PASTOR’S PONDERINGS—PSALMS & COVID
I remember reading through the Bible as a young adult, and finding a lot I loved in the Psalms. However, I remember being perplexed by so many psalms where an enemy was clearly in pursuit or death seemed inevitable, before God intervened.
For example Psalm 13: 2-4:
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts, and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. ”
This reality was not my own. I felt disconnect and almost pity for this person whose life experience was so different from mine. But after over a year of a pandemic, I am feeling closer to this person praying for God to intervene, for the tense and dangerous situation to be over. Replace “enemy” with “Covid” and it works pretty well.
This has been a time of learning just how much of life is out of our control. For even now when many restrictions are about to be lifted in California and many breathe the sigh of relief, “We made it !! ”– we know this is not the reality in other places. And variants to the virus are having truly awful consequences when they are more contagious and more deadly. I just heard an expert say, depending on how many of us get vaccinated and other factors as well, we may all need to return to masks and distancing measures next winter.
I don’t want to sound so negative. I would love to be pronouncing the end of this and shout for joy, I truly would. I know the constant uncertainty really wears on us as individuals and as a society. There are real mental health effects causing another level of damage to many because of this, the anxiety caused and amplified because of what might happen is real.
But what we learn from the psalms is that we don’t have to only dwell on the uncertainty of the present or the unknown of the future. We declare all that’s on our heart to God; we cry out “How long?!” and then maybe we can also look back and see how God has been with us so far. Then we can rejoice and be glad, not because we know what will happen six months from now, but because we know God’s steadfast love.
Psalm 13 goes on to say:
“But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise; for He has been good to me.”
The pain and suffering caused by this pandemic is real. But also real is God’s love for us and God’s presence with us through all things. And so we can lean into all that is possible, knowing we dwell in the palm of God’s hand.
Peace and joy be with you, Beloved !!
JOYS AND CONCERNS AMONG OUR CHURCH FAMILY
Please continue to pray for cancer warriors Michael dela Montanya, Jacob dela Montanya, Gerard Laquerrier (friend of John and Pat), Linda Gourley (friend of Mary Esmay), Irene Pasillas (Open Gate Ministries), Isaac (Robert Serios’ co-worker), John Lown (Andy’s father-in-law), and Chase Glosier.
Please keep Phyllis Martzen, Lisa Delgado, John and Pat dela Montanya, Romeo and Norma Lozano, Rosalinda Vasquez and her family, Kay Hayakawa, Florence Brayfield, Porras family, Marcia Williams, Katherine Rodriguez and her family, Lupe Gonzales, Patty Gonzales (Avila), Terry and Nancy McKittrick; Nancy’s in-laws Kay and Lee; Fred Esmay (Pastor Michelle’s step-dad), Cherry Cadiente, Wilma Conner, Bette Crawford, Sandy Hansen, Bill Allen, Dinuba Youth for Christ, Cruising for Jesus, Open Gate Ministries; and all those affected during the COVID-19 pandemic in your prayers.
Hearty congratulations to Lisa Delgado who received the Kingsburg Public Service Award on May 14 for preparing and delivering 40,000 Senior lunches during the COVID pandemic lockdown !!
Congratulations to our sister Nancy McKittrick who will have an article published in the August /September 2021 issue of Guideposts magazine which she wrote about her pandemic resolution to call people on their birthday !! Your editor can personally attest to the joy Nancy’s resolution has brought to others during the COVID pandemic lockdown !!
Warmest congratulations to Ramόn Oyervidez and Aydé Garza who were married May 22, 2021, in McAllen, Texas !!
Congratulations to Analicia Avila, who is graduating from Golden West High School in Visalia !!
NEWS BITS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE 2021
Pastor Michelle will live-stream her Sunday sermons on Facebook at 10:30 AM (more information enclosed), and she will be leading three English “Grace Groups” via ZOOM and Spanish Grace Group via conference call. Old Testament Bible Study convenes on Wednesdays at 11:00 via conference call. Prayer Group meets on Thursdays. Ad Council will meet Wednesday, June 23 , at 1:30 PM via ZOOM.
We’re excited! We’ll have outdoor, in-person worship three times in June. We will be allowed to sing if we strictly follow the health and safety protocols, even those who are vaccinated: Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose, and remain six feet away from people you aren’t related to !! RSVP Marian Clifton 834-5135 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s our calendar of services:
|June 6||Lozano’s & online||Pastor Michelle; also Holy Communion||In person – no Zoom|
|June 13||Online only||Pastor Michelle||Zoom only|
|June 20||Lozano’s & online||Fritz Meier of Gleaning for the Hungry||In person – no Zoom|
|June 27||Lozano’s & online||Derek Fujinaga||In person – no Zoom|
|July 4 (Pastor Michelle vacation)
|Online: Visalia UMC service: https://www.facebook.com/The-Methodist-Church-104692397916790
Note: change of time – service begins at 9:15 AM
|Rev. Steve Creel||No coffee hour|
Our first in-person outdoor worship October 8, 2020, at Romeo and Norma Lozano’s backyard was attended by 29 people; our second in-person service on November 15 was attended by 43 people; and our third in-person service on December 20 was attended by 36 people; our fourth in-person worship on January 10, 2021, was attended by 38 people; our fifth in-person worship service on April 25 was attended by 30 people; our sixth in-person outdoor worship service on May 9 was attended by 25 people; our seventh in-person outdoor worship service on May 23 was attended by 26 people.
WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH PASTOR MICHELLE
(805) 233-5796 – email@example.com
I would like to apologize for any calls or texts I may have missed between May 18 and 19 as I had some trouble with my phone. I have lost some contact information and am working on getting it put back in. But my cell phone continues to be the best way to reach me, and please know that you can call me; I would love to hear from you !! Let me know how I can pray for you and if you would like a visit !! (I will continue to wear a mask indoors for the foreseeable future, and I have received the Covid Vaccine.)
For pastoral care while I am on vacation between June 14 and July 9, you may reach out to Pastor Neal Harris of Reedley UMC (559) 393-2260.
Other than that, Mondays continue to be my day off. If you have not yet checked out our website and Facebook page, please do so !!
Desiree Domingo and Eduardo Espino send sincere thanks to their Palm Church family for the generous baby-themed gift basket !! Anthony’s baby brother is due in July.
God continues to call us to thankfully be good stewards of all we have received. Please remember, even though we aren’t presently using our facility, we still have bills to pay: salaries, utilities, insurance, etc. Your tithes and offerings are VERY important !! Snail-mail (USPS) still works, and now we have the convenient option of online giving through our web-site or Facebook !! Give it a try – SEE OUR NEW GIVING PAGE. Thank you !!
If you have email and you aren’t already receiving the Palm Church newsletter electronically, please consider sharing your email address with us. We want to keep you informed of what is going on with Palm Church; we also want to be responsible citizens of the earth. Please be aware that it costs approximately $ .95 to print and mail every paper copy. THANK YOU !! firstname.lastname@example.org
ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICES
HOW TO LISTEN TO PALM CHURCH 10:30 am SUNDAY SERVICES
JUNE 6, 13, and 27
“LIVE” through Zoom using a phone for audio only
1. Dial 1-669-900-6833 OR 1-346-248-7799
2. After prompt, enter Meeting I.D. 901-220-3185, and hit #
3. After prompt, hit # again, Option—Try Speaker Phone
LISTEN AND VIEW PALM CHURCH 10:30 A.M. SUNDAY SERVICES
every week on FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM (except July 4)
(even if you aren’t a member of Facebook !!)
or you can watch a previous Sunday service.
If Facebook Livestream is not working, try Zoom Dial-in or the Zoom Meeting Link above.
If you get the Log-in Window, Click on “Not Now.”
► When the Live Video appears, click on the red LIVE button
Please leave a Facebook comment (If using a computer, click on video to open the Comments field) or click on an “Emoji Bubble,” or send Pastor Michelle a text (805-233-5796), OR send Marian an email (email@example.com) for the purpose of attendance record.
Fritz Meier (Gleanings for the Hungry) will speak outdoor in-person on June 20, 10:30 am, at Norma Lozano’s back yard; Derek Fujinaga will preach outdoor in-person on June 27.
Optional service you can log onto July 4: Reverend Steve Creel, Visalia UMC —
TO PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR FOLLOWING THE SERVICE “LIVE” through Zoom using computer or smart phone (or audio only—see instructions above for dial-in, hit * 6 to un-mute yourself)
Join Zoom Meeting—
(Only available on June 13)
OPEN GATE MINISTRIES ON-GOING NEEDS
511 North “K” Street, Dinuba 559-591-1241
Feminine Products and Diapers
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Lotion, Shampoo, and Hairbrushes
Coffee and Creamer
Juice and Children’s Snacks
Ziploc Bags (quart and gallon size)
Aluminum Foil / Paper Grocery Bags
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Socks and Pajamas- All sizes
JUNE 2021 WORSHIP TASKS
Greeters / Ushers
It has been good to be with you for outdoor worship. Thanks to everyone for maintaining distance, wearing masks, and observing all the health and safety protocols so we can care well for one another !!
The next in-person outdoor worship is scheduled for Sunday, June 6 at 10:30 AM at Norma and Romeo Lozano’s backyard. It is important to RSVP so we can let you know if the date is changed!! If you plan to attend the next in-person outdoor service, please RSVP Marian Clifton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 843-5135.
Please continue to consider your own health and safety before attending an outdoor in person worship service.
We will continue with online worship via Facebook Livestream and Zoom at the regular time 10:30 AM and the Zoom coffee hour. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in sharing Christ wherever you are.
In Christ’s Love and Peace,
Newsletter Editor: Marian Clifton
Worship Bulletin Editor: Kathy Lamb
Webmaster: Sandy Hansen
Office Hours: Tues./Thurs 10:30-4:00
Office Phone: 559-591-0746
Listen to Pastor Michelle’s sermons at –
Church Location: Tulare and “P” Streets
Sunday Service: 10:30 AM—Facebook Livestream and Zoom Worship
Palm Church Administrative Council
Nancy McKittrick–Assistant Treasurer
Susan Yoshimura–Education Chair, SPRC co-Chair, Ad Board Chair
Jerry Munson—Finance Chair, Financial Secretary
Janice Serios—UMW President, Youth co-Chair, SPRC co-Chair
Marian Clifton—Missions co-Chair, co-Recording Secretary
Aiko Takeda—Missions co-Chair
Katherine Rodriguez—Outreach Chair, Youth co-Chair
Cathy Yada—co-Recording Secretary
Derek Fujinaga—Lay Leader, Annual Conference Delegate
Philip Martzen—Trustees Chair
Pastor Michelle Magee—Nominations Chair
Norma Lozano—Worship Chair