Dear CCGR Family,
What a blessing — to have these virtual services come to us in the comfort of our own homes! We can never tire of encouraging words, reassurance, and to be reminded we all have the gift of the blessing of our God — our advocate — especially in challenging times as we are all experiencing now.
We are all a family; we have the same Father and the creator of us all and all the earth surrounding us. He cares deeply about each and everyone of us, and we all have the gift of ‘faith’ to help us through our times of uncertainty — if only we would ‘let go, and let faith and trust in’. We all have the gift of knowing we have God, our Father, to turn our concerns, our doubts, and our fears over to, to give us strength and confidence to help us get through. As Pastor Terry shared in his last week’s sermon (https://youtu.be/FskiCT89IaQ)
, “we must have faith that God will get us through the pandemic. If we persist in our faith and call on the strength of God, we will.” Gary Montroy’s scripture reading (Ephesians 3:13-21) from Paul’s prayer in his letter to the Ephesians portrays how strong a man’s faith was. Even though he was nearing the end of his life, was in jail because of his deep faith, and had suffered a great deal along the way, it was Paul who wanted desperately to emphasize his deep love of God and what he knew to be the Truth with the discouraged Ephesians (who he had acquired a deep connection with) — before they completely lost heart.
Paul prayed endlessly for the Ephesians to grow in their knowledge of God’s love and how they could rely on Him. He prayed to God to strengthen their reasoning; that their conscience would become more sensitive; and for Him to give them the will to pursue what they knew in their hearts was right. Overall, he prayed for a deepening, stronger relationship with God for each of them.
Faith …. “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1) is the gift we all have at our fingertips to get us through whatever it is that we find difficult to face. Sometimes, doubt interferes, fear gets in the way, depletion of enthusiasm and loss of encouragement to go on take over. And yes, we each have setbacks in our lives that sometimes become roadblocks to moving forward; we each have questions about what the future will bring, and, yes, we all are wondering what’s happening in our world, and wondering what’s next regarding this pandemic we are in together. None of us know. But we do know that we have God by our side – and as long as we have ‘genuine faith’ (even “as small as a mustard seed”), it will grow and help each of us “overcome our struggles”! He wants us to depend on Him, and put our faith and trust that He’ll do right by us.
Thank you to Janet Montroy and Jody Sinkway for sharing such an inspirational and meaningful Hymn Sing. Really appreciate Janet’s sharing the background information with us of the composer Harry Emerson Fosdick and his “God of Grace and God of Glory” — written while the U.S. was right in the midst of the Great
Depression between the two World Wars. The words are so pertinent to what we are dealing with today —- ‘Grant us wisdom; grant us courage, for the facing of this hour’ — as are the beautiful “Amazing Grace” and “Lift High the Cross”. You might want to go back and re-listen to them (see link above), or even sing along again with Jody and Janet — bringing to life so much of God’s Love for us.
And, to Boyd Lowry, a continued huge appreciation for your talented gift to us all!
A Special Treat from CCGR’s Chancel Choir:
Speaking of CCGR’s gifted music program — how blessed we are at CCGR to have such beautiful voices led by our talented Choir Director. Below link will take you to the Chancel Choir (shown in thumbnail print print), singing ‘virtually’ together one of their’s (and our’s) favorite anthems “Sing Praise to the Lord Above”. It was recorded remotely in Glen Rock, Hawthorne, Midland Park, Fair Lawn, Mahwah, and Wharton, NJ, and Lake George, NY. Click on this link and you’ll see/hear our amazing talented choir members. Thank you to Janet, Jeanne, Robin, Gail, Laura, Jo Anne, Randi, Peter, & Rusty for this beautiful ‘Sunday Surprise’
Made with Acapella
As many of us continue to remain close to home during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out — we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer.
Please add Rich Dethmers (Vern’s second oldest son) to your prayer list who just recently had surgery to remove a kidney. We’ve gotten word that the surgery went well; however, continued prayers are needed to help him through his recovery.
In addition, Ed Archbold is currently facing medical challenges; please add Ed to your list, as well.
Please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — Anne Allen & Family (including Anne’s daughters, Liz & family and Sara & Boyd Lowry & Family); Laura Bird-Bennett & Family; Beryl Ferrari; Jean Franklin; Terry Gilligan & Family; Colleen Janssen & Family; Eric Lundquist & Family; Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family; Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge; Rev. Jerry Wright and his family; Barbara Zucchino & Family; & the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family.
Confidential prayer requests that you would like the small group Prayer Chain to pray for may be emailed to Candy Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Donna Nihen at email@example.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr. com. (These requests will be shared only with the church small group Prayer Chain.)
Some New News to Share!!
Beginning this coming week, Community Church’s sanctuary will be open for prayer on Wednesdays (only) from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. We are welcome to come to the church anytime between those hours, for individual quiet prayer and reflection. Please use the entrance/exit doors adjacent to the Memorial Garden. Know that all precautions have been taken for everyone’s safety.
CCGR Book Discussion Group
Kim Franklin will host our next Zoom discussion on Friday, August 14th at 7:00 pm.
The novel chosen is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson. Please check with the library for formats available.
Please continue to show your support to CCGR —
Though we cannot be together in person, we continue to be together spiritually as we face this health crisis together. We are gifted with our weekly virtual services and continue to pray for each other. If you’re able during this unprecedented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving.