee.


Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.org/



Hymn Sing Zoom Invitation!
Join our Hymn Sing this week at 7pm on Thursday evening. Come and sing with us - no hymnal or special skills needed.  We will take requests during the meeting, or if you wish to submit one ahead of time, you can email Colleen Henry at cbhkeys@gmail.com.


Prayer Requests
During this most difficult time of separation from your Community of Faith, you may be feeling spiritually empty. You may find yourself having trouble remembering the last time you truly prayed. 

There is hope! Although we are unable to gather at the Healing Prayer Station in the Sanctuary, Church of the Resurrection's Prayer Team is available to pray with you and for you. Simply call the church office (925-685-2288) and ask that a member of the Prayer Team contact you to pray with you over the phone. Or, you could leave a message with a special prayer request. You can even send an email (office@resurrectionph.org) and all will be forwarded to the Prayer Team.

Do you feel the need to refresh your personal prayer life? Here is some advice from The Rev. David Stout, Rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Hawaii:

"Make your prayer what those first disciples asked, 'Lord, teach me to pray'. That in itself is a prayer! Stay with that prayer. Jesus offered them a short prayer that today we call 'The Lord's Prayer'. Simply say The Lord's Prayer. One line at a time, slowly. Nothing more. In the spirit of that prayer, 'may God give us our daily bread' - that which we need to truly feed our hungry souls."
 
From the Rector

Time has come to pass in such strange ways - this is a refrain I hear again and again from folks now, as we are without many of the ways we mark the passage of time. There is at once so much more time, and so much less, and it seems to have gone all wobbly in the middle. 

While I have to focus considerably harder to be certain what day of the week it is now, let alone what date, I've also become keenly aware of the passage of time on a minute level this spring: because we're working and schooling and doing most of our living at home, my kids and I have planted a smattering of seeds and little vegetable starts. There is nothing organized about our effort; we're far too new to our home in Pleasant Hill to have actually set up a garden, so instead it's just a collection of pots filled with what's caught our fancy. And this is how we are beginning to mark time: seeing when the sprout of the giant sunflower bends upward enough to shed its shell; noting how in less than a week the tomato plants have more than doubled; wondering about how unbelievably tiny the yarrow seedlings are coming up - if those aren't weeds! - we're still waiting and watching.
 
This movement of seeds into plants into flowers and food is a well-worn trope, a cliché in the simple hope it peddles - but it's true! And watching these tenacious little things keep climbing in the direction of life and beauty, day by day is reminding me to pay more attention to how I spend my time, how I unfurl, how I both rest and grow. 
 
For years I've had all but sacrosanct practices around time, structures built up around when I work and when I step back, largely enforced by the demands and delights of parenting. And then the pandemic hit. Most things - routines, expectations, plans - are thrown up in the air in time of crisis. As it comes clear that we aren't going to be returning to our "normal" way of life for a good while yet, though, it's also becoming abundantly clear that continuing to live in crisis-response mode is unsustainable. 
 
I've been thinking about how the Sabbath is not just a teaching, or suggestion, or generous invitation, but that it is actually one of the commandments. In that top ten list, it's even number four: it's listed higher than not stealing, not murdering... it's really important. The real kicker for me, though, is that it's not something we have to create. Despite how we often speak, we don't make time or take time. Time just is. And we're not called to dothe Sabbath, or make it or set it up or anything else, but rather just to rememberit. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 
 
As I try to remember this, I'm striving to honor this hallowed time apart, which requires some new creativity in the time of pandemic! We are not permitted to have supply clergy join us for Sunday worship right now, but Bishop Marc has encouraged us to partner with other congregations, taking turns in virtually hosting one another. This way, the clergy, staff and lay leaders can have a break, church can continue, and we get a chance to connect and worship with our neighbors in new ways. To that end, this coming Sunday, May 17th, we will be hosting the good people of Grace Episcopal Church, Martinez, on our live stream at Resurrection. Thank you, in advance, for welcoming them! Then next week, May 24th, you are all encouraged to join their live stream for worship, and Colleen, your lay leaders, and I will be taking the day off. Their service begins at 9:00, and is also on Facebook Live, just as ours is, hosted on their Facebook page

To recap: Grace Martinez will be worshiping "at" Resurrection on May 17th. Then on May 24th, you all are encouraged to worship "at" Grace Martinez, but note that the service will begin at 9:00 am and is hosted on their Facebook page.
 
There will be plenty of reminders coming, and helpful web guides will be standing by to assist you in finding your way on the 24th. I'm excited to worship with our neighbors, and grateful for the flexibility to experiment in this way together. I'll be taking all of next week, May 18th- 24th, as vacation, returning to work on the 25th, though you are welcome to call my cell phone in the event of a pastoral emergency. I'm grateful for this time to remember, rest, and reset.
 
So very much has been upended, and many of our routines have been thrown to the wind these last two months. Still, we're called to remember the Sabbath, and it may take some creativity and experimentation to get there right now. How will you choose time to rest, to re-create, to be recreated yourself this coming week? Is there a new way you can try, even just this week? What might you let go of, put off, or give away? What restores you right now? 
 
These are big questions, and it may take us many tries to find new ways in this time. And even so, this is my prayer for us all: that we may all remember this Sabbath time, and take up these practices of wholeness once again.
 
Peace,
Liz+



Zoom Coffee Hour - an experiment!

Gathering for a coffee hour on Zoom last Sunday was a blast! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather about 10 minutes after the service ends, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Email the office for the Zoom link.


Connecting with your church staff

There have been some questions as to how best to reach your church staff during the shelter in place order. Here's an update:
 
The office is generally closed, but if you need to drop something off at church (like food for the Monument Crisis Center!) you can email Tracy at office@resurrectionph.org or leave a voicemail on the office phone, (925) 685-2288, which Tracy is still checking regularly. Tracy's regular days off are Saturday and Sunday.
 
Rev. Liz is also checking voicemail at church, as well as email, liz@resurrectionph.org. If you have an urgent need or question, you can call her cell phone, which is listed in the directory. Liz's Sabbath day is Friday - please only reach out on Fridays if you are having a pastoral emergency and it really can't wait. Liz will also be on vacation May 18-24.
 
Colleen and Shannon are both reachable by email: Colleen's is music@resurrectionph.org and Shannon's is palmsupmissions@gmail.com.

 

Prayer Requests
 
During this most difficult time of separation from your Community of Faith, you may be feeling spiritually empty. You may find yourself having trouble remembering the last time you truly prayed. 

There is hope! Although we are unable to gather at the Healing Prayer Station in the Sanctuary, Church of the Resurrection's Prayer Team is available to pray with you and for you. Simply call the church office (925-685-2288) and ask that a member of the Prayer Team contact you to pray with you over the phone. Or, you could leave a message with a special prayer request. You can even send an email (office@resurrectionph.org) and all will be forwarded to the Prayer Team.

Do you feel the need to refresh your personal prayer life? Here is some advice from The Rev. David Stout, Rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Hawaii:

"Make your prayer what those first disciples asked, 'Lord, teach me to pray'. That in itself is a prayer! Stay with that prayer. Jesus offered them a short prayer that today we call 'The Lord's Prayer'. Simply say The Lord's Prayer. One line at a time, slowly. Nothing more. In the spirit of that prayer, 'may God give us our daily bread' - that which we need to truly feed our hungry souls."
 


Beware of Scammers

We learned this week that a scammer has created a fake email address impersonating Rev. Liz. If you get an email from revlizt@gmail.com, or from someone saying they are Liz from any email address other than  liz@resurrectionph.org, please do not respond and instead forward them to Liz. Rest assured that Liz will never ask you for financial help, gift cards, or the like in an email like this. Please stay safe and when in doubt, double check.


Online Directory Tutorial
 
On Tuesday, May 19th at 7:00pm George McLain will be hosting a Zoom session to discuss the ins and outs of F1Go, the church's on-line directory system. 
 
Don't worry if you don't have access to F1Go. You can be setup during the session. You will be working with your cell phone or desktop during the session.
 
George will take you through the various features of the system and answer any questions you have.   Hope to see you then. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to George by emailing geomclain@prodigy.net for the Zoom link.



Smile.Amazon

Smile.Amazon will contribute 0.5% of your purchase totals made through their website if you select Church of the Resurrection as your charity of choice. Almost every item purchased on the website offers a percentage donation.
 
How does it work? 
Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-6050228
If you have an existing Amazon account, it will automatically link your account to Church of the Resurrection with your permission for contributions on eligible purchases made on line.

If you do not have a current amazon.com account, it will ask you to register and select the organization you wish to donate to;
Use the Resurrection Tax ID number to identify our church:    94-6050228.
Then shop!

Bookmark the above link and use it every time you shop on line with Amazon.  The site contains just about all the same items for sale in all categories as the regular Amazon connection. 
 
If you have any questions, please contact Bill Deane at 707-410-9637 or building945@yahoo.com.  

Thank you for supporting COR!

