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Pastor's Blog

  • stmatthewsnoho

Love and Fear

As you read this I am traveling back to Los Angeles from my family vacation back in Massachusetts. Spending time in an area of the country where Covid-19 is comparatively under control reminds me that WE CAN DO THIS! Together as people of faith, hope and discipline we can help our communities in California likewise achieve a place of relative public health.

It is summer in the city! And we have moved our Sunday morning worship out-of-doors onto our terrace. This move makes it possible for us to continue to safely hold and livestream our live worship gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also means that starting next week we can welcome a small group of worshipers to join us under the tent for worship. Please see instructions below for reserving a seat on an upcoming Sunday. For our outside worship we will be praising God with some familiar hymns, many from the American and African American traditions. Please sing along with the music found in your bulletin as we will not be regularly using screen projection of words. You will also notice that our summertime worship might have an even more relaxed and playful feel as we seek to embody the joy and hope of our faith, even in the midst of trying times.

The author of the letters of John writes: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love” (1 John 4:18). The love of God is a gift that not only makes us whole, but also serves as the antidote to fear. In our worship this summer, I will be focusing on finding ways to lift up how God’s love is available to us, embodied for us, and empowers us to witness to God’s love in the world. As you participate in worship, wrap your heart, your mind, and your soul around this gift of love. Make it the center of your life. Make it the center of our life together. And we will see love prevail. For not evil or death or suffering has the last word. Only God. God has the last word, and love will triumph.

Join me in praying: Jesu, Jesu fill us with your love! And rejoice in the most precious gift of God.


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