Over this past week I have heard many expressions of anxiety, fear, grief, and anger but also of faith, humor, and hopefulness. When I asked one friend how he has been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, he was honest enough to admit that he has been stocking up on vodka! I laughed knowing that this is his favorite drink and that there was little concern that he might over-indulge—at least prayerfully. And I also understood perfectly.

What has been crystalized for me is the importance of staying connected during this strange and unprecedented time, and it has been life-giving to engage our staff, church members, family and friends, clergy colleagues, and others via Zoom video chat, phone calls, text messages, and emails. Thank you to each person who has reached out to check on me and our staff; it is appreciated and has made a huge difference. While we must be socially responsible, what I know for sure is that we were created for communion with God and one another.

In order to help us stay connected, our staff and leaders will be providing:

Worship
Full worship service each Sunday morning at 11:00am via livestream. A link to watch this livestream will be emailed to you Sunday morning, and it will also be posted on our Facebook page, on Twitter, and on our website at paumcnyc.org/live.

Lenten Reflections
Please continue to read and meditate on the beautiful daily reflections written by members of our church for this holy season of Lent. Ironically, the theme this year has been “Prayer”, and I cannot think of a more meaningful topic for such a time as this.

Quote of the Week
We will continue to post our quote for the week on the board in front of our church, and it can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and our website. And by the way, one of our recent quotes went viral through NPR and NY1. I encourage you to check it out.

Small Groups
Small groups of 8-10 people are being formed and will connect with each other during the week via Zoom or phone conference calls, emails, phone, or text. Each group will represent the rich diversity of our congregation, and I am prayerful that new friendships will be formed. If no one contacts you by Friday, March 27th and you would like to join a group, please let me know.

Coffee with Pastor Cathy
I will be inviting you to join me for a cup of coffee (or whatever perks you up) on Wednesday mornings at 10:00am during a video podcast where we will engage a variety of topics. Special guests will also be invited to join in from time to time. A link to this will be sent out with Wednesday morning’s Lenten reflection and will also be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and our website at paumcnyc.org/coffeewithcathy.

In this moment, the immediate future seems shaky at best, but this too shall pass, and I have every confidence that our community will emerge stronger than ever by God’s good grace. Please know that your church family is here to support you and that none of us walk alone.

The Church also needs your ongoing support.and while it might not be easy right now, we must still maintain our financial responsibilities. Please try to honor your 2020 pledge and give as you are able by using our website or through PayPal, or you can also mail a check to the church office.

So many have reached out to ask how you can help, which has stirred my heart and reminds me of just how special our community really is. If you know of anyone who lives alone or needs support and encouragement, please let me know so that we can do whatever we can.

Take good care of yourself. Stay connected. Keep the faith. You are loved.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy