PCL at a Glance for August 25, 2020

Inspirational Thought: Ready! Set! Go! Our new church website is ready to be launched. For a few months now, we have updated and add new features that will tell our PCL story in a succinct way. The new website address is: Yourlivingstonchurch.org. I hope that you will check it out and provide any comments or suggestions to me and I will forward them to the Website team. We are looking to make this the best introduction to our church that we can possibly do. It is important to make a good first impression and let others know that our church is their church. We are hoping that this will become a household phrase, “Your Church has (name of the event or ministry).” As you look at the website you will see a video and written welcome from me, links to our zoom and Facebook platforms, information about our church’s mission and ministry, our open and affirming statement, and a way to give online offerings.

I would like to thank Mark Annett, Alison Clark, Felix Amoyaw, and David Calabrese for dedicating their time and talent to make the new website possible. Their collaborative efforts produced a fine resource to reach out to many in our community with the message of welcome and gracious hospitality.

Please share this website with others who might want to take a look and see what our church is all about so that, hopefully, they will come and check us out.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: Lord God, we ask that you will lead us and guide us along our way. In these challenging and uncertain times that we live in, may you provide for our every need. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Help us to be in constant prayer for our church, others, and ourselves so that we will connect to your abundance and  providential care as we strive to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you; through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Birthdays for August
Herta Conrads – Aug 28
Lori Jackson (organist) – Aug 28

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
August 30, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday& Friday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Please don’t forget to check out our new website: Yourlivingstonchurch.org.

Livingston Light Up Night
July 1, at 8 pm, on LTV

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
August 23-29, 2020

Sun: Exodus 1:8-2:10;Psalm 124:1-8; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Mon: Psalms 57; 145; Job 4:1, 5:1-11, 17-21, 26-27; Acts 9:19b-31; John 6:52-59

Tue: Psalms 56; 149; Joshua 23:1-16; Romans 15:25-33; Matthew 27:11-23

Wed: Psalms 65; 147:1-11; Job 6:1, 7:1-21; Acts 10:1-16; John 7:1-13

Thu: Psalms 54; 146; Judges 2:1-5, 11-23; Romans 16:17-27; Matthew 27:32-44

Fri: Psalms 130; 148; Job 2:1-13; Acts 9:1-9; John 6:27-40

Sat: Psalms 56; 149; Job 3:1-26; Acts 9:10-19a; John 6:41-51

Lord, please help our faith to be greater than our fears.

PCL at a Glance for August 17, 2020

Inspirational Thought: Life has always been a challenge. There have always been ups and downs, twists and turns, mountain top experiences, and valleys to travel through. I would question someone who would say that they had a smooth ride in life. My question would be, “did they get involved in another person’s life or a cause that would lead them to be a voice to right the wrongs?” We confess we ought to do better, reason out our non-involvement, and rationalize what Jesus calls us to do just as long as it doesn’t touch our lives. However, throughout scripture, and take the Good Samaritan story as an example, of how we are called to be involved with our neighbor. In the story, from Luke 10, it tells of a Jewish man that was going from Jerusalem to Jericho. This man was beaten by thieves and left for dead until a Samaritan man came along to help. This Samaritan was half Jewish and half Gentile and hated by the established Jewish nation. But it was this man that helped his Jewish neighbor who was “the other.” He mends his wounds, brings him to an Inn, and even pays for his care and stay. Now, this Samaritan really got involved. I wonder if this was difficult for him to do. Was he taught not to interact with Jews? Was he instructed not to stop and help anyone along this notorious corridor where thieves would lay in wait for their next victim? According to our story, the Samaritan made the choice to get involved in the messiness of life. In my view, life becomes a challenge – going back to our previous thought – when we do what Jesus invites us to do and become involved with our neighbors – the other amongst us. This possibly would mean getting involved with justice issues, being a voice for the voiceless, walking alongside someone whose reputation has been damaged because of rumors over indiscretions. And, if we do this out of love then we have made the right choice in living out our faith of doing good and sharing with others, no matter how messy it becomes. Until we meet again, may God’s love,

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (Attributed to Francis of Assis )

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
August 23, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday& Friday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

In honor of Ray Rouse, our former Sexton, the church is giving a Peace Lilly. If you would like to contribute, please send your donation to the church. Please make your check out to Presbyterial Church of Livingston and mark the envelope “Peace Lilly.”

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
August 16-22, 2020

Sun: Genesis 45:1-15; 133:1-3; Rom. 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matt. 15:(10-20) 21-28

Mon: Psalms 135; 145; Judges 17:1-13; Acts 7:44-8:1a; John 5:19-29

Tue: Psalms 123; 146; Judges 18:1-15; Acts 8:1-13; John 5:30-47

Wed: Psalms 15; 147:1-11; Judges 18:16-31; Acts 8:14-25; John 6:1-15

Thu: Psalms 36; 147:12-20; Job 1:1-22; Acts 8:26-40; John 6:16-27

Fri: Psalms 130; 148; Job 2:1-13; Acts 9:1-9; John 6:27-40

Sat:Psalms 56; 149; Job 3:1-26; Acts 9:10-19a; John 6:41-51

Address Change
Please keep Bill in your prayers.
If you would like to send him a card, his address is below

Bill Trafton
The Cliffs
707 Eagle Rock Ave.
West Orange, NJ 07052
If you would like to call him: 973.324.8771


			

PCL at a Glance for August 4, 2020

Inspirational Thought: When it comes to prayer – or, a dialogue with God – there are a variety of forms with which to have a conversation with the Holy One. Some like to kneel beside their bed while others take a walk in the woods pondering the petitions of their heart. In models like A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) we can follow a pattern that will help keep our minds focused. As I have found, throughout my journey as a Pastor, I appreciate the hand method. Each finger and thumb represent a specific petition.

This is how it works:
Thumb: Those closest to us like our family, spouse, siblings;
The index finger: those who point the way as police, teachers, and our bosses;
The highest finger next to the pointer finger: those in authority or leadership;
The ring finger: This finger is the weakest, which reminds us to pray for others who are in need, have health concerns, or in a tough place in their lives;
The pinky fingers. This is reserved for our needs.

However, prayer is a conversation with God. It is not a monologue; it is a dialogue. During our prayer time we ought to set aside time to listen, simply listen to the voice of God deep within our being. This will help us to be still and know that God is our God and then listen to what God might be saying to us. To help us to be more intentional in the “be still and know that I am”, we have our monthly Taizé service. In these quiet moments, we quiet ourselves before God and listen. During the COVID pandemic, we have done a noon contemplative prayer service to help us be calm before God and refocus on the great I am. Our hope is that this helps deepen our relationship with God.

To be renewed and refocus on what is important in our lives, we need to be still and hear what God is saying to us. I invite you to come to Taizé this Thursday and come to the quiet. You never know, you might find the answer to what you have been searching for. It is time to pray.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: (from the hymn “Take Thou Our Minds Dear Lord”) Take thou our minds, dear Lord, we humbly pray; give us the mind of Christ each passing day; teach us to know the truth that sets us free; grant us in all our thoughts to honor thee.

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
August 16, Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Contemplative Prayer, (noon) every Tuesday & Thursday on Facebook & Zoom
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • Bistro – meets in the church parking lot at 10:30 am, second Saturday of every month
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Imagine a World Tour

I’m reaching out to invite you and any of your interested parishioners to a virtual Imagine a World Tour, which is a moving, inspiring, and educational one-hour information session about our mission. These tours help us live our mission of raising awareness about childhood bereavement and provide education on how to support grieving children, teens, and adults.

Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested.
Here are our upcoming tour dates:
•  August 6th at 8 AM – 9 AM

I hope one of these dates works! To register just visit www.imaginenj.org/tour. 

Warmest regards,
Mary
Mary Robinson, MA, CT
Executive Director and Founder, Imagine

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
August 2 – 8, 2020

Sun: Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21

Mon: Psalms 62; 145; Judges 6:25-40; Acts 2:37-47; John 1:1-18

Tue: Psalms 12; 146; Judges 7:1-18; Acts 3:1-11; John 1:19-28

Wed: Psalms 96; 147:1-11; Judges 7:19-8:12; Acts 3:12-26; John 1:29-42

Thu: Psalms 116; 147:12-20; Judges 8:22-35; Acts 4:1-12; John 1:43-51

Fri: Psalms 84; 148; Judges 9:1-16, 19-21; Acts 4:13-31; John 2:1-12

Sat: Psalms 63; 149; Judges 9:22-25, 50-57; Acts 4:32-5:11; John 2:13-25

PCL at a Glance for July 21, 2020

Inspirational Thought: The last few Sundays we have been upping our Moment for Mission to having them each Sunday. I am hoping that these moments bring inspiration as well as inform us of the many resources available to help us during these uncertain times. I have found that the guest speakers have been engaging as they discuss ways to deal with life in this new frontier that we are journeying through. In the coming Sundays, our moments will have us reflect on how the homeless are dealing with the COVID virus, Our House, Inc. and the possible date when they will begin operation and ways that our church community may reach out to them. The world may have paused momentarily, but I have found through these moments that folks are doing amazing things to help and create new ways of dealing with the unknown. I have appreciated the statements of working together to make life a bit brighter for the common good and have been challenged to think about how our world is forever changed. It seems that the more we share with each other the more new opportunities come to the forefront of our thinking. Even with ideas, it takes a village. My hope is that our congregation will be free to share ideas, muse over ways to minister to our ever-changing world and community and to continue to take up the cause to proclaim that every child of God is important. May this be our hope not only for the future but for today.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: Everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being: You have made us for yourself so that our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Give us purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will, no weakness keeps us from doing it; that in your light we may see light clearly, and in your service find perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Birthdays for July
Matthew Gibbon – July 22
Kelli Geary – July 26

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
July 26, Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Contemplative Prayer, (noon) every Tuesday & Thursday on Facebook & Zoom
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
    • Canceled for the remainder of July
    • Will resume the first Saturday in August
  • Bistro – meets in the church parking lot at 10:30 am, second Saturday of every month
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
July 19-25, 2020

Sun: Psalms 19; 150; Joshua 6:15-27; Acts 22:30-23:11;  Mark 2:1-12

Mon: Psalms 135; 145; Joshua 7:1-13; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 26:36-46

Tue: Psalms 123; 146; Joshua 8:1-22; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 26:47-56

Wed: Psalms 15; 147:1-11; Joshua 8:30-35; Romans 14:13-23; Matt. 26:57-68

Thu: Psalms 36; 147:12-20; Joshua 9:3-21; Romans 15:1-13; Matt. 26:69-75

Fri: Psalms 130; 148; Joshua 9:22-10:15; Romans 15:14-24; Matthew 27:1-10

Sat: Psalms 56; 149; Joshua 23:1-16; Romans 15:25-33; Matthew 27:11-23

Imagine a World Tour

I’m reaching out to invite you and any of your interested parishioners to a virtual Imagine a World Tour, which is a moving, inspiring, and educational one-hour information session about our mission. These tours help us live our mission of raising awareness about childhood bereavement and provide education on how to support grieving children, teens, and adults.

Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested.
Here are our upcoming tour dates:
•  July 23 at 7 PM – 8 PM
•  August 6th at 8 AM – 9 AM
•  August 6 at 8 AM – 9 AM

I hope one of these dates works! To register just visit www.imaginenj.org/tour. 

Warmest regards,
Mary
Mary Robinson, MA, CT
Executive Director and Founder, Imagine

PCL at a Glance for July 14, 2020

Inspirational Thought: I was introduced to the Deer Prayer by Karen Sinclair, who attends our zoom Bible & Bagels and worship service. The prayer penned by St. Patrick in 433 CE has a lot of inspiration – inspiration that we might need to hear for our own peace of mind. I hope that you will find it meaningful.

The Deer Prayer

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun, splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning, swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me, afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding,
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Birthdays for July
Holly Anderson – July 14

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
July 19, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Contemplative Prayer, (noon) every Tuesday & Thursday on Facebook & Zoom
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
    • Canceled for the remainder of July
    • Will resume the first Saturday in August
  • Bistro – meets in the church parking lot at 10:30 am, second Saturday of every month
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
July 12-18, 2020

Sun: Genesis 25:19-34; Psalm 119:105-112; Rom. 8:1-11; Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23

Mon: Psalms 5; 145; Joshua 2:1-14; Romans 11:1-12; Matthew 25:1-13

Tue: Psalms 42; 146; Joshua 2:15-24; Romans 11:13-24; Matthew 25:14-30

Wed: Psalms 89:1-18; 147:1-11; Jos. 3:1-13; Rom. 11:25-36; Matt. 25:31-46

Thu: Psalms 97; 147:12-20; Joshua 3:14-4:7; Romans 12:1-8; Matt. 26:1-16

Fri: Psalms 51; 148; Joshua 4:19-5:1, 10-15; Romans 12:9-21; Matt. 26:17-25

Sat: Psalms 104; 149; Joshua 6:1-14; Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 26:26-35

Duplicated: PCL at a Glance for July 14, 2020 – [#241]

Inspirational Thought: Jesus comes into town and disrupts the status quo by healing on the Sabbath. While He is teaching in the synagogue there is a woman in need of healing; she has been bent over for 18 years. Jesus sees a need and heals the woman. The religious leaders are angry that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Would they rather have this woman suffer than receive a whole body? In many ways, we become like these religious leaders when Jesus doesn’t do what we want or expect. We tend to lean toward the wish list of heavenly favors rather than resting in the knowledge that our Lord will meet us where we are and give us exactly what we need. In this story from Luke 13, we see how Christ is not concerned about rules and regulations — the whys and how’s — Jesus is concerned about the person. When dealing with others, we need to ask ourselves how certain regulations or policies affect others. Do we cause others to be bent over because of the burdens we place on them, or, do we partner with Jesus so that their spirit is lifted with amazing possibilities? There are many ways that we can do this, but, the first thing to do is to see the need. Today, as we go through our daily tasks, may we stop, look, and listen for the needs of others and act in the way Jesus taught us.

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: Grant to us, O God, the fullness of your promises. Where we have been weak, grant us your strength; where we have been confused, grant us your guidance; where we have been distraught, grant us your comfort; where we have been dead, grant us your life. Apart from you, O Lord, we are nothing, in and with you we can do all things. Open to us new possibilities that will lead us to new opportunities for growth through new beginnings. Amen.

Birthdays for July
Helen McNerney – July 7
Linda Yeatman – July 10

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
July 19, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
July 5-11, 2020

Sun: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17 Alternate Song of Solomon 2:8-13;

Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Mon: Psalms 62; 145; Num. 32:1-6, 16-27; Romans 8:26-30; Matthew 23:1-12

Tue: Psalms 12; 146; Num. 35:1-3, 9-15, 30-34; Rom. 8:31-39; Matt. 23:13-26

Wed: Psalms 96; 147:1-11; Deut. 1:1-18; Romans 9:1-18; Matt. 23:27-39

Thu: Psalms 116; 147:12-20; Deut. 3:18-28 Romans 9:19-33; Matt. 24:1-14

Fri: Psalms 84; 148; Deut. 31:7-13, 31:24-32:4; Rom. 10:1-13; Matt. 24:15-31

Sat: Psalms 63; 149; Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Romans 10:14-21; Matt. 24:32-51

PCL at a Glance for June 30, 2020

Inspirational Thought: I was honored to represent our presbytery at the 224th General Assembly. This assembly was historic not only because of the first virtual platform – which was hailed as a success — but also the election of the first Indigenous woman to the office of co-moderator of the General Assembly. The election of Rev. Gregory Bentley and Elona Street-Stewart will lead our denomination for the next two years with renewed energy, intelligence, and imagination. Their passion for the church and Christ’s ministry was sensed as they spoke of their hopes for the future of the Presbyterian Church. In my opinion, they were the strongest of the two other co-moderator candidates that were up for election. The theme for this year’s assembly was “From Lament to Hope.” As spoken by the co-moderators 223rd General Assembly speakers, Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri and Cindy Kohlmann, was defined as lament, confession, restoration, and hope.

The commissioners at the assembly were encouraged, through different initiatives, that the church must find a voice during these uncertain times. The representatives were challenged as to how the church might do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. The 224th General Assembly called attention to racism of people of color and the inequity of poverty. We were encouraged to find a voice that would mirror Christ within our midst.

