A Message from Pastor Chris
Dear Members and Friends of DCC,
Grace and peace to you from God—above us, beside us, and within us . . . us . . . and all of us, everywhere . . . and in and with the Earth, the Body of Christ.
We’re now in our the third week of what I’m calling the Great Siege.
I count its beginning from the day (Tuesday, March 10th) we at DCC set plans in motion to suspend our programs and initiate new forms of being church—ways to keep connected, deliver content, and provide care for all of us during this challenging season for everyone on the planet. Our intent, desire, and earnest prayer is not merely to make it possible for us to survive this, but to thrive beyond it, to nourish resiliency and the lead with an embodied vision for what humanity can be.
We believe that we can learn new and helpful ways of being in community, fostering connection, not only with each other, but with God’s good, green Earth.
Maybe this could make us more aware of all we’ve preached about this past year—that we are all connected. There’s a hidden intimacy between us and all things; that we are participants with, not rulers, over Nature and that in this dynamic connection we experience the Divine, what Jesus called, “Father,” the Mother of us all. This season of challenge could help humanity grow into a new relationship with the Earth, a benevolent presence on the Earth, a new reverence for the Divine and all that is imbued with the Sacred. Maybe we can learn to slow down and revere life. Maybe we’ll finally really acknowledge the shadow side of unfettered capitalism and rebirth it for the common good. The capitalist impulse of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the politics that sustained it, is sucking air, not sustainable in the new world of the 21st.
I know each of you feels some degree of disorientation, worry, and concern over what the future holds. This is where a community like ours—a community birthed and sustained by Spirit—is not only a gift but a necessity. Community gifts us with the strength of one another. We are connected spiritually, even when disconnected physically, and are learning new ways, guided by the Spirit of Christ, to be in community.
We’re connecting people, through online resources, with spiritual content—worship and prayer services, midweek prayer guides for personal prayer and meditation, as well as music and other things. And we’re looking for ways to broaden all this. Next week, I’ll hold virtual office hours on Thursday afternoon (join me in a Zoom conversation room; see detail below). In the weeks ahead we will offer things like DCC Kids Online, a video resource site for parents with children to use to sustain the spiritual formation of their kids and shape family life. We also hope to foster new ways to pray together virtually, offer simple rituals you can enact at home that ground you in the Sacred. We’re also caring for people in a myriad of ways, from our Neighbor to Neighbor program, to our Caring Gone Viral program and the Eat Well Yolo partnership with the Yolo Food Bank (see below for more information about these programs). We are positioned as best we can be for what is to come.
I met with our board of elders (what we call the Session) last night in a Zoom meeting. I’d written a five-page report detailing our congregational plan and all the things our staff is doing to support and enrich the congregation. Our elders urged me to find a way to tell the congregation. I can’t include that report here. But I can tell you that you are well cared for, we will not only be ok, but we will also provide you with what you need to remain as well as you can be.
So, stay connected with us. Help us know what you need, how to pray for you, with ways you or others might need support. Email me at chris@DCCpres.org, Elisa Stone, Minister of Congregational Care) at elisa@DCCpres.org, and/or the office at office@DCCpres.org.
And please consider an extra financial gift to this special community or making a special pledge to carry us through this season. (See more below.)
Be well. Be kind. Be wise. And remember, Lent teaches us that we can do hard things. We are doing hard things. We are resilient. And Easter teaches us that we will rise, life always rises. Thanks be to God.
Pastor Chris Neufeld-Erdman
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- Pastor Chris’ blog
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- Sunday Prayer Service (posted no later than 8:30 am each week)
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For spiritual nourishment, go to DCC sermons online.