Lenten Bible Study on Facebook Live

Dear Friends
This Thursday at 7 p.m. on Facebook live we will hold our 6th bible study on the “7 Last Words of Jesus from the Cross”.  Here is the 6th Word and study questions:

The Sixth Lesson of Jesus from the Cross

John 19:30

… he said, “It is finished!” (NLT)

Jesus knew he was suffering the crucifixion for a purpose. Earlier he had said in John 10:18 of his life, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (NIV)

These three words were packed with meaning, for what was finished here was not only Christ’s earthly life, not only his suffering and dying, not only the payment for sin and the redemption of the world—but the very reason and purpose he came to earth was finished.

His final act of obedience was complete. The Scriptures had been fulfilled.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished!”  

Study questions:

  1. What did Jesus come to accomplish?
  2. What was the ‘cup’ the ‘baptism’ that he faced in order to accomplish his mission?
  3. What was the significance of the word ‘finished’ written on ancient papyrus receipts?
  4. Why did Jesus shout out the sixth word rather than say it quietly?
  5. How is the willingness to suffer vital to fulfilling one’s mission?

Personal meditation

What did Jesus finish and what can we learn for our own lives from this sixth word “It is finished?”

~Pastor Donna

Church Family Gthering on Facebook Live

Dear beloved friends,

Tonight at 7 p.m. I will go live again on Facebook for a Psalm reading, prayer, dealing with fear and updates to keep you connected and informed.

We will cover:

1. Closings of churches and how long we can anticipate. Also what happens if social media is shut down.

2. Updates on children’s programs and church homeschooling.

3.  Pastoral care needs during a crisis.

4. Open to your questions. Email me if you have some or comment on the live video.

Stay well and protected. Our faith is stronger than any virus! And see you later!

In Christ’s love

Pastor Donna

Letter from Pastor Donna

Dear Friends in Christ,

I am so grateful for you and count my blessings to be with you as your pastor during this time. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear…”

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6

When you fear or are anxious, turn it into a prayer. Practice this every day until it is an immediate response.

Your church still needs you as much as you need the church. There are some things I want you to do as we move through this. I am still going to need your help in several ways.

1.    Give…the ministry we have continues to need us to give as we have always given during this time. We still need to pay our bills just as you do and I don’t want us to fall behind. You can give by mailing your pledges in or give electronically and contact the office on how you can do that.

2.    Show up virtually and share videos and invite friends to watch. This is a good time to evangelize and encourage others with emails and videos from the church. I am preparing for several weeks of this to continue and know that God will lead us and be with us.

3.    Make calls and send cards to the elderly. This is a time to include the ministry of good old fashioned calls and cards to those who are shut in. Why not send them some of the scripture I will send out to you this week?

4.    Prayer. I need you to hold me up. Pray for me and my family as I pray for you. Pray for our staff who are working diligently remotely. The church is in my heart.

5.    Take care of yourselves. Use this time to be with your families and know that God has given us an opportunity to be connected in new ways. Believe. Trust God. It’s all I know.

6.    Prepare. Get enough provisions for 2 weeks. There are some hard things coming down in the next weeks. Be prepared with food and supplies. Look to see if any among us can’t get supplies and see how we might help.

I want to encourage you to stay in the hope and promises of God. These are incredibly trying days, but God has not left us. We are working to increase our virtual community and offer ways of training others to get us up to speed.  If you do not have access to social media and a family member can’t show you how…I will be sending out periodic messages of encouragement. Every day I ask that you consider being protective of your quiet time with God.

I carry you in my heart. We are still God’s community and we can and will get through this together. If you have prayer requests this week…email me and cc Teresa in the office.

Blessings to you and health to you,

Pastor Donna

Co-vid 19 and The Congregational Church of Plainville

We are living in a time when so many people are panicked due to a virus that we don’t even have reliable testing for.  I want to encourage everyone that the most important thing you can do other than good hygiene is to not let this raise your stress levels so high that you do end up sick. Leadership is meeting to discuss the impact of this virus on the church and plan accordingly.

In the meantime, here are a few things that can help us all through this period of time. 

  • It will end. This level of intensity will not go on forever.  Viruses tend to die off as the weather gets warmer.
  • Listen to reliable sources for information.  NOT the news that is inaccurate and political.  Get your information from CDC, your doctor and health officials in the state.
  • Stay home if you don’t feel well. This is the same thing you would do for any flu or cold.
  • Stay away from Emergency rooms and clinics. They are bombarded right now with too many people they and can’t get to very sick patients. Instead call your doctor if you don’t feel well and follow that person’s direction.
  • Build a healthy gut microbiome (where immunity comes from) with fresh healthy vegetables and nutritious foods that keep your immunity strong. Take a good multivitamin that includes free radical fighting antioxidants and other immune defense.
  • Exercise and especially walk outside for fresh air to clear out your lungs with O2.
  • Pray and meditate daily on God’s word for encouragement and peace of mind during this time of uncertainty.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and get enough sleep each night.  If meetings are canceled look at this as an opportunity to increase your health and well-being.
  • Talk to your children about how to care for their bodies right now and help them trust that their bodies can stay strong and well with good nutrition and care.

Though some of this is subject to change, here are some things you can expect during worship:

  • OFFERING: We will not be passing the offering plate back and forth, but rather plates will be at the door on a table when you come in. You may put your offering in the plate then when you enter the sanctuary. Think of it as giving of yourself whole heartedly to God before you sit down to worship.  If you can, consider donating via EFT or mailing in your offering check to the Church Office.
  • CONTACT: We will continue to not shake hands but use this opportunity to look into each other’s eyes and offer a warm greeting of peace.
  • COMMUNION: We will be offering communion but will be seeking to purchase plastic throw away cups. We may also consider taking just the bread cut up knowing that Christ’s body as symbolized in the bread represents both his body and blood.
  • CLOSURES: In the event we must close per state orders, we will inform everyone in a timely fashion.
  • CLEANING: The church custodian, Dorota, is doing a deeper clean of the surfaces in the building. Hand sanitizers are in various places in the sanctuary and hallways.
  • COFFEE HOUR: we will have hand sanitizers by the coffee pots for you to use after you have helped yourself to coffee and milk on the table.

As we continue to calmly observe and listen to the real science about this and get guidance from the right resources and authorities, we will continue to grow in our faith knowing that God is near us and watching over us. 

Be smart, be safe and be secure in Christ,

Pastor Donna