Kids Singing Alone but Together

Princeton United Methodist Church

Tom Shelton Director of PUMC Children's and Youth ChoirsThanks to the video conferencing program Zoom and the efforts of church staff, children and youth can participate in church life through Sunday School, Confirmation Class, Youth Fellowship – and even the children’s choir meets online with Tom Shelton, children’s and youth choir director.

 

For instance, at the 30-minute practice on April 1, Tom  opened with fun vocal warmups, giving everyone a chance to demonstrate. With a short video, he reviewed what Palm Sunday means and connected it to Sunday’s worship. Children learned the “Hosanna” opening hymn to get ready to wave palms from their homes on Sunday.

Sometimes the children saw only Tom, sometimes they saw and heard one person singing a solo, sometimes their faces were spread out in a grid. “It does my heart good,” says Tom, when I look at all of their faces, and they are sitting up tall in their chairs at home and actually singing!

Connection is the most important part, Tom says. “These are troubling times. It’s nice to have some sense of normalcy or ‘routine’ when everything they are used to is ‘up in the air.’ They LOVE being together!”]

It is takes three times longer to plan a virtual class, practicing how to move from warm up exercises to showing a score. Mostly the singer’s screens are muted, but they unmute themselves to respond. “I love how much they want to be a leader and sing an example,” says Tom. “I have to be very conscious that It’s not ‘just singing,’ but that I’m stretching them musically, by asking questions and having them explain the answers or type the answer in the “chat” message box.

On April 15 the singers will enjoy a treat. They will reprise the musical from February in a virtual “sing along!”

Says Tom: “One positive thing – I’m growing a lot by doing this! I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks! “

 

From Pastor Jenny, April 2, 2020

Greetings Beloved PUMC Community!

“It shall be a jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family.”  ~Leviticus 25:10b

(We wrap up our Poverty: Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope series this Sunday with scripture about Jubilee from Leviticus 25)

Here’s my video update for you for this week!

And below is a summary with details!

Holy Week – Watch your mail for a Worship Packet!

  • Starts on Sunday, April 5 – Palm Sunday

    • Live Worship at 10am on Facebook or by Phone (929-436-2866 | Meeting ID: 249 876 072 | # after next prompt)

    • Communion! – gather bread and juice, wine, or water ahead of time (along with your candle, cross, or bible to create your sacred space)

    • Virtual Palm Parade – take a horizontal photo or video of you with your palm branch – we’ll be mailing you a palm branch and a paper one you can cut out and decorate or you can find any kind of branch from your yard or your walk outdoors. Send your photos or videos to Evangeline, upload it directly here, or respond to the post on our Facebook Page. Submit them by noon on Sunday! Be sure it’s horizontal!

    • Children’s Time – Ms. Hyosang will be teaching us how to make a cross out of a palm frond or a strip of paper. Have one ready!

  • Thursday, April 9 – Maundy Thursday

    • Live Worship at 6pm on Facebook or by Phone (929-436-2866 | Meeting ID: 249 876 072 | # after next prompt)

    • Communion – gather bread and juice, wine, or water ahead of time (along with your candle, cross, or bible to create your sacred space)

    • Foot or Hand Washing – gather a pitcher of water, a basin or bowl, towel(s)

  • Friday, April 10 – Good Friday

    • Live Worship at 6pm on Facebook or by Phone (929-436-2866 | Meeting ID: 249 876 072 | # after next prompt)

    • Tenebrae – gather 7 candles or other types of light. You’ll extinguish each one at different points in the service

  • Saturday, April 11 – Holy Saturday

    • Prayer Service (~20 min) at 10am on Facebook

  • Sunday, April 12 – Easter Sunday

    • Sunrise Service Live Worship at 6:30am on Facebook or by Phone (929-436-2866 | Meeting ID: 249 876 072 | # after next prompt)

    • Sunrise Service Communion – gather bread and juice, wine, or water ahead of time (along with your candle, cross, or bible to create your sacred space)

    • Live Worship at 10am on Facebook or by Phone (929-436-2866 | Meeting ID: 249 876 072 | # after next prompt)

  • Throughout Holy Week

    • Daily Prayer Stations – will be in your mailed worship packet and on our Website and Facebook.