Even though the General Assembly doesn’t have the authority to tell churches to accept certain missional positions, it gives us pause to rethink our mission and the vitality of our church for such a time as this.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Birthdays for June & July
Alexander DeFilippo – Jun 30
Allen Fossett – July 2
Gabriella DeFilippo – July 5

Anniversaries for June
Pastor Dan’s Ordination – July 2 (31 years)

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
July 5, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
(please have the elements available)
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm, phone: 1-646-558-8656
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday& Friday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Livingston Light Up Night
July 1, at 8 pm, on LTV

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
June 30-July 4, 2020

Tue: Psalms 54; 146; Numbers 22:21-38; Romans 7:1-12; Matthew 21:23-32

Wed: Psalms 65; 147:1-11; Numbers 22:41-23:12; Romans 7:13-25; Matthew 21:33-46

Thu: Psalms 143; 147:12-20; Numbers 23:11-26; Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 22:1-14

Fri: Psalms 88; 148; Numbers 24:1-13; Romans 8:12-17; Matthew 22: 15-22

Sat: Psalms 122; 149; Numbers 24:12-25 Romans 8:18-25; Matthew 22:23-40

PCL at a Glance for June 23, 2020

Inspirational Thought and Prayer: Recently, I was asked to be one of the speakers for Livingston Light Up Night, which is on July 1, beginning at 8:00 pm. At this time in our country when there are so many uncertainties that include COVID-19, racial tension, systemic injustice, unemployment, and mental health issues, Livingston Light Up is a voice, or light, of solidarity to support one another with respect and dignity. With the hope of bringing folks together with a simple light, and the desire to move forward with conversation that will lead to action against injustice and inequality. For my part I prayed a prayer of solidarity that I would like to share with you as this week’s Inspirational Thought. I invite you to reflect on how it speaks to you.

CREATOR GOD,

Tonight, we come together in solidarity with one voice and one heart to support each other during these times of uncertainty. we grieve the loss of those who have died succumbed to the COVID virus and for those who have watched in vigil as they slipped from this world to the next. we pray for those who have been discriminated against due to the color of their skin; or for whom they love. we pray for those dealing with fears and anxiety over how to pay bills and buy food. as a community we stand as a light of hope that will lead the way to love all with liberty and justice. may each light represent the thousand points of lights that has made our country and community strong to endure times of trouble. as your servant, Rev. Martin Niemöller, said so many years ago, but is pertinent for today:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

May we speak out as we strive to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you trusting in your leading and guiding for a time such as this. amen.

Until we meet again,

Pastor Dan

Anniversaries for June
Mindy & Mark Glaz – Jun 27

This Week at PCL

  • Taizé (noon) every Tuesday & Thursday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday& Friday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Livingston Light Up Night
July 1, at 8 pm, on LTV

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
June 21-27, 2020

Sun: Gen. 21:8-21; Ps. 86:1-10, 16-17; Rom. 6:1b-11; Gospel Matt. 10:24-39

Mon: Psalms 135; 145; Numbers 16:1-19; Romans 3:21-31; Matthew 19:13-22

Tue: Psalms 123; 146; Numbers 16:20-35; Romans 4:1-12; Matthew 19:23-30

Wed: Psalms 15; 147:1-11; Numbers 16:36-50; Rom. 4:13-25; Matt. 20:1-16

Thu: Psalms 36; 147:12-20; Numbers 17:1-11; Romans 5:1-11; Matt. 20:17-28

Fri: Psalms 130; 148; Numbers 20:1-13; Romans 5:12-21; Matthew 20:29-34

Sat: Psalms 56; 149; Numbers 20:14-29; Romans 6:1-11; Matthew 21:1-11

PCL at a Glance for June 16, 2020

Inspirational Thoughts:“By the rivers of Babylon – there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps. For there, our captors asked us for songs and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” These verses are found in Psalm 137:1-3. It tells of when Judea was led into exile by the Babylonian Empire after the fall of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. These verses have been put to music and have been portrayed on the silver screen. The last line speaks volumes to me, “How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” How indeed? Maybe this is where a lot of people find themselves these days. With all that is going on around us, we might feel like we are in a bad dream and wish to wake up. Nothing is as simple as, “let’s wait for a vaccine that will do the trick,” or, “the racial tension will ease up – just wait and see.” This is exactly where the mental state of the children of Israel was. They were longing for the good ‘ole days of worshiping at the temple in the land they called their own. At times, do we feel that we too are in a foreign land? We walk this way by faith and not by sight. In doing so, are we growing weary? For such a time as this, may we hold onto Emmanuel, “God with us” and repeat the verse in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If we remember this verse, then maybe the rivers of Babylonian will be sweet instead of bitter.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: Loving Lord, in these crazy and uncertain days. When the world, our nation, our community is on fire. We ask that you will lead us to green pastures and beside still waters to restore our souls. Amen.

Birthdays for June
Denise Geary – Jun 18

Anniversaries for June
Deborah & Robert Lindner – Jun 18

Come Worship with Us This Sunday!
June 21, Third Sunday after Pentecost
On-line service only, starting Sunday at 10 am

This Week at PCL

  • Taizé (noon) every Tuesday & Thursday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • First Thursday of every month Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service on Zoom at 8 pm
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday& Friday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite then to join our on-line worship services, Bible studies and prayer service.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

  • Facebook:  facebook.com/The-PCL-935676843185631
  • Sunday worship; contemplative prayer, Tuesday – Friday at noon (Zoom)
  • Zoom,
    Sunday Service:
    Meeting ID: 157 482 235
    Password: 84 85 69
    Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative Prayer

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom:
Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password:
84 85 69
Phone:
1 646 558 8656

Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service
First Thursday of every month at 8 pm.
Zoom ID: 826 6284 2267 / PW: 820 068

