Dear Friends,

As I write these words, we are facing a growing national health crisis as well as a deepening economic crisis. If ever there was a season for the church to be the church, it’s now. Many are understandably scared and frightened for their health, for their loved ones, as well as coping with significant financial pressure and uncertainty.

During these days we’re called to demonstrate our faith. Last spring, I spoke about how there are three words that sum up who we are and what we’re called to do as Christians and as a church: Love, Grow, Share. Those three things are crucial right now.

Our love for God and our neighbors, our practice of the fruit of the Spirit, our faithfulness in prayer, leaning into courage not fear, still seeking to serve as we can, sharing and giving rather than being selfish, being willing to sacrifice – all of these are vital.

It’s important to have some signs of hope and God’s presence so let me share a few with you.

We had some of our excellent volunteers from our Caring Cupboard food panty (appropriately wearing masks) who served 25 “drive through” patrons on Thursday to help them have food to get through the coming week. One person from the Lower Cape Outreach Council noted he was “impressed with the organization and kindness of all.” I’m so proud of our team for representing Christ and our church so well.

I’m cheered by the numerous small groups who have been embarking on the adventure of using new platforms like Zoom in order to be able to stay connected in these days of physical distancing. I like that phrase better than social distancing because we can practice physical distancing while still staying socially and spiritually connected. It’s awesome to see people of every age taking on the challenge of embracing new technology. This will serve the church well now and in the future.

I’ve been gratified to hear from many of you who have taken on the Bible reading challenge for the month of March. I’m very proud of all of you who have been doing it. As several of you have shared with me, we didn’t realize how important it would be when the month began for us all to be taking more responsibility to nurture our spiritual lives. Others have pointed out how much or what is shared in the Psalms and Proverbs still seems so relevant today. I will be finishing selecting some more readings for April this weekend and we will send those out so folks can start on April 1st, no fooling!

We will also be providing an update on our plans for Holy Week and are seeking to start up a Wednesday evening prayer time.

I’m encouraged by the generous response to the America for Christ Offering which is used to do ministry in Massachusetts and across the USA – we’ve received almost $8,000 which is amazing. Not surprisingly giving to the church has dropped off significantly these last couple weeks as people have lost their employment, the stock market has dropped, and people are concerned. We understand and we also appreciate those who have continued to give online or to mail contributions to help us carry on our ministry.

For those seeking a way to serve, we’re looking for people who’d be willing to be part of a team who will be calling church members to connect with them and check on them and if you’re interested or willing to be a part of that team please contact Pastor Barbara, Deb Quinones, or Nancy Sveden.

It’s so important to remember we are not the first people to live through challenging times. Right now, it’s our turn and it could be much worse than what we’re dealing with on Cape Cod and we need to keep that in perspective.

I’ve been thinking about a song Find us Faithful sung by Steve Green that’s been speaking to my soul and motivating me to try and do my best. Here are some of the lyrics, I hope you find them inspiring as well:

“We’re pilgrims on the journey

Of the narrow road,

And those who’ve gone before us

Line the way.

Cheering on the faithful,

Encouraging the weary,

Their lives a stirring testament

To God’s sustaining grace.

O may all who come behind us

Find us faithful,

May the fire of our devotion

Light their way.

May the footprints that we leave,

Lead them to believe,

And the lives we live

Inspire them to obey.

O may all who come behind us

Find us faithful.

Surrounded by so great

A cloud of witnesses,

Let us run the race

Not only for the prize,

But as those who’ve gone before us.

Let us leave to those behind us,

The heritage of faithfulness

Passed on thru godly lives.”

I pray that will be true of us.

Grace and Peace,

Doug Scalise