Good morning church,
Meet Rachel N., one of our college students and recent graduates (who will also be featured on “Graduation Sunday”). I have always known Rachel as a very smart and quiet girl. She was in one of my confirmation classes. Her family joined St. Peter’s shortly after I became pastor at the church. Both of her parents are of Vietnamese descent. Like many other Asian people that I know they try to help us by giving us an American name that we can easier remember, in this case, it’s Rose and Mitch (Thank you for being so thoughtful!). Rose actually was born in Vietnam and experienced those difficult war-torn years back in the early ’70s. Maybe some of you remember our special Basic session called “God in the Refugee Camp,” when she shared with us some of her childhood memories, fleeing from her beautiful home, first to Thailand, to a refugee camp, and finally to the United States where her family was sponsored by people from a Lutheran congregation. It sheds a light on the importance of our church’s work with refugees. So many times we can’t fathom the hardships that lead one to leave their home behind and the hardships that lie ahead of them in the camps and the uncertainties that go with it. Only those who have experienced it can truly relate. Rose married Mitch who was born into a large Vietnamese-American family in the Easton area. Mitch is an IT specialist and works for that German company, Siemens. They have two daughters, Rachel and Sarah, who will graduate from North Penn High School this year. But back to Rachel, always the quiet one, – she tends to get overlooked and as a true introvert, she is mostly fine with that. As with all of our current college students, I was wondering how she is dealing with the vastly different experience pressed upon her by this quarantine. She writes:
“I have recently graduated with a B.S. degree in pharmaceutical science at Temple University. I just finished my first year at Temple University School of Pharmacy, and I still have three years until I graduate. I moved back home once quarantine started and classes were shifted online. Quarantine has affected both my social and academic life. Since I am home, it is obviously not possible to hang out with friends, but we still keep in touch through face time. Academically, there were both pros and cons to being back at home. There were fewer distractions, but I also found it harder to stay motivated and focused on my studies. It took some adjusting, but everything has been fine so far. Besides school, I am currently working as a pharmacy tech at CVS Pharmacy, and am still working during this quarantine. There have been new safety procedures implemented, but besides that, work proceeds normally. My goal in the future is to work in the clinical setting, and I have recently been accepted as a pharmacy intern at Temple Hospital.
Thanks! Hope everyone is safe and healthy! Best, Rachel.”
I am starting to feel like an underground church! For the last ten weeks we have only been able to connect via telephone, email, social media and video conferences. And yet, our ministries continue in so many ways. Our staff is working on special themes and motifs for every single Sunday so that hopefully it remains interesting and relevant for your lives. This coming Sunday we will feature choir members from St. Peter’s. It’s Choir Sunday! The following Sunday, May 31, is Pentecost and we will make a co-production with our friends in Puerto Rico. You will also get some Spanish sounds in that service. I spoke to Pastor Sharon Rios-Concepcion yesterday. They are ahead of us in terms of opening, but the decisions are not any easier. Just like we, they have been mostly relegated to their homes, and in that close-knit community where church, friends and family lines all blur together that has to be difficult. Pastor Sharon was immediately on board and excited to do a co-production. It will be a lot of fun!
Please don’t forget that today is food collection day, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. You can drop your bags of food donations right onto Lisa’s truck in the parking lot. Next week we will forego the Wednesday collection in favor of the bigger weekend collection sponsored by various North Wales churches. I have attached the flier again. This major drive will run every day from Friday, May 29 until Sunday, May 31 from 7:00 a.m. in the morning until 7:00 p.m. at night and benefit various local food pantries. If you can help with the moving of donated groceries and goods, please contact the church.
Our seven confirmation “graduates” have been slowly turning in their confirmation speeches and are now in the process of recording them. I will introduce you to them, one every week. We don’t know yet when we can have their confirmation ceremony and what form and shape it will take. For now, we have a tentative September date. But in the meantime, I will introduce them to you, which is one of the advantages of the quarantine really. You get to hear about more church members and who they are than you would during “normal” times unless you are an extrovert and people person. Expect the first confirmation speech to be shared later this week via Vimeo link. (I could not attach a file that large to an email.)
Our Devotional Book Project is off to a good start. I have received eleven finished pieces already, and we are on our way to completing almost one hundred devotional texts based on scripture for this year 2020. Later this year I will begin sharing some of these amazing reflections from St. Peter’s people once a week in my emails. The goal is that we will publish a Book of Devotions written by the people of St. Peter’s with a reflection of scripture for every day of the year. It’s a three year project with a total of 20 people involved.
Here is the invitation for tomorrow’s Zoom Bible Study, based on Galatians 3 (see attached material).
St. Peter’s North Wales is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. ALL are welcome. Contact the church for information.
Time: May 21, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
I would like to promote the beginning of our online Children’s Hour with Mrs. B., every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. The Children Hour will start on June 7. We encourage our families with young children to take advantage of this interactive program and to tell your neighbors with children about it.
Also, please don’t forget the Red Cross Blood Drive on June 8. Specific precautions are being taken and have been described in recent emails. Drive Details: Date: June 8th, Times: 2 – 7 PM; please contact the church for information.
TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, PLEASE GO TO WWW.REDCROSS.ORG, ENTER SPONSOR CODE St. Peters North Wales
Today is the birthday of Shirley F. Happy birthday, Shirley!!!
As always, be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner