Message from Pastor Lou

July 20, 2020

Dear children of God,

Back in 1994 Patty Loveless sang a song called, You’re All I Think About These Days.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx0kPNEIY1M

In the middle of the song she takes a deep breath and whispers these words to herself,

… come on Patty… get it together.

I wondering how you’re doing… if you’ve got it together?

Everybody seems so on edge these days. The simplest things set us off. I think we need to take Patty Loveless’ advice. Try to think about God all day. Try to picture Jesus Christ walking with you each day. You know, he is. Breath in anew the Holy Spirit all day!

I have had many conversations with you, and these are the things that seem to be dividing our culture and setting us off.

  • Coronavirus… Is it real or fake & should we open up as normal or take precautions?
  • Politics… I hear such divisions using democrat & republican language.
  • Racism… black lives matter, blue lives matter, all lives matter.

In a time when the church needs to get together and talk in person calmly about theissues, we are not easily able to. But the church has a voice. It is the voice of Jesus. 

We need to find ways to talk, to have conversations, and not in condemning tweets and Facebook posts!  All will know we are Christ’s followers by our Love!

As Christians… as followers of Jesus Christ, there is only one real and eternal kingdom… The Kingdom of God.  Jesus tells us: Seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be added (Matthew 6:33). What are these things ?… everything God wants for us and our world! And whether Republican or Democrat or whatever everything under heaven has to ask the questions…

  • Does it promote the Kingdom of God and its righteousness?
  • Does it fulfill the words of Jesus Christ?
  • Does it show our love for God and our neighbor as self? 

Yesterday in the sermon I preached on the third sacrament which technically really is not a sacrament at all in any tradition… the foot washing scene where Jesus washes his friends’ feet and tells them that that was an example for how they should serve each other – in humility and servanthood.  Jesus says when you’ve done it to the least of these you’ve done to me.

I think the only remedy for us to get it together is by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). It says in that passage from Hebrews that it was for the sake of the joy that was to come that Jesus endured the cross. Jesus knew that the tough time of crucifixion that he was going through was going to open up the path to salvation for humanity and that was a joyous thing.

How do you keep our eyes on Jesus in your tough times?

  1. How about memorizing these three scriptures?
  • What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?     Romans 8:31
  • By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9
  • For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
  • Do you not know?
        Have you not heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God,
        the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
        and his understanding no one can fathom.
    29 He gives strength to the weary
        and increases the power of the weak.
    30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
        and young men stumble and fall;
    31 but those who hope in the Lord
        will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
        they will run and not grow weary,
        they will walk and not be faint.
     Isaiah 40:28-31
  1. How about doing something for somebody else or the church like assisting us on Sunday mornings setting up and breaking down for the 9 am live outdoor service? Serving brings joy!
  1. How about every time you watch the news you watch it through Kingdom eyes and ask yourself, does this promote the kingdom of God or does it promote the kingdom of selfishness, power, and greed?
  1. Join us for worship at 9:00 am live… not only is it a great way to focus our lives but it is a wonderful witness to the community, passers and drivers by, and joggers! … or 10 am virtually on Facebook Live.

Chill out! The kingdom of God is among you, Jesus says… the kingdom of God is within you, Jesus says.

Please put this on your refrigerator. Please read it over. Discuss it at home.

Please put those scriptures in your heart.

And let’s breathe, and in Jesus’ strength and power we will get it and keep it together.

Afterall, we need to not only get it together, keep it together, but be together in love and in unity!

Much, much love in Christ, and much passion for the Kingdom, 

Pastor Lou

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PASTOR LOU

Dear Church Family,

I want to thank you for your patience, prayers, and support over these past several weeks as we have been socially distancing and worshipping remotely.  Your Facebook comments and emails show that we are a stronger congregation.  You have encouraged the life of the church through virtually worshipping with us, by maintaining your financial support, and in your tremendous support to our mission of the month, the local food bank.

We will still be worshipping remotely at 10:00 am each Sunday through Facebook Live and meeting through Zoom each Tuesday and Friday for morning devotions until further notice.

And now some great news…

We will be ADDING an outdoor Sunday morning worship service at 9:00 am beginning June 28th.

WHAT TO EXPECT: When you arrive, make your way to the new fenced in the side yard and an usher will take your name and contact information… just in case we have to contact you.

BRING: Please bring your own towels, blankets, and chairs to sit on.

WEATHER: If the weather looks questionable, we will communicate cancellations by Facebook, on the church website, and through group emails. You may want to bring an umbrella if it mildly rains or drizzles.

FACEMASKS: Because this is an outdoor service, facemasks are strongly recommended. Please respect others by physical distancing by at least with 6 feet of separation.     

CHILDREN AND SUNDAY SCHOOL: We will have a children’s message and response sheets available, like coloring sheets, mazes, word searches, etc.

HELP: In order to pull this off we need help setting up, breaking down, watching out for the children, ushering, etc. Please contact Pastor Lou and John Linfante.

BATHROOMS: The restrooms will be open – one person at a time.

Access will be via the office doors and access to other parts of the building will be blocked off.  If you need to access the restrooms through the ramp an usher will help out.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Pastor Lou or a member of Consistory. 

May God richly bless you and keep you in God’s own care!

Pastor Lou

Sermon Help Wanted

Pastor Lou Needs Your Help Planning Sermons:

As I prepare my next sermon series, Running The Race Of Faith, I want to ask you for your help. Can you please email me with the answer these 2 questions at pastorlou@churchinbrielle.org or text me at 845-591-2016?

Please take time to think and try to really be honest and go as deep as you can. I will incorporate your responses in my sermons. If you want to remain anonymous, just mail your replies to the church anonymously!

  1. When it comes to your faith and living as you really want to, what trips you up?
  2. When it comes to your faith and living as you really want to, what makes you succeed?

Ongoing:  WHERE DO YOU SEE GOD’S HAND BRINGING GOOD OUT OF THE BAD?

Send in your replies to pastorlou@churchinbrielle.org and we will write them on stickies and stick them on the cross in the sanctuary. The cross, which represents redemption and new life from despair and death, will represent you with your replies.

COVID19 Resources

All resources confirmed by Lori Keasel of your Consistory

Covid19 Resources
General Information

Center for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

World Health Organization  https://www.who.int/

New Jersey Government

COVID 19  https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • Hotline
  • Symptom Checker and Testing Information
  • Jobs Available Now and Unemployment Benefits
  • Frequently Asked Questions and additional information

Local Information

Local grocery stores and pharmacies continue to receive goods to sell.  Some stores have set special hours for shoppers over 60 or 65 – call ahead.

Local restaurants and bakeries remain open for pick-up and delivery – consider supporting our local businesses while staying safe – call ahead.

Patch.com provides local information.  www.patch.com – select your town.

NextDoor.com provides local information and a place to post needs – recommendation for a florist, looking for a lost dog, etc.  https://nextdoor.com/ – select your neighborhood.

How Can You Help?

Manasquan Food Bank at First Presbyterian Church of Manasquan
https://manasquanfoodpantry.org/

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Face Mask Instructions – donations to local nursing homes (JoAnn Fabrics – Brick donates to three nursing homes as of Monday, March 30 – additional outlets will be added upon request to JoAnn Fabric – Brick. JoAnn Fabrics – Brick is open for curbside pickup and drop off only – order online for pickup)

https://www.joann.com/make-to-give-response/

American Red Cross Blood Donations – many blood drives have been cancelled, there is an ongoing need for blood and plasma.

https://www.redcross.org/

Bible Study

Upper Room https://www.upperroom.org/devotionals

Bible.com https://www.bible.com/reading-plans

RCA Bible https://www.rca.org/resources/devotionals

Activities at Home

Jenkinson’s Aquarium – Penguin Cam  https://jenkinsons.com/aquarium/explore/

Outdoor Adventure and Animal Cams  https://www.explore.org/livecams/

Explore museums and sites around the world.  www.ArtsandCulture.Google.com

Ride on roller coasters https://www.youtube.com/user/TheCoasterViews

Library Online Resources

Most public libraries are closed but have many resources available on the website. 

NO IN PERSON WORSHIP SUNDAY TILL FURTHER NOTICE. WE WILL BROADCAST VIA FACEBOOK LIVE AT 10 AM EACH SUNDAY

Due to the CoronaVirus pandemic and restrictions on contact between people to prevent its spread, there will be no in person worship beginning this Sunday, the 22nd of March. Pastor Lou will conduct an on line service via Facebook Live beginning at 10 am, our usual start time. You can go directly to Facebook or click the link in the menu above named Facebook Posts. You can read/download the weekly bulletin and announcement insert for the service in the menu above as well.

Updating Church Directory…

The church is in the process of updating the records of all its membership rolls especially updating e mails. please click on the link in the menu above or on the link below to be able to accomplish this online. With the CoronaVirus keeping so many of us away and having the shut down some operations in the church, the e-mail is now more important than ever. If you’re not a member , but just visit or want to be included, there are ways to do that on the form.

CHURCH DIRECTORY FORM LINK

Watch the Weekly Worship Service

Did you miss the Service on Sunday or do you want to review the sermon again? By going to the Facebook Posts link in our main menu, you can scroll though to the week your looking for and play the entire service or just pick out the parts you’re interested in that particular day.