#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 5

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY FIVE

DAY OF MATURITY – HANDS & FEET                                             

  • God’s Word for Today 

John 4:15 

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

  • Reflection

At the end of the healing process, if we don’t want to get ill again, we need to make the change that we want to see in our life. In this scripture passage, we can see that it is important to ask for what we need. The Samaritan woman is asking Jesus to give her the living water and only once she is asking Him, He can give it to her. In this day of Prayer Vigil, we are focusing on our needs, to understand exactly what we are requesting in our lives and for the world. God is hearing us. God will embrace all our needs and requests. By understanding what we really need in order to end racism and to create the real community of all living creatures together, we will be able to receive the right guidance for our Hands and Feet to make it happen. 

Recall that Jews and Samaritans were two ethnic-cultural groups who did not mingle with one another. And yet here, they come together through service. Jesus asks, “will you give me a drink?” And African-Americans are asking, “will you let me breathe?” It is through compassionate service for each other that the two communities can become family.

Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves from the action perspective. 

  • Prayer and contemplation

What do you really need and how can you ask for it to benefit all involved?

What do you/we need to do in order to end racism, racial tensions, and racial inequalities?

What new direction can you/we decide to follow and how can we make it happen?

How can you/we make sure to commit to the new resolutions taken?

How do you hold yourself accountable in the long run?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on the things that you need, on the things that you want to change or to be changed. Shine the light on the action you want to take and sustain.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.

We believe there is a way to put the human first and not his/her appearance. There is a way to see love, God, and Jesus in each of us and all around us. We pray for not falling into the trap of division, of nurturing separation amongst humans, of playing the game of destruction that darkness wants us to play by forcing us to choose one side of the battlefield whereas Jesus taught us that there is a way out of the battlefield, a third way, a universal solution, which is the one of reconciliation with God and with one another, the one of the Living Church that is the one human family, where the Holy Spirit is always dwelling, nurturing and bringing us out of the division, towards reconciliation and unity, above and beyond all forms. We believe that today is a day when all of humanity will come together, be reconciled, and love each other in one universal community of humans and of all living creatures, under the banner of unconditional love and altruism.

Let’s end racism, once and for all.                                        

One human family, in God.                                      

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 4

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY FOUR

DAY OF FORGIVENESS – SOUL.                                    

  • God’s Word for Today

John 4:13-14 

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  • Reflection

Jesus shows us clearly that there is a way not to be thirsty again. There is a way to end racism and all sorts of separateness amongst us humans. The way out is to drink the water of eternal life.

Every healing process brings us to a point where we have to reconcile. We reconcile with the energy of life, of God. For that, we need forgiveness; forgiving ourselves and forgiving others, and everyone we still have to ask for forgiveness or that we have to forgive. Loving ourselves and loving others can’t happen without forgiveness. This is the day of the soul, where we can access the living water of eternal life. Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Soul.

  • Prayer and Contemplation

How can I reach forgiveness and pardon today?

Is there something I can forgive myself about?

Is there someone I can ask for forgiveness or forgive today?

In which areas can I reconcile with myself – body, emotions, thoughts, spirit? 

With whom and what can I reconcile around me and in my daily life? 

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on a historical wrong regarding racial injustice that causes all of our pain, give it a voice and an ear, and then pray for reconciliation.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.                                                                      

Let’s end racism, once and for all.                                      

One human family, in God.

 

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 3

 

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM  

DAY THREE

 

DAY OF EXPRESSION

  • God’s Word for Today    

John 1:1-18

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him, not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

  • Reflection

Every healing process needs us to let the emotions we are feeling to be expressed; to be expressed in a non-violent way, in a constructive way, without judgment on what we feel. Sadness, anger, and all other expressions of frustrations are not bad or good. They are just a vehicle of transformation. They show us there is something to move on from and to go to. They are indicators of change. Let’s embrace our feelings and use them as a power of transformation. How do we feel in our body? How do we feel in our heart? How do we feel in our head, the ideas, the thoughts we are having right now? How do we feel in our connection with our soul, with our highest purposes and ideals in life? Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Heart.

  • Prayer and contemplation

How have you experienced Christ’s “moving in” toward you?

How have you come to know Christ as you’ve “moved in” toward others?

Reflect on a time when you were surprised or changed by getting to know more of what life is like for someone else?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on the distances of all sorts that exist between you and some other person or group.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.                                      

Let’s end racism, once and for all.

One human family, in God.

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 1

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY ONE

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DAY OF RECOGNITION – HEAD

● God’s Word for Today 

John 4:1-15

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4 ​Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2​ ​although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3​So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 ​Now he had to go through Samaria. 5​ ​So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6​ ​Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 ​When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8​ ​(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 ​The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[​ ​a​]​)

10 ​Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 ​“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 1​ 2 ​Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 ​Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 1​ 4 ​but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 ​The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

● Reflection

This passage of scriptures starts with the RECOGNITION that there is division. There is pain in the separation of the communities (here Jews and Samaritans). There is an apparent impossibility of cohesion and synergy and communication between them. Jesus shows us that it’s because we are not seeking the right water. We are seeking the dead water instead of the living water.

Every healing process starts always with a recognition of what is happening. In our endeavor to end racism, let’s first get out of denial, observe and accept the reality of the pain we are in. Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Head.

Prayer and contemplation

How does racism make me feel?
Where do I see judgment around me?
In which part of my life and with whom do I hold judgment? Do I judge myself and others?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.
Shine the light on a particular issue that you recognize.
Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.
Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.
Together we pray.

Let’s end racism, once and for all. One human family, in God.

 

Here is the link to the Prayer Guide Introduction

 

 

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism – Prayer Guide Introduction

 

INTRODUCTION

On the night of May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested and killed by a Minneapolis police officer, who kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes despite the fact that the victim was supplicating “I can’t breathe.”

At PUMC, we conducted a special five-day Prayer Vigil, invoking the Breath of God to come to our rescue, to help us overcome the long-lasting pain of African Americans, to help us overcome the abuses of the police forces and the pain of racism in general that resides in our country and in the world.

You can conduct your own Prayer Vigil now. Choose where to pray — wherever you are, however, you want. No need to write or say prayers out loud or publicly unless you want to.

You may also choose to come to pray outside the church. (the building is locked). There you will find Prayer Pods (hula hoops, set six-feet apart), Prayer Flags (with instructions), and Chalk (to create prayers on the sidewalk).

Here are links

to a guide for each of the five days:

(Day 1)

(Day 2)

(Day 3)

(Day 4)

(Day 5)

Allow this Prayer Resource to guide you, but set it down if it’s not resonating with you. It is not required.

We ask the Breath of God to help us all to breathe in these tremendously difficult times we are facing right now. We need healing. As a diverse community, joyfully responding to God’s love and growing always more as disciples of Jesus, we, as PUMC, are here also to end racism. We are showing up everywhere helping to transform the world into the Kingdom of God.

Let’s address and recognize the pain, let’s express it out and allow ourselves to go through the emotions of this painful and grieving time. Let’s forgive and overcome all boundaries and finally, let’s manifest our common needs, the universal needs we are all seeking since the beginning of times, these needs that bring us together as one human family, in God.

We are all one.

I am because you are.

Relationship to others, to nature, and to everything around us is what makes us exist.

Let’s drop our judgments. 

Let’s move from a self-centered vision of “I think therefore I am” to an altruistic vision of “we relate therefore we are” in order to invite the Reign of God on Earth.

We are all children of God.

We walk together, hand in hand, against the storms of adversity, towards the same sun, the Spirit of God, which is union and life, like Christ did. He showed us the way, dying for us.

Let’s create and show real human unity. 

Let’s move from communitarianism to the real community.

Let’s reconcile where we all come from to where we all are going.

Denying our roots is not the solution either, our roots are our uniqueness. We don’t all want to look the same, God made us all different. 

We believe there is a way out.

Let’s use the power of our DIFFERENT roots to elevate the ONE stem, so that the branches, the flowers and the fruits of universal love can finally shine in our lives and in the world. 

We, the human family, are this Tree of God.

Deep inside, we all know how to live our uniqueness AND our universality AT THE SAME TIME. This is what real unity through diversity means.

The Spirit of Union, the Holy Spirit, will help us to reach that. 

It will help us overcome all deceiving traps of the Spirit of Division.

Christ showed us how to do that.

Let’s join him. 

Let’s end racism, once and for all.

One human family, in God.

We are a diverse community, joyfully responding to God’s love and growing as disciples of Christ by nurturing, teaching, reaching, and serving all people.

Music Appreciation!

 

SPOTLIGHT

 

 

Chancel Choir Director, Hyosang Park, Accompanist, Yang-Hee Park, and Sound & Video Producer, Stephen Offer

Hyosang and Yang-Hee have continued to rehearse virtually every week via Zoom. Stephen communicates with the team each step of the way. Great musicianship!

If you weren’t able to worship with us on Sunday, 24 May 2020, you’d want to go back to the archive on our website or Facebook to do so. Here’s the link

Our Chancel Choir’s Music Ministry was a beautiful tribute to Bill and Donna Suits. It was such a joy to hear their voices and see their faces! Here’s what Pastor Jenny Smith Walz says of them:

  • “Hyosang does a masterful job of choosing the perfect music and bringing in a superb mix of vocals and instruments every week.”
  • “Yang-Hee consistently brings us such beautiful music – before, during, after each service. It’s a gift to be able to listen.”
  • “Stephen Offer painlessly puts the virtual choir video together.”

We enjoy your music every week. Thank you!!

 

 

PASTOR GINNY’S LETTER: The Nature of Life in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Dear Friends,

Grace and Peace in the name of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ!

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 we read the beautiful words about the nature of life. Attributed to King Solomon and written in his older years, they are a summary of the ups and downs and the joys and challenges of the human experience. This reminder of what Solomon learned as King begins this way:

      “To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

I hope you are comforted by the reminder of the truth in this verse and those that follow it. And I hope that you will read them today if you haven’t before. They are a treasure house of the wisdom Solomon came to be known for and every time they spring to my mind, I find myself comforted by them. I see within them the contours of God’s plans for our time on earth. Solomon rightly predicts that we will all know these things in our lives: birth and death; seed sowing and reaping; killing and healing; weeping and laughing; mourning and dancing; casting stones and gathering stones; embracing and distancing; gaining and losing; silence and speaking; loving and hating, and war and peace.

The verse I have quoted above (verse 1) came to mind today as I began to write this Pastor’s Note. As you may remember, it is soon time for me to finish my sojourn among you at PUMC since I will be retiring at the end of June. Leaving all of you will be very difficult for me to do. I knew it would be difficult, whenever that day would come, within a very few months of my arrival at PUMC now three years ago! PUMC is a truly remarkable church in my life-long experience of churches.

I firmly believe that God is the One who brought me to PUMC and I have given God thanks countless times over the past 3 years for doing so. You are a remarkable part of the Body of Christ! You are very dedicated to the practice and application of your faith. You are courageous in facing whatever the future has held for you including the present circumstances we are in now. You are intentional about reaching out to the world beyond the church and caring for each other within the church. And you are joyful Christians as you do all of this.

In this season that we have been together, which is now two years longer than I originally thought it would be, I have grown. I have learned to love life again after a long season of debilitating grief; I have delighted in working with you on all sorts of things including the ever-present social justice issues that plague the world, and I have been enriched by our worship of the God who loves us with an everlasting love each and every Sunday. In all ways, I have been blessed to be at PUMC. And I have received 10-fold what I have given to you. This is no surprise to me as in God’s economy nothing is wasted and there is always a two-way benefit in any exchange bathed in the love of Christ.

To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven. Solomon is right and it is now time for Norm and me to fully retire and to downsize our home. These things will occupy me for the summer and, perhaps, fall. Whenever our house is sold, we plan to move to Bethlehem, PA just across the NJ border. We have loved this little town ever since our son Russ was a student at Moravian.Pastor

Beyond that move we both see ourselves volunteering with Habitat for Humanity which is quite active in the Lehigh Valley. No doubt we will spend some time over the winter months in Florida which has long been a dream of Norm’s. Wherever we go, we will take the love we have absorbed from all of you with us. We are strengthened in our faith by your faith. We are encouraged to continue to reach out and work for social justice by your example. And we are more in love with God because of the public ways you live out your own love of God, our Beloved Friend.

