Lent has arrived. Traditionally a time of introspection, Lent offers us the time to contemplate where our loyalties lie. Do we come down on the side of Empire or do we give ourselves over to being followers of Jesus? What does it mean when we claim Jesus as our Lord and Saviour? Is it possible to change the world, bringing transformation to the old ways? Will we re-focus our lives and our intentions so that they align with the good of the community?
I have watched Louis Henry Gates on PBS as he takes us through the history of the Black Church. After Reconstruction and as the 20th century began, the Black Church is not the single unity that it had been during slavery but there is always a thread of how the Black Church tied together the African American experience. One of the statements that I heard from an interviewee was “We need to teach the history of the Black Church because it IS American history.” Our history is comprised of so many different experiences because unless we are a member of one of the Native American Tribes, we are all immigrants. I strongly recommend this two part series. Watch Trailer | Episode 1 | Episode 2
While I have been a Presbyterian since birth, my family has not always been Presbyterian. My maternal grandmother was 100% Irish – although she was third generation. However, part of my story is part of the Irish Catholic experience in the Northeast. By way of this introduction, I want to share with you some words that Pope Francis has written. It is not our custom as Protestants to “give up” something for Lent but these words of Pope Francis are very helpful in understanding what we might be called to give up if we wanted to follow that practice.
Do you want to fast this Lent?
Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
Fast from worries and trust in God.
Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy.
Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
These are actions I want to try to let go of in this Lenten season. By re-framing our thoughts we can be transformed into the people that God wants us to be. Isn’t that what the world needs today? People who are transformed and like butterflies emerging from the cocoon that once was a caterpillar, we can make a difference.
Peace and grace, Deb
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 email@example.com if you wish to be added.
By phone: call (646) 558-8656 and enter meeting ID 817 8173 3351
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.
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.
Youth Group Talent Show – Tomorrow
Youth Group will get together at our usual 4:30 time tomorrow, February 21, to share, watch and cheer! If you are sending in something ahead of time, please send it to Jo Fisher by 7pm today so she has time to organize things before the show :-)
Lenten Bible Study
We will again be 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will add you to the email list.
Building the Beloved Community: The Black Church in RI
February 22 & 23 @ 7pm
All are invited to this exciting free virtual event. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link for virtual viewing.
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 email@example.com, or the church at (401) 861-1136 or firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.