From the Rector

Friends,

We are here. We have stepped into Holy Week, and are on the brink of beginning the Triduum, or the Three Great Days, when Christians the world over mark the love Jesus shared with his community, remember his death, and celebrate the joyful mystery of his resurrection. This year the Triduum looks and feels awfully different from any that we have walked before. And still, this story and these practices of our faith anchor us in hope, guide our living, help us return to God. Even as so much of our lives is disjointed and unpredictable these days, I invite you to set aside time each of these days to join in the prayers, the practice, and our shared communion. Nothing, not even a pandemic, can separate us from God’s love and our connection through it to one another. We will gather to pray our way through this awesome mystery at the following times:

            Maundy Thursday, April 9th at 7:00 pm
            Good Friday, April 10th at 7:00 pm
            The Great Vigil of Easter, April 11th at 8:00 pm
            Easter Sunday, April 12th at 10:15 am


If you have not done so already, today would be an excellent time to create a sacred space or home altar of some sort, where you can root yourself for the coming days. You can find suggestions on setting one up here, but trust your gut. You likely already know what helps you connect to the holy.

Our services will all be streamed through Facebook Live, on our church’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChurchoftheResurrectionPH/.
You do not need a Facebook account to access this, simply go to the this address in your browser, which is why we have chosen to stream there instead of in our Facebook group, where a login is required. Some folks have had difficulty doing this in the browser of a smartphone; if you can, try accessing it from a computer instead if you do not have the Facebook app.
 
The bulletins for each service will be posted on the Holy Week hub of our website as they are ready. There you can also find suggestions on what to gather and ways to plan on participating in the rites from home.
 
I also have a new request for you all as we prepare for this most unusual Easter Vigil. It is a time when the veil between earth and heaven is especially thin, and an ancient practice in the Church is to pray the Litany of the Saints, inviting the saints of all ages to come rejoice with us. As I have experienced it, the idea of “saint” has been construed broadly: both the Saints, officially recognized, those holy women and men like Francis, Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and Theresa of Avila; and also the saints of our own lives, those we love and see no longer. The Litany of the Saints is commonly celebrated as a procession, outside and through the night, which seems rather beyond the reach of streaming the service through a smart phone. To that end, I invite you to email me or Tracy photos of your saints— whether photos of family or friends who have died, or icons of Saints with whom you find particular kinship. We will print these images and use them as part of our Easter Vigil. Please send these photos in by Friday at 3 pm. You might want to print them out at home too, or move the picture frames to your sacred space for these holy days.
 
Finally, there will be two opportunities to connect with one another by Zoom this week: 
 
Compline, tonight (April 8) at 7pm
An Agapé Meal, preceding the Maundy Thursday service, tomorrow
(April 9) at 6:15 pm
  • Prepare a simple meal in your home, and log onto Zoom to share in some short prayers over the food, and then conversation with one another before the service. The Zoom link is https://zoom.us/j/232615104, the phone number is 1-669-900-6833, and the Meeting ID is 232-615-104
Thank you for your witness, for your care for one another, and for your courage in entering fully into these painful and beautiful days. It is vulnerable, and it will be worth it. I’m so grateful to be making this path with you.

Peace,
Liz+
From the Rector 
 
We are just a few days away from entering once again the holiest week of the year, when we mark the painful end of Jesus' life, and then wait for and finally celebrate the way that through him, love always wins, even over death.
 
Every year, this great story and these intense days of prayer connect to the rest of our lives in new and surprising ways. Though the stories remain the same, the truth they open for us and the guidance they come to be depends in part on where we are. And this year, I think it's safe to say, Holy Week is going to be unlike that which any of us have ever experienced before. What we are collectively living through is so far beyond the scope of our past experience, rendering inescapable the truth that we - the whole globe - are intimately connected and mutually dependent. Even as we are apart, we belong to each other, and we walk through these harrowing times together. I believe this reality calls us even deeper into prayer and reflection, and heightens the need for our attention on the pilgrimage of Holy Week.
 
This year, sheltering in place as we are, our Holy Week will weave together practices at home and live streamed services from the Church. Plan to join the live stream from our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ChurchoftheResurrectionPH/ at the following times:
 
Palm Sunday - April 5th at 10:15 am
Maundy Thursday - April 9th at 7:00 pm
Good Friday - April 10th at 7:00 pm
The Great Vigil of Easter - April 11th at 8:00 pm
Easter Sunday - April 12th at 10:15 am
 
In addition to our live streams, we are also sharing resources for you to engage these practices at home. You can read last week's article for more details on how to begin creating a sacred space in your home. For more resources you can now find a new page on our website, Holy Week Services 2020, where you will be able to access the bulletins as they become available for each service. In addition, you can already find ideas there for how to prepare and step into these great days at home. 
 