Tithes & Offerings
As we deal with the shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Reading the Bible with the Lectionary
June 14-20, 2020

Sun: Gen. 18:1-15, 21:1-7; 116:1-2, 12-19; Rom. 5:1-8;Matt. 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

Mon: Psalms 5; 145; Num. 9:15-23, 10:29-36; Rom. 1:1-15; Matt. 17:14-21

Tue: Psalms 42; 146; Numbers 11:1-23; Romans 1:16-25; Matthew 17:22-27

Wed: Ps. 89:1-18; 147:1-11; Num. 11:24-33 (34-35); Rom. 1:28-2:11; Matt. 18:1-9

Thu: Psalms 97; 147:12-20; Num. 12:1-16; Rom. 2:12-24; Matthew 18:10-20

Fri: Psalms 51; 148; Numb. 13:1-3, 21-30; Rom. 2:25-3:8; Matt. 18:21-35

Sat: Psalms 104; 149; Numbers 13:31-14:25; Romans 3:9-20; Matt. 19:1-12

PCL News for June 6, 2020

Inspirational Thoughts: In a world that is changing there are ways for us to be grounded in our faith. As we are nurtured, we are encouraged to focus on the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with which to find our refuge in a time of storm. We are in such times. No longer are we dealing with one storm, but many. These storms are called COVID virus, economic downturn, sky-rocketing unemployment, and civil unrest. One of these would have been more than enough to deal with. How do we ground ourselves? For some this comes through contemplative prayer and meditation, a walk in the park or at South Mountain Reservation, or listening to peaceful, inspirational music. During trying times in my life music has quieted my soul and calmed my fears. With this in mind, I would like to share with you the lyrics of a hymn called “It is well with my soul.”

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain)

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain)

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain)

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Refrain)

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul. (Refrain)

May it be well with our souls for our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteous. For if God is for us, then who can be against us.

Until we meet again, may God’s love be with you,

Pastor Dan

Prayer of the Week: Peace prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek so much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Anniversaries for June

Pastor Dan – Jun 1 (First day as Pastor of PCL)

Come Worship With Us
This Sunday!
June 7, Trinity Sunday
On-line service only starting Sunday at 10 am
You can access the service by Facebook or Zoom

This Week at PCL

  • Taizé (noon) every Tuesday & Thursday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Centering Prayer (noon) every Wednesday & Friday on Facebook & Zoom.
  • Bible & Bagels, Saturdays, at 8:30 am
  • If you have friends who don’t have a church home, please invite them to join in our on-line worship services, Bible studies, and prayer services.
  • Zoom Taizé Contemplative Prayer Service, Thursday, June 4 at 8 pm.

Worship & Other Opportunities

Facebook & Zoom

Sunday Service:
Meeting ID: 157 482 235
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Contemplative PrayerZoom https://us04web.zoom.us/j/72901374659?pwd=dTIzV3VHbURaWElUN3h0OTFHdHgzZz09

Meeting ID: 729 0137 4659
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Zoom Bible & Bagels

Zoom https://us04web.zoom.us/j/858942655?pwd=elZySVZEajZJWUlkUmNWdjVJSmVVQT09

Meeting ID: 858 942 655
Password: 84 85 69
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Tithes & Offerings

As we deal with shelter-in-place and are unable to meet physically as a congregation, we ask you to mail your offerings to the church office.

Office Update

I am back in the office for normal business hours. Please note that the church building will still be closed to everyone except the church staff for the foreseeable future. If you need to come into the building please call and make an appointment. When you come to the office, you must have a face mask. If you do not have one, one will be supplied to you. These rules have been placed in effect for the protection of the staff and the PCL congregation.

As soon as the church becomes safe to reopen and hold services we will let you know.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented time.

Pastor Dan and the staff of PCL.

PCL Re-Opening

The Presbytery Re-Opening Task Force has scheduled two Zoom Q&A sessions to follow up on their letter which was sent on Friday, May 22. All are welcome. Please send an email to Barbara Smith at revdocbsmith@gmail.com to sign up.

Dates and Time:

  • Monday, June 8, 2020 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Re-Opening our church

At our last session meeting, Sunday, May 31, the session heard the recommendation from the session’s task force to re-open the church. Following the rationale and discussion, it was recommended and voted to have the building closed to the public and in-person worship until September; this will exclude church staff and Our House, Inc. renovations. In August the task force will evaluate as we move forward. The session didn’t take this action lightly and knows that this brings disappointment, but the health and safety of our members and friends is a witness to what Jesus asked us to do, “to love your neighbor as yourself.” As the task force was meeting, a task force on the Presbytery level was also discussing guidelines for churches in our Presbytery. Until we can meet in person, we will continue to worship, hold meetings, conduct Bible Study, and other fellowship opportunities using zoom and Facebook live streaming. Following is the guidance from Presbytery which includes a theological and science discussion. 

Excerpts from an Open Letter from the Presbytery

Dear Friends –
 
We pray that this correspondence finds you well and healthy amidst this unprecedented pandemic, quarantine, and heartbreaking loss in an ever-narrowing circle of connection. 
 
Our presbytery leaders, Warren McNeill and Barbara Smith, have been in touch with congregations and clergy since the beginning of this pandemic. They have shared recommendations on church building closures based on the directives of the CDC, and the States of New Jersey and New York, and compiled helpful articles from reputable sources on the Newark Presbytery website.
 
