We need your help! In some format, our worship will continue to be online for the foreseeable future. This means the way we build our liturgy (a word that means "work of the people") has to shift. We need your voice (and your face) to help us. If you are able and willing to read things, please click here to contact Janet and get signed up. If you are willing to contribute to music in some way please click here to contact Daniel and Rey and get signed up. If you can help us with hosting and greeting people online please click here to contact Laura and get signed up. If you have any other gifts or want to help but don't know how, please click here to contact Pastor Manda and find a way to contribute to CGS worship. Our worship at CGS may have been forced to change before we were ever ready but God is still constant and consistently present. Thank you for your contribution to helping us find new ways to worship an everlasting God.
Daniel Thomas, CGS musicianOne of the bright spots of our current situation has been seeing members of our community come together to make sure worship was able to continue even as we were compelled to remain at home.
Over the last couple of months our members have learned new technology, overcome trepidations and apprehensions, and embraced a new way of gathering – and although we are separated by distance and mandate, we are together in hearts, minds, and souls. It was especially heartening to see our community gathered onscreen at Easter, and I look forward to seeing the same for Pentecost.
I’m so grateful to those people who have also shared their time and talents as lay leaders, readers, musicians, singers, and now, video producers. And, as it looks like we’ll be doing this for at least the next couple of months, it’s time to bring more of us into the virtual fold.
You’ve seen Rebecca and me leading our hymns and liturgical music, but we want more of you to be involved, so I’m inviting you to help lead our congregation in our liturgical pieces. We will continue using pieces from “Now the Feast and Celebration” so the music will be familiar and easy. As you’ve seen some of our choir members do, you would play the music from your space and sing along to the track. You’ll see some of our members doing this over the next couple of weeks, but I would love to have people signed up for the entire summer. This would be a perfect opportunity for those of you who have maybe been timid about participating in the past, as it requires just the one song. We can even put the song into whatever key is comfortable for your voice.
If you are interested, please contact me. If the thought of doing this makes you nervous, contact me anyway and let’s talk about how to turn those nerves into boldness of spirit. Singing, and singing together, has always been one of the greatest ways to build community – and more than ever, we need to embrace new ways of creating that atmosphere. Seeing new faces each week, and singing along with them, is a beautiful way to raise our voices to God and share our gifts and love with each other.
Pentecost Sunday is often called the birthday of the Church. To celebrate on this Pentecost Sunday, May 31st we will have virtual worship where everyone is visible. To make this possible we will invite everyone to a Zoom meeting. You can join by phone or video. Details about the Zoom link have been emailed, and will be in the bulletin being mailed to you this week. If you didn't receive the email, please call the office at 408-266-8022 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, if you have the ability to help someone in our congregation navigate this technology and join the call, please let us know. If you are someone who would like help setting up your device for worship on this special day, please call us at 408-266-8022.
When I was about 8 or 9, I clearly remember going on different trips with my mom. Aside from her regular job, she used to do a side business of buying and selling, and we would go to different places for her to purchase items that she could resell to different clients. And being the youngest child, she would always take me with her while my eldest sister was left at home with my brother. We would go to different markets in Manila, and in some occasions to different provinces away from the city. And I’ve always enjoyed it! My young mind would be repeatedly fascinated by these trips, these adventures. I enjoyed looking at new things, exploring new places, and watching and observing different people. I don’t recall getting bored on these trips, nor asking my mom, “Are we there yet?” I’ve always just went with the flow of the travel, enjoyed the new things that I saw, and settled with satisfaction at home when the trip is over. This ingrained love of exploration and seeing new places was carried on up to now that I’m a grown up 52-year-old. Every year, I always look forward to our travel to Hawaii, and one of my more fun adventures was when Mike, Baxter, and I went on a road trip to Montana in 2017. At the end of all these travels, I always come out learning something new - either about my spouse, other people, places, or even myself. I don’t think life is “a” journey because I believe that life is a consolidation of small journeys, a series of purposes and fulfillments. I used to believe that to get to my one true destination, I have to stop being gay. Now I realize that that journey is past which purpose was to prepare me for where I am now. Thankfully, God opened doors and steered me to a path where I can worship and fellowship with people while being true to myself. So for now, this is one of my journeys - to serve God through CGS and the choir ministry. I always believe that every time the choir gathers and sings to create music, we are embarking in a small journey together to fulfill a common purpose, and the experience will teach us something that will help us in our next task and adventure. We are all going through a similar course with the Corona virus situation now that the shelter-in-place order has been extended. But I am certain that sometime in the future this too will end, fulfilling its purpose, and with God’s grace, a new and different path will be opened. It is, however, up to us what lesson we’ll take away from it. “Are we there yet?”
As you may know, I have been unable, per Doctor's advice, to continue, personally, passing out Personal Hygiene products. Pr Bob McKee has graciously offered to take over this duty this last month or so. Bob meets me at Hope, loads up, heads out for a few hours and then drops off what remains. He returns with quite a bit less then he left with as the need remains.
I am at Hope Lutheran every Thursday between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM and starting on 12 May, every Tuesday I will be at Hope between 4:00 and 6:00 PM to receive donations.
Lastly, I went by Martha's Kitchen to speak with the operations manager as well as the shower staff. During the conversations I learned that the number of people using the mobile showers has doubled. While part of the reason for this is, most assuredly, due to the increase in those living on the street, the bulk of the additional clients is due to the closing of all the various athletic facilities that people used to shower. It seems obvious now and yet, this additional burden on those that are unhoused never occurred to me.... This impact further illustrates how hard life is for the unhoused as well as how many of the burdens are almost invisible, until they are not.
In closing, the need during this time of quarantine has not diminished and we are working on ways to get the support to those that need it.