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Dear Friends in Christ,

The second week of Lent begins this Sunday. Signs of spring are visible now. When I walk the dog I see green leaves poking through the soil - leaves that will become crocus, tulips, and daffodils. Even though I still have to navigate some huge piles of melting snow as I walk the dog, the sunshine and the emerging greenery give my heart a lift.

I read a blog written by Diana Butler Bass this week where she describes her feeling in this Lenten season. She begins by writing that she just didn’t feel “very ashy” this year on Ash Wednesday. She wasn’t ready to celebrate a day that invited us to remember our mortality since it seems like every day of the past year has been a reminder of that. We have reached over 500,000 deaths due to the coronavirus. Every day we have been confronted by our humanity. We’ve certainly had the time to ponder the wilderness and then experience its reality. Shut off from our “normal” activities of visiting friends and family, going out to dinner, or merely enjoying a day of shopping and eating with a close friend, we are all too aware of what our mortality looks like. Our eyes get tired more easily as we find ourselves in Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting.

I think what I am looking for in this traditional time of meditation and prayer, is for those moments that help me to remember what the gift of life brings. There is joy amidst the sorrow, there is laughing amidst the tears, and there is thanks for the fact that we have been able to stay in touch with our loved ones because of technology.

In this spirit, we have two events planned as congregational events. Our youth group, led by Jo Fisher, has put together a talent show. We propose airing that talent show, which lasts for about 1/2 hour, on a Friday or Sunday night and inviting the congregation to attend. After the talent show, we can share time together in a chat room, catching up on the week’s news.

Another event we have planned is scheduled for Friday, 24 March. I have the DVD of Jesus Christ Superstar! We will plan a congregational movie night, again via Zoom, where we watch the movie together and then break out into chat rooms. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us! Bring your popcorn to your laptops or tablets or however you attend our Zoom worship services, and enjoy the thought of sitting in your darkened living room as if it were a movie theatre and you are there with lots of your friends. I believe this movie is rated PG and certainly the music is great to listen to!

This past week has showed the leadership of the church that there is conflict here. There were many viewpoints of how the work on the building should be done. This is not a bad thing! I don’t know of any healthy relationship that doesn’t involve some conflict. What’s important is that we learn how to disagree and still remain connected. This is a worthy goal for the transitional time of where we are.

We are going to need folks who care about this community of faith, who are willing to do the work that must be done which is physical as well as emotional and mental. The Session is in desperate need of more people who will take on the work of planning for the future. This will demand a commitment to more than one meeting a month. Who will make the decisions on how we spend our financial resources on the upkeep of the building and grounds? One person cannot be left to make all the decisions. Our Presbyterian governance works only if we have people who are committed to the care of our congregation and the care of our environment. We all must feel safe when we enter any room and when we make decisions that may not be popular. Leadership, especially in these times when churches everywhere are struggling, must be prepared to do the hard work of planning for the next steps. 

Our nominating committee will soon be making phone calls and asking people what they can do to to ensure that this church does have a future. Please, if you receive one of those calls, take time and prayerfully consider what you can do.

This Lent has arrived in chaos. We don’t know what the future holds for worshipping again, together, in our sanctuary. Where do you see God at work, blowing over the waters, bringing order to the chaos? What role will you play in bringing order out of the chaos that now surrounds us here at church?

My prayers are that, as we begin to be vaccinated, continue to wear our masks, and be aware of what is happening around us, that we find those who are energized and willing to add their breath to the stirring of the Holy Spirit among us.


Peace and grace,
Deb
Sunday School

Grades 1-5: Sundays from 9:30-10:00 am. Contact Jo Fisher at 617-839-0865 if you do not have the Zoom link and wish to be added.

Youth Grades 6-12: 2nd & 4th Sundays during worship at the start of the children's sermon. A zoom link is shared at that time in the worship zoom chat, and is also emailed in advance to the group. Contact Matt at morattico@gmail.com if you wish to be added.
Sunday Worship 2/28 @ 10am via Zoom

Welcome to online worship with PPC! Youth grades 6-12 will meet for Sunday school at the start of the children's sermon.
Click on the image below to open/download the worship bulletin and hymns.
While we are unable to pass the offering plate during worship, we hope you will continue to support the mission and ministry of the church if and as you are able—online, through your bank's bill payment system, or with a check mailed to the church (500 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906). All offerings are gratefully received. Thank you!

We invite you to stay online after worship for our virtual coffee hour.


Transcripts and audio recordings of recent sermons can be found on our website here. Audio recordings of older sermons are available here.
Deacons Meeting this Sunday

After virtual coffee hour!
Lenten Bible Study

We are again using the Messiah as we listen and reflect on the Lent and Easter parts of the oratorio. We would love to have you join us! Let Pastor Deb know you are interested (revdeb02@gmail.com) and she will add you to the email list.

We invite you to pray with Scripture as a way of discerning what God is calling you to be and to do during this season of Lent. Click the image to download the pdf.

PPC Book Group

Our next meeting will be Saturday, March 6 at 10:30 am. We decided to continue reading and discussing Langston Hughes’ poetry together.

Poems we will discuss:
1. Free Man
2. Present
3. Prayer
4. I Dream a World

We will also revisit a few poems we read for last time but didn’t have time to discuss:
5. The Negro Speaks of Rivers 
6. Let America be America Again
7. Weary Blues

Join Zoom Meeting:
(Virtual) Movie Night: Jesus Christ Superstar

Mark your calendars and plan to join us on Friday, March 24 for a congregational movie night! Bring your popcorn to your laptops/tablets/however you attend our Zoom worship services, and enjoy the thought of sitting in your darkened living room as if you were at the movie theater with lots of your friends. This movie musical was rated G in the '70s, though there is some violence (families can see Common Sense Media's review here). Time is TBD.
When it snows...

Like all of you homeowners, PPC is obliged to clear its sidewalks within a reasonable time. We are sometimes helped by the grounds crew of the neighboring Groden Center, but we don't presume that they will be able to help. If there is a significant snowfall and you are able to help with shoveling, please contact Dan Blackford at (401) 808-2605 or dblackford01@gmail.com, or the church at (401) 861-1136 or provpresri@verizon.net, so that efforts may be coordinated and shovels provided if needed. Thank you!
Continuing Fellowship and Service Opportunities

Contact the leaders listed below if you are interested in getting involved.
  • Youth Group (1st & 3rd Sundays of each month at 4:30-5:30): Jo Fisher 617-893-0865 or jo.evonne.fisher@gmail.com
  • Wednesday morning prayer gatherings (~8:00-8:30am via zoom)Suzanne Affigne 401-523-4907; Jill Moles 401-241-9812; Dan Blackford 401-273-2435
  • Mission and Outreach: Bipen Rai 510-499-7339 or bipenai@gmail.com
  • Nurture Committee: Kathy Cooper kathycooper@aya.yale.edu
  • Building & Grounds projects: Sheryl Mason 401-206-7839 or sgmason65@gmail.com
  • Volunteer to be a worship leader: call Jill Moles 401-241-9812 or click the button to sign up here:
Resources
Submitted by Marianne Harrison, Tech & Communications Committee

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For our full calendar please visit our website.
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