We are in the process of working on the annual report for 2020. As leaders of various committees and groups and staff prepared reports, it was clear that even in the midst of the pandemic restrictions, ERUCC was able to be the church.
Our re-opening team provided guidance for our church activities as well as how we could safely provide space for community groups. As you know, we see our buildings as an extension of our ministry to a whole variety of groups and during the pandemic we were able to provide space when other buildings in the community were closed.
Yesterday, we were able to provide space for a vaccine clinic. 135 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were administered with many of the doses going to underserved members of our community. While we had offered our space for a clinic as soon as vaccines were available, this opportunity came through our friends at Grace UCC who were unable to host the clinic. It went so well that another clinic is planned for April 21st.
This clinic went well, due in large part, because of the work of Amy Gervase Aguilar, our church administrator extraordinaire. There are few things that happen at ERUCC without her touch. She maintains the schedule for the buildings and most times serves as the one who welcomes our guests. Yesterday, was no exception as people were welcomed and honored. While we have been unable to rent much space during the pandemic, Amy has figured out how we can rent out beautiful commercial kitchen. Not only does this bring income to ERUCC, we are pivotal in empowering young people in starting up their catering and food truck businesses.
In the ERUCC email blast you received earlier this week, we thanked as many people as we could for their work and leadership in the past month or so. I did not want the week to go by without calling special attention to Amy’s work and how grateful I am that she is with us. May 1 marks her second span of four years working with ERUCC having previously been on staff from 2009 – 2013. Will you join with me in thanking her?
Worship Notes: Love Is a Response to Grace
John 20:19–31 “Peace be with you.”
In this story, Jesus appears to the disciples when they are locked away in fear and breathes upon them with a word of peace and empowerment. Acts 4:32-35 describes how the early followers of Jesus were so unified that they shared their possessions and cared for another so that no was in need. The Gospel lesson is from John 20: 19-31. When Jesus appears to his followers after the resurrection he shows them his hands and side. Then he breathed on them and blessed them with the Holy Spirit. Thomas arrived later after Jesus had left and said he needed to see for himself. Jesus came to be with them again when Thomas was with them and encouraged Thomas to touch his hands and sides.
Food for Thought:
Though the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the people, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. —John 20.19-20
The Damaged One emerges from trauma with peace. His wounds, his brokenness, evidence of what such peace endures. Through doors of pain, walls of despair, he comes with peace. Yours, beloved, he comes through. Gravestone, locked door, unbelief do not keep him from you. The wounds still gape. The room is fraught— but he is not. Now and yet to come, he’s here. Now your pain can breathe.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, www.unfoldinglight.net)
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701