Posts by Andy Tokar

5 Items

Please Worship Today

by Andy Tokar

Friends, Once again we must worship in a place other than our church sanctuary.  I again have attached the “Taking Faith Home” document to guide you in daily worship and prayer this week.  I also am sending out in a separate email the audio file for today’s sermon.  The sermon will be put on the website but until it is uploaded to the site you may use the file and download it to your computer. This is the Fifth Sunday of Lent – I ask that you read the scriptures for this week on your own.  If you have prayer needs or pastoral needs, as always please contact me.  I pray that everyone is well and safe. God’s peace and blessings be with you all, Pastor Sean Readings: Hebrew Lesson – Ezekiel 37:1-14 Psalm 130 Epistle Lesson – Romans 8:6-11 Gospel Lesson – John 11:1-45

Church Service Cancellation

by Andy Tokar

Good Afternoon Church Family,        With the continuation of the spread of the coronavirus, Pastor Sean and I decided to cancel church again this Sunday, March the 22nd.  Most churches in the area are cancelling services in consideration of the Governor’s and local official’s announcements regarding public health safety.  As the news about the virus evolves, we will decide next week about future cancellations.         As with last week, please call anyone not on this e-mail list who may need to know.          Pastor Sean sent an e-mail yesterday, that he is available to anyone who wants to contact him for pastoral needs, and that he will be sending out e-mail messages during the week and will try to post an audio message for Sunday.        In light of cancelling church on Sundays, you can imagine that our church giving suffers.  You can also understand that our weekly church expenses continue as normal.  I strongly encourage you to continue to contribute your church offering during this time.  We’ve already had at least one member mail in their offering, and I hope now that all of us will continue to support our church during this trying time.  Please mail your offering to Trinity UCC, 101 East Main Street, Thurmont, MD  21788, or you may drop it off in the Center Street alley door mail slot, or downstairs to the kitchen crew in the mornings.  Thank you so much for supporting our church congregation family at this time.       Have a safe and blessed week. Ross

Peace Be Still

by Andy Tokar

A Message from Pastor Sean – “Peace! Be Still!” March 18, 2020 Matthew 4:35-41 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”  Jesus asks this of his disciples after he was awaken from his rest during a storm while crossing the lake.  It may feel as if you are caught in the raging windstorm that we know as the COVID 19 virus as you try to stay calm and navigate your way through the waves of the unknown.  But just as Jesus commanded the sea to be still and the wind ceased and all became calm, this too shall pass and once again calm will be restored and our “normalcy” will return, so do not be afraid and have faith in God.  Having faith does not mean however, that there will not be rough waters that will have to be navigated.  In fact, we are in the midst of the storm and the waves very likely may get stronger and higher before they subside, but beneath the surface, below the rough waves, the water is calm.  Have you ever been in the ocean at the beach and a wave is approaching?  If you stand there, the wave will crash over you and send you tumbling topsy turvy as you try to make your way back to the surface and catch your breath.  But if, as the wave is approaching, you dive under the wave, you find that the wave washes over top of you and in fact, the water under the wave is calm.  As we are all urged (commanded) to practice social distancing and to stay in our homes, I think of that analogy. The COVID 19 virus is like a wave that is crashing over us, but we can dive under that wave by staying in the relative safety and calmness of our homes (I know some of you have children at home so it is not so calm – but you get the idea). It is in the calmness, away from the crashing waves, that Jesus offers us stillness and peace. I urge you to take some time each day while you are home to engage in a spiritual practice or two that will help to bring you stillness and peace.  Turn off the news and read some scripture or inspirational literature, pray, meditate, get outside and enjoy the fresh air, immerse yourself in the beauty of God’s creation, sing, listen to music – do whatever it is that brings you “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.”  At the conclusion of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus leaves us with these words – “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” May God’s peace and blessings be with you all, Pastor Sean

Grace and Peace to you all

by Andy Tokar

As things have intensified with the virus and restrictions, I know that many people are fearful, anxious, frustrated, and on and on. I want you to know that as your pastor, I am still here for you and available by telephone, text and email. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any pastoral needs. I will also be sending out short messages several times a week which I will also have posted on our website. I plan to do an audio message (once I figure out how to do it) and hope to have it posted on Sunday. I leave you with these words – I hope you find comfort in them. Love and blessings, Pastor Sean 301-606-3632