At its May 12 meeting, the Vision Accountability Board voted unanimously to create a task force to expand the conversations around reopening our church buildings. That task force is now comprised of Rev. Dr. Barbara Smith, Elder Warren McNeill, Rev. Maria Crompton (Elmwood), Rev. Dan Martian (Livingston), Elder Carlos Monteagudo, MD, MPH (Bloomfield Church on the Green) and Elder Tia Goss Sawhney, DrPH, FSA, MAAA (First Newark). On Thursday, May 21 the task force met via Zoom for in depth, thorough conversation, the basis of which we write to you today.
 
We know that some of our congregations are anxious to return to in-person worship in your church buildings. Others have taken official steps to continue only virtual worship into September and October. Some have said they don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person worship service until a vaccine is created. We have crafted today’s letter from both theological and scientific positions – which lead us to recommend that our church buildings remain closed and worship remain virtual until at least September 12.  Why?
 
THE THEOLOGY
When the Israelites were exiled in Babylon for 70 years, by necessity – and opportunity – they found new ways to live. They did not travel to their usual wells to dip water, or to their local temple to pray. But they still dipped water and they still prayed. And when it was time to begin their long journey back to their homeland, they knew that their new reality would be far different from their past. It was in the context of that journey to a new normal that Jeremiah shared the word of the Lord, which we find in Jeremiah 29:11 – “For surely I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” And the Israelites did have a new normal. From the descendants of that wandering, questioning, searching crowd, we have a Savior: Jesus.

Jesus, our Lord and our Savior, told us – as recorded in Matthew 22 – the greatest commandment is to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” By continuing our quarantine long after our patience wears thin, by continuing our virtual and building-less worship, by recognizing the unintended consequences of inadvertently spreading a deadly virus that is not going away anytime soon, we are loving our neighbor. We are – as Jesus did before us – caring for the other.
 
Quite honestly, this pandemic is one of the greatest evangelism opportunities we’ve had in forever. The Gospel message is being heard by greater numbers of people tuning in to our virtual services who were not in the habit of stopping by to sit in our pews. Yes, we are sad that we can’t hear the strains of “Holy, Holy, Holy” in our usual pew. Yes, we are sad that we can’t pass the peace of Christ with our friends. But yes, we are being morally and ethically responsible. And we are also being morally and ethically responsible to the cultural diversity that is Newark Presbytery as some communities in our midst are part of a demographic that is more greatly impacted than others.
 
God is present whether we are in our buildings or not. We know that. This pandemic has given us great opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we provide food to people whose pantries are bare. This pandemic has given us great opportunity to reach people we haven’t seen in years or ever – online. This pandemic has given us great opportunity to connect with colleagues and brothers and sisters across the Presbytery we might never have met – online. How will we be different after this pandemic ends?
 
But when will that be? 
 
As with everything with this novel corona virus, much is not known for certain and scientific guidance is made based on prior knowledge of other known and similar viruses and infectious diseases in general. It is not unusual for public health guidance to change based on emerging or additional scientific facts and observations on the ground. Any decisions to open up our churches and houses of worship will need to be informed by the best science that God has made possible for us to know. The following is a science primer.
 
THE SCIENCE
From a public health standpoint, the numbers tell the story. Let’s start with what we do know from the global experience of COVID-19 thus far. 
 
TREATMENT
Currently, there is NO cure and there is NO treatment for anyone becoming infected with COVID-19. There are only supportive therapies which aim at helping those infected survive their complications while their own bodies mount a defense against the illness.
 
There are dozens of potential cures and treatments in the pipeline, including vaccines, antibody harvesting and infusion, and medications. But NONE of these potential treatments have been shown to be effective or safe yet. 
 
There is consensus that the best cure will likely come in the form of a vaccine. However, a cautionary note: traditionally vaccines can be very hard to develop and manufacture, and there are examples of many viruses that have proven difficult to create vaccines for, including viruses that produce the common cold and even for the virus that causes HIV.
 
MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY

  • 70% of all individuals that get infected with COVID-19 will have a “mild case” and eventually recover.
  • 30% of all individual that get infected with COVID-19 will develop serious complications and require life-saving supportive treatment in a hospital. These complications include viral pneumonia, blood clots, renal failure, encephalitis.
  • 1-3% of those that get infected with COVID-19 will die from their complications.
  • 30-40% of those in high risks group (pre-existing conditions such as obesity, Hypertension, Diabetes, age >60) who become infected with COVID-19 will die.
  • Populations of color and those in low socio-economic groups have disproportionately high mortality and morbidity rates approximating those in high risk groups.
  • In spite previous guidance, COVID-19 can infect ALL age groups. More serious manifestations of the virus besides the lung findings are being reported in these populations. And even individuals who end up having only mild cases are still very contagious during their illness and can readily transmit the disease, especially amongst their close contacts, to others who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill.

 
Multiple organ systems are now known to be affected by the virus, most notably the lungs, the heart, the kidneys, the brain and the circulatory system, each producing a host of serious short and long-term effects. 
 
TRANSMISSION
The mode of transmission of COVID-19 is believed to be primarily though contact with the bodily fluids (carrying virus) of infected individuals (saliva, mucus, urine, feces) and the air the individuals exhale.  Specifically, this means:

1. Aerosol are very tiny liquid particles (from saliva, mucus, toilet water) that can carry the virus and can become suspended in the air for hours. This becomes a problem in enclosed spaces where the aerosol is produced but cannot be dispersed. High concentrations of aerosol are found in ICU settings where infected individuals are intubated and need to be suctioned routinely, a process that is known to produce aerosolized particles. It is also possible to produce aerosol when a person sneezes, coughs, sings, talks or flushes the toilet.

2. Droplets are much bigger particles compared to aerosol and are also produced in high quantities when sneezing, coughing, singing and talking. They can travel long distances in high velocity during these activities. The droplets don’t “hang” in the air like aerosols, but instead quickly drop to the ground and surrounding surfaces within a few seconds to minutes. Viral particles at high concentrations can be detected in these droplets for hours to days:

  • cardboard/ paper – 24 hours
  • steel/hard plastic – 3 days
  • moist foods – 5 days

PREVENTION
Until there is a cure or effective treatment, the best treatment is prevention.  
 
It is known that the virus can be “shed” in large quantities by infected individuals who are NOT showing any signs or symptoms of the illness (i.e., asymptomatic carriers) for as many as five days prior to their becoming ill. Those individuals who do become ill and develop symptoms (most commonly fever, shortness of breath, coughing) are known to be highly infectious while they have active symptoms. Recent studies suggest that the individuals who fully recover from COVID are no longer infectious as early as one week after full recovery (even if they still show traces of virus in their bodies and still test “positive” for the virus).
 
The goal of prevention is not eliminating ALL contact with the virus, that is virtually impossible. The non-immunocompromised body CAN probably handle and effectively eliminate a few dozen (or even hundreds) of viral particles that it is exposed to at once through activation of its regular immune system. But the typical body CANNOT handle exposure to thousands or even millions of viral particles at once. It is this intense “viral load” exposure that likely leads to illness. 
 
The goal of prevention then is to decrease the viral load to individuals as much as possible. With this in mind, the pillars of prevention become:
 
Social Distancing and Mask Wearing: This will greatly decrease the chance of viral transmission through airborne contact. Studies from the 1930’s revealed that the majority of droplets travel no more than 3 feet, so the standard guidance adopted by the CDC since then for droplet-born illnesses has been based on doubling this distance to 6 feet. Much more sophisticated studies recently reveal the particle can actually travel up to 20 feet if one introduces a small amount of wind speed effects to these experiments.
 
Contact Tracing and Testing: Because of the presence of asymptomatic carriers and the ubiquity of this virus, very little in the form of mass safe reentry can be accomplished without testing and contract tracing so that new infection outbreaks can be quickly identified and contained. Until then, re-opening may be possible only with small gatherings using clearly delineated and strict guidelines designed to decrease the spread of the virus in the general population and especially to high risk groups. Please remember: contract tracing brings into question the issues of privacy and a very real concern of protection for those among us who are undocumented.
 
Proper Hygiene and Food Handling: Since food is to be ingested, proper food handling practices are essential to prevent the spread of the disease.
 
The virus is known to require three types of molecules to be infectious: RNA, proteins, and lipids. High heat or alcohol can denature (destroy) proteins and RNA. Cooking foods at temperatures above 160 degrees can effectively deactivate the virus. Using sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol for surfaces that cannot be heated or washed is also effective. Lipid molecules are essentially “fat” molecules that can be effectively destroyed or contained using grease cutting soapy water. Washing objects with soapy water ends up being a very effective and readily available method to deactivate the virus.
 
Proper Hygiene and Cross Contamination: The CDC guidance continues to be to wash hands thoroughly and frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water, or when this is not available, sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. This is intended to decrease the viral load that an individual may introduce into their bodies without knowing when they touch surfaces containing droplets with the virus and then inadvertently touch their mouths, eyes or nose – common entry points for the virus. 
 
Very recently, new guidance from the CDC based on new scientific evidence suggest that the virus may not be as infectious from surface contact as previously believed. This data is evolving, and the CDC still says it is possible to contract the disease through cross contamination and are therefore still advising frequent hand washing. 
 
Until the science is clear, we must be meticulous about avoiding cross contamination. That will mean disinfecting or washing high touch surfaces or objects frequently, so that “contact” doesn’t happen inadvertently over time (example: once every four hours in work places). Importantly, glove wearing is ONLY effective as long as the gloves remain uncontaminated. Once a glove touches an infected surface, it too will become the cause of cross contamination and should be discarded. 
 
CURRENT STATUS
Based on the facts above, prior to the lockdown the US was on track to experience between 1-3 million deaths from COVID-19 as the pandemic swept unhindered across the country. This unspeakable tragedy has been largely averted (or perhaps only delayed) by the sacrifice and efforts of everyone staying at home and keeping social distance. But in spite of these measures, we have surpassed 100,000 plus confirmed deaths from COVID-19 and that number will unquestionably climb and accelerate again as we remove the only effective barrier – the lockdown – that we have at our disposal to slow down the spread of this disease. (As a point of comparison, the influenza virus causes 30-60,000 deaths per year – a large number yes- but WITHOUT having to institute a lockdown).
 
When we as a society begin to reopen, it is clear that the death rates will again mount and our healthcare and economic systems will be additionally strained. There is nothing that has fundamentally changed in our society and communities, from a medical and public health perspective, compared to when COVID-19 first entered our community. Our bodies are still as vulnerable. The disease is still as highly infectious and lethal. 

We are more aware and informed, yes. And that is a good thing. But we are also showing signs as a society of becoming emotionally fatigued and depleted, and possibly reckless because of it. There will be unquestionable short- and long-term consequences of the social isolation, social distancing, and economic hardships that we are still only beginning to understand and grapple with. No question. But Jesus’s commands that we address basic life and death issues ahead of all else.
 
CONCLUDING RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUMMARY STATEMENTS
We cannot open in the short-term. Why?

  • Large gatherings and faith-based services are not yet allowed — it’s the law of New Jersey and Newark.
  • Even the small gatherings that will soon be permitted under eased restrictions may be rescinded if COVID cases increase due to the eased restrictions.

If eased restrictions go well and COVID cases don’t increase, large gatherings and faith-based services might be allowed by July 1 or thereafter. But we should not open then. Why?

  • COVID cases “not increasing” is not the same as COVID not being in our community — COVID is in our community and will continue to be in our community for the foreseeable future.
  • Many of our members, including our elderly members, are particularly vulnerable to COVID
  • Our worship traditions (e.g. passing the peace, singing) and worship spaces (e.g. poorly ventilated bathrooms, less the rigorous cleaning) are conducive to virus transmission. To sing a joyful noise could literally kill someone.
  • It only takes one person to make many people sick — a person who may not have any symptoms him/herself.
  • Churches should preserve and not endanger health and life.

We will need time beyond July –

  • To ascertain that COVID cases are not only not increasing, but continuing to decline in our community, hopefully to near zero — this requires that we wait at least 30 days after large group gatherings are allowed.
  • To make changes to our worship traditions, cleaning processes, and even physical buildings to reduce the chance of virus transmission.
  • For our congregants to gain faith that they can join us for worship without fearing for their lives.
  • The time and care that will be involved for church leaders to develop policies, communicate those policies, and develop action plans to enforce those policies.


JUST BECAUSE WE CAN DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE SHOULD
While we are likely to have insurance coverage should we open sooner rather than later and someone dies, we don’t want either the moral responsibility or potential years of litigation. Barbara has been in touch with our insurance agent – Brown and Brown. Richard Rhinehart, Vice President Religious Organization Team, writes – “In the event the church reopens & someone comes down with COVID-19, suit could possibly be brought by that individual. The church board, ultimately, is the decision-making body of the church & therefore, the ones making the decision to reopen in the first place. The Directors, Officers & Trustees liability portion of the package policy will respond to this particular suit since the claim would be viewed as a “wrongful act” on the part of the board. The policy will respond for both defense as well as any judgement rendered up to the policy limit.”

SO WHAT CAN WE DO? LOTS!
We already are building virtual communities as we gather with our local congregational communities for Sunday coffee hour. The presbytery offers a weekly Zoom happy hour on Wednesdays at 5:00 pm. One congregation watched a movie together. Others are doing their prayer meetings and Bible Studies via zoom – and having a higher turnout! Another church has a sacred music hour on Sunday evenings – you can sing along at home! Just because you can’t gather in the same space doesn’t mean you can’t be face to face! The leadership of another church regularly reaches out to every member to ask if they need assistance, to give encouragement, and to pray. And when needs are identified, they literally deliver. 
 
You are already doing a great job with virtual worship! How about teaming up with worship and give your pastors a bit of a break? For instance, Central Montclair and Bloomfield already have a relationship with Holy Week services.  One-week David Noble preaches and the Bloomfield congregation tunes in. The next week Ruth Boling preaches and the Central congregation tunes in. What if 12 different congregations worked together for the summer and each took a week? 
 
Camp Johnsonburg has put together Camp in a Box. What if a group of churches got together virtually and shared VBS?  
 
If nothing else, this pandemic has made real the fact that our virtual presence must continue. Take this time to upgrade your technology – audio and video. 
 
Start thinking about Stewardship and your 2021 budget.
 
Make plans for the Fall/Winter that don’t require you to be in person. Since this situation is always in flux, the chances are very real that we may be away from our buildings much longer than we currently anticipate, or may reopen only to have to close again.  

We leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians [2-3b-4] – “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” 
 
Faithfully,
 
Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Smith
Transitional Director of Presbytery Ministries

Elder Warren C. McNeill
Stated Clerk
 
Rev. Maria Crompton
Elmwood United Presbyterian Church 


Elder Carlos Monteagudo, MD, MPH
Bloomfield Church on the Green
 
Rev. Dan Martian
Presbyterian Church of Livingston

Elder Tia Goss Sawhney, DrPH, FSA, MAAA
First Presbyterian Church Newark

As all are aware, the COVID-19 Pandemic and Stay in Place Orders have had an unimaginable impact on our economy. Unfortunately, the shut-down, lay-offs, furloughs, and business closures have affected many in our local community and beyond. In Livingston, Neighbors Helping Neighbors has been helping an ever-rising number of families in need. Their counterparts at food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Northern New Jersey are experiencing an unprecedented demand that they just cannot meet.

Working with Neighbors Helping Neighbors and other groups, including the Livingston Clergy Council, the Membership of the Livingston Fire Department is organizing food donation drops that will be held once a month for the foreseeable future in an effort to ensure that supplies never run out. We are certain that our community will rise to the occasion and help. Most everyone can pick up a few extra items at the supermarket while shopping.

Please join us in this effort! Our initial collection dates and times are listed below. To ensure the safety of all, residents will be able to pull up, unlock the trunk, rear hatch, or rear doors and the donations can be removed without anyone exiting their vehicle.

Saturday June 6th    11:00 AM-4:00 PM

Sunday June 7th      11:00 AM-4:00 PM

Livingston Town Hall

357 South Livingston Avenue

All donations should be canned/boxed non-perishable foods. Some popular suggested items are listed:

CerealCanned
Fruits
Apple SauceOatmeal
Peanut ButterJellyTomato SauceKids’ Snacks
Baked BeansCanned VegetablesRiceGranola Bars
Canned ChickenChicken Noodle SoupCanned SoupBreakfast Bars
Laundry DetergentMac and CheeseDish DetergentNapkins
Paper PlatesPlastic UtensilsBoxed PastaWater/Soda

Together, we can help others get through this difficult time…..