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“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.”
~Psalm 96:1-2

Spring is right around the corner, transitioning us into a new season of grace-filled spaces here in the  Courthouse. We have much to celebrate. After 39 years, Apostles Lutheran Church has hired an Administrative Assistant. Mrs. Amanda Payne has joined our Christ-centered crew this past February and has risen to the challenge. She and her family will be installed as our Staff sometime this March of their choosing. We welcome her and her family to this community of grace. If we wish for them to continue accompanying this community of grace, then I strongly recommend that we manage our expectations of what one person can do in but 9 hours a week at only $13.00 an hour. Speaking of grace, my Beloved Community, I want to affirm that we, the people, are the Church. Our grounds, sanctuary, offices, and building are mere conduits of conducting our ministry together. It is for this reason I am going to call our Church Office, GQ, or Grace Quarters from now on. I invite you to join me because you are the Church. I want to emphasize that you do not have to call our building GQ; I am going to call it that, and you are invited to join me.

In preparation for the Daffodil Festival this April, we will have a booth here at the Pink House, where I will have lawn furniture set up on the green. I have also started selling handmade animal hats at the Gloucester Courthouse Visitor’s Center. My consignment is called Creatures for Creation, all proceeds collected will go directly back to ministry of Apostles Lutheran Church. As of late, I have already made a 300% profit off of what I have purchased and labored to create them. A good portion of these hats will be sold via a freewill donation at our booth during the Daffodil Festival. Should any knitters, crocheters, sewers, or providers of needed materials choose to join me in making them, then please let me or our Admin know how best to contact you for service. I have currently made foxes, bunnies, and unicorns. I will make lambs for Easter, cats for Halloween, and mice for Christmas. My next venture is to affix crocheted daffodils to these creatures. If you would like a custom-made hat for yourself, a human loved one, or a pet, then please email with your request. Label the subject line as “Creatures for Creation Request”, and someone will get back to you.

COVID-19 is not going away, and we need not move forward with our lives. We will take this time of renewal to navigate how God is calling us to be together. March is Women’s History Month. Thus, in response to over 50 years of Women’s Ordination in the ELCA , I will be conducting a sermon series on Eve's Bible: A Woman's Guide to the Old Testament by Sarah S. Forth. I have also respectively spoken to our Worship and Administration Teams about our bulletin and hymns this year. We will find a happier medium between cost-effectiveness and user friendly means of maintaining our bulletin. Since we are not singing together during worship, our choir has resumed singing and recording our hymns. The Administration Team had chosen to abstain from printing out the full lyrics to our hymns. The hymn titles and numbers will remain should anyone wish to follow along in our red hymnals. We will also limit our hymns from three to two for the sake of limiting time in our building. The choir will record one song, our Gathering Hymn, which will play over our speaker. The Worship Team has affirmed my course taught during Power in the Spirit concerning Scriptural Influences on our Media. I will be claiming our Sending Hymn to share with you a secular song that has been influenced in some way by our Scripture and Theology. I will also pair the songs that I choose with a theological blurb that will go into our bulletin. Some blurbs will be long, and some will be short. Ware Episcopal Church has invited us to use their outdoor Pavilion for Worship Services during this Lenten Season and beyond. He has agreed that we pay but $50.00 per use of the Pavilion and $100.00 should we utilize their outdoor heaters. Rector Scott and I have spoken about a possible collaboration for Wednesday Lenten Worship. We hope to combine Dinner Church with two theological/ biblical discussion options in the Ware Episcopal Fellowship Hall. Each Church is to provide a potluck of soup, bread, salad, and dessert for each Wednesday evening. Each participant within the gathered Assembly has the option to then A) Discuss the 5 Tenants of Baptism with Rector Scott, or B) Learn about the named and unnamed women of the Bible as we draw parallels with the role of women during the Pandemic of 2020 with me. Your Worship and Caring Communities Teams will be in collaboration about what this may mean to us moving forward when we meet.

The future is wild with possibilities, which is both scary and exciting. However, we worship a God of Abundance. We are free to answer the call to adventure that Jesus has provided to us and the Holy Spirit was sent to guide us. I now leave you to ponder the words of Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931).

“Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge in works of the half talented
Do not live half a life
and do not die a half death
If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance
Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes
Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results
Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn't live,
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists to live a life
not half a life”

Take care, be well, and be safe.

In God’s Abiding Love,

Pastor Jeniffer,
M. Div, Miss. Dev.