In the few weeks remaining, I hope to be able to talk with many of you to convey my sincerest gratitude for your acceptance of Norm and of me for these precious three years. Meanwhile, I pray for God’s richest blessing to continue to be yours. And I pray that all who know you, know God better and love God more.

In Christ’s Name, 

Pastor Ginny

Pastors Ginny and Jenny got together recently to recall how Pastor Ginny came to serve at PrincetonUMC. For the Video Conversation between both Pastors, Click Here

(This was published in Happenings, the weekly newsletter, on May 22, 2020)

 

Pastor Skitch: Be kind to yourself

“Here’s the thing I keep saying to people, and the thing I think we need to hear most in this time: Be kind to yourself.

That’s what our leader, Amanda said to us all as we signed off from our every-so-often campus ministry call.

Be kind to yourself.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the stories of Jesus, and the letters of the early Church, we find many places where people are learning what it means to love God, and to love their neighbor. From prophets crying out to love those on the margins, to the Apostle Paul writing a theological treatise about what the love of God looks like in Jesus, we see account after account of loving God and our neighbor.

But what about loving ourselves?

When Jesus is asked what commandment is the greatest, the Gospel of Mark says he responds with, “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Love your neighbor as yourself.

We often focus on the front half, don’t we? We try to love the neighbor near, and the neighbor far. We try to love the neighbor we like, and the neighbor we don’t. We try to love our neighbor by transforming systems that hurt our neighbor. We don’t always get it right, but we try our best. But what about loving ourselves?

How can we try our best to love ourselves?

I think that’s what Amanda was getting at it. In asking our group to be kind to ourselves, she was reminding us that not only are we called to give grace to others but we are called to receive grace for ourselves, too.

What ways can you love yourself in terms of your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being?  This week I’m going to look myself in the mirror each day and say out loud, “Be kind to yourself.” I want to hear the words spoken to me, from me. I want to accept the grace that God has been extending to me, and I want to rest in it. Who cares if someone thinks I’m wacky. I need to hear it.

Let us be kind to ourselves, accepting God’s grace, and seeking to be healthier in body, mind, and spirit. Maybe you’ll want to join my practice, too.

Be Kind To Yourself,

Pastor Skitch

(This was published in Happenings, the weekly newsletter, on May 15, 2020)

What’s Your Story: Name Edition

Letter From Evangeline Burgers

Hello Church Community,

I pray that you had a great time celebrating our Earth on Wednesday and that you’ve overall had a good week with your families at home. 

Last week, Pastor Jenny started a new sermon series on stories and she challenged us to share a story about our beginning. One way children might think about their story of beginning is through sharing about their names. One of my very favorite activities to do when I taught Kindergarten was for parents to share the story of their child’s name with the class. We all learned so much about our friends this way and I found it a powerful opportunity to build up a child’s esteem and affirm their identity.

I’ve recorded a read-aloud of my personal favorite book, Chrysanthemum, to help our children think about names and their significance. There’s also this fun video from Scholastic featuring people sharing their name stories. 

If you have a chance, talk with your child about their name. Tell the story of how you decided on their name when they were a baby. Are they named after a specific ancestor or special friend? Is there a funny story about how their name came to be? Why did you love it? Then help your child to share the story of their name in the read-aloud YouTube comments. I pray this will be a fun way for our children to share their personal name stories with one another.

Names are just one small piece of what makes our story special. I love the image Pastor Jenny mentioned last week from Psalms about God knitting us in our mother’s womb. What a beautiful and exciting life we live, that we get to co-write our stories with God!

To follow up from Sunday School last week, I challenged our children to reach out to a friend they are missing and tell them how much they care about them. I’ve attached a “Thinking of You” coloring page here for them to do just that!

Have a great week and let me know if you need anything!

Love,

Evangeline Burgers

Director of Children’s Ministry

Princeton UMC

609-924-2613 (church phone)

She/Her/Hers