  • Prayer Requests

    • Send prayer requests to be named in worship to Pastor Skitch by 9am on Sundays or respond to the weekly Facebook post

    • In Search Of. . .

Do you have a working knowledge of technologies, such as Zoom, Facebook, Google, basic video creation? (or a willingness to learn?) Do you have some time to offer?

Help us deepen our PUMC community and strengthen our tools for sharing God’s love with others by sharing your time and talents! So many great ideas have been shared to help us through this time of physical distancing and sheltering at home, and we need more people to help put them in action!  Contact the office if you’re ready to help.

Office Update

Tuesday, March 31, was our secretary’s last day in the office as a result of our planned office ministry reorganization. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and some other delays, we have not yet hired people for either of our open positions. So we have an interim plan:

  • Jasmine Cianflone will continue to produce our weekly Happenings and monthly Newsletter as our virtual communications assistant until we hire for the Administrative and Communications Associate position.

  • Hyosang Park, our Music Director, will be caring for our virtual bulletins and other worship support.

  • We’re in the process of contracting with a virtual assistant firm for short-term, part-time help until we are able to hire. This schedule is still being set.
  • At a minimum, you should expect that phone messages left on our office phone (609-924-2613) and emails sent to our office address will be responded to within one business day. And your postal mail will be received and cared for appropriately.

  • We’ll share more as this plan develops.

  • Remember that the church building is closed to non-staff at this time.

Let Us Know!

As our time of physical distancing, staying at home, remote learning, and virtual worship continues, as we start to find a new normal amidst an ever changing and uncertain landscape, as the end of this season looms only vaguely in the distance, the challenge and difficulty only grows. We are not wired for this. We are as ill-prepared to live in social isolation as the hospitals are to treat the whole population at once. While video technology is a wonderful gift, it’s simply not the same as seeing one another face to face and embracing one another with a hug or handshake.

This will continue to take a toll on us, and we will all respond to it differently, with varying emotions and abilities to cope.

Worship and reaching out through various ways to be in touch with others are two healing acts (of many) we can do to help ourselves and one another through this time.

Please invite others who aren’t currently connected with a church (including those who used to be part of PUMC, but perhaps have moved away) to join in our worship and other ministries. Pay attention to people you are in conversation with who are struggling, and invite them to join us.

And if YOU are struggling with anxiety, fear, isolation, loneliness, financial stress, obtaining your basic necessities, grief, etc., please let a pastor or our Circle of Care know. If you need a listening ear or if you would like someone to pray with you, do not hesitate to reach out. Someone will respond!

I miss you all dearly, and I long for the time when we will gather again.

Peace and love,
Pastor Jenny

Landscape of Lent: Palms

2014 4 13 palm doors

Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash delivered a message on “Palms” on Sunday, April 13, 2013, based on Matthew 21:1-11, and 26:14-16. To read the sermon, click here. She closed her message with these words:

We who are called to have the mind and spirit of Jesus betray him when we allow our own self-interest, our own prejudices, our own tacit acceptance of the status quo to limit the ways in which we could help make God’s kingdom a reality here on earth, as it is in heaven.

We betray Jesus when we see people in need and close our hearts against them.

We betray Jesus when we gather wealth (coins) into our own hands while others live in hunger and poverty.

We betray Jesus when we know what he would do but are afraid to do it.

We betray Jesus when we ignore the love he insisted upon and embrace hate.

Palms of praise easily can become palms of betrayal. And because of that, because of our human insistence on hating, hurting, and hoarding, Jesus opens his own palms in love and dies even while pleading for humanity, “Forgive them, Father, they don’t know what they are doing.”

Sometimes, I think we do know what we are doing, or failing to do. But the amazing thing about the love of God in Jesus is that when we fess up to our sin and confess it,we are embraced by the grace that was given to us through those palms.

Palms of praise, palms of betrayal, palms of loving grace: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” and may those who go in his name be a blessing as well.

Today as you leave worship you will be given a palm of praise, receive it and carry it remembering that we are called to praise the living Christ. Today you will also be given a coin, receive it and carry it reflecting on how you betray Christ. Journey through this week anticipating the pitcher and basin, the bread, the cup, nails and finally resurrection celebration. In this week, fully prepare to meet the risen Christ.

2014 13 crown of thorrns(the crown of thorns was on the altar)