Thanks for all the many ways you are continuing to show up for one another and for our wider community in these challenging times! 

Peace,
Liz+


Launching Pandemic Partners - Pleasant Hill Regional
We are very excited to announce the launch of a new community initiative: Pandemic Partners - Pleasant Hill Regional. Following the wonderful example and generous guidance of First Presbyterian Church in Bend, Oregon, we have launched this Facebook group to serve as a hub where people in our community can come together to get needs met. You can search for the group named "Pandemic Partners - Pleasant Hill Regional" on Facebook.
 
It's simple - people living in Pleasant Hill and the surrounding area can join the group. Once there, if you need help, ask. If you can offer help, respond out of the goodness of your heart. This can include running errands for immediate needs,  picking up groceries, getting help with technology to stay connected to loved ones, etc. In a time where fear can be overwhelming, this is a way to choose kindness, generosity, and love for our neighbors. 
 
To be clear, in using this group, everyone remains responsible for their own health and safety. Anyone who lives here may join the group, and volunteers will not be vetted or trained by Church of the Resurrection nor will volunteers be subject to the church's direction or control. We strongly encourage people to continue to practicing hand washing, sanitizing, sheltering in place and distancing measures recommended by Contra Costa County Health Services and the CDC. 
 
To help bring this group to life, that we may join one another in meeting the immediate, critical needs of our community, please join the group and invite your friends and neighbors who live in the area to join as well. Thank you!



Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. If you are new to Zoom, it might be helpful to tune in at 6:45 to learn how to use the technology. At 7, we will have "breakout rooms," small groups where we will discuss how we are all doing. Compline will begin at 7:15. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.org/
 
Here is the link to participate in Zoom: 
https://zoom.us/j/785476670

Or dial  +1 669 900 6833 and enter the 
Meeting ID: 785 476 670



Throwback Holy Week
Since we all cannot be together this week for the Holy Week and Easter services and to help us get into the coming season, we are going to post Holy Week and Easter photos and videos from the Resurrection archives from the past few years.  These will be posted on our Resurrection Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/resurrectionph/


Orange Picking Time - Saturday, April 11th, with Restrictions
Dear Congregation:

The Valencia oranges - the last left side row - and the two lemon trees are ready to be picked.

We need volunteers to pick and box the fruit and we should be done in about 1 to 1 ½  hours. It's Saturday, April 11th at 9 a.m.

Due to the gathering restrictions, we must ask that you notify me that you are planning on volunteering that morning. I cannot have more than 10 volunteers.

In addition, please note the following requirements of the Diocese and Contra Costa Health Services for protection against COVID-19:
  • No-one over age 65,
  • If you have other health issues, please stay home.
  • I'll have soap & water by the orchard.
  • Maintain spacing around each other as six feet apart.
  • I will not have coffee/donuts at this gathering.
We always appreciate the volunteers we get for picking, but this is an extraordinary year as we're all aware. If you do not feel comfortable being there, please play it safe and stay home.

We will have boxes on site donated from the Food Bank. Bring gloves & clippers to avoid thorns. Be aware that it might be muddy and wet among the trees; wear shoes that you don't mind getting caked with mud.

The recent rains have contributed to an impressive high weed/grass growth in the orchard. If you're inclined, we have a specially designed "Rock Chucker 500" mower that can run over anything, and we can mow weeds while we're there.

If you're not familiar, the oranges are donated to the Contra Costa/Solano Food Bank for their meals programs. This season we have contributed 892 pounds to the CC/Solano Food Bank from our previous pickings.

Call/text Bill at 707-410-9637 or building945@yahoo.com and let me know you're coming so I can maintain the count to less than ten.  Thank you.


Food Drive
As you probably know, we are trying to fill 13 food barrels for the Monument Crisis Center over the course of Lent, and will continue gathering food into Eastertide as necessary. The need is now greater than ever, and with the church building closed for gatherings, we have to get a little more creative! You can now drop off food on the porches of the following members' houses: Neil Crawford, Vidah Johnston, Sheila Hassell Hughes, Amanda Szakats and Kim and Keith McConnell. We are also looking for more folks to take barrels home, both to make them more accessible for our members and also for neighbors to contribute. Please let Rev. Liz or Neil Crawford know if you'd like to take one. Thank you!
<< Previous 1 - 2