Saturday, July 11, 2020

Worship Info for 7.12.20

As you probably noticed, we didn't send out a Midweek Connection this past week.  We are in South Dakota visiting family for a Hudson Family reunion.  But we did record a couple of worship services before we left!  The joy of technology.

Here is the link to Sunday's service:  https://youtu.be/aIr4XAogqEs

Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Annette's brother Craig
  • Prayers for Carlene as she recovers from shoulder surgery
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Flo and Bill as they make some life transitions
  • Prayers for Sam's broken heels
  • Thanksgiving for Sherry's double lung transplant; continued prayers for complete healing. 
  • For Union County; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
  • For racial justice and peace in our nation
  • An end to violence in all its forms
  • The family of Lucy and Tony for health concerns
We won't have a Zoom Coffee Hour for Sunday as we will be traveling.

Stay tuned for information about the drive through communion on July 19.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Correct service for 7.5.20

Here is the link to the correct service! Thank you, Mary Helen for catching that!

https://youtu.be/ZpOiaD_OCdY

Worship Info 7.5.20

Good morning, Saints!  Here is the link for Sunday's Worship Service:

Please excuse the couple of times there are 'odd' things happening with the video.  While recording with the phone, we were also recording (and playing) with our Mevo camera we hope to use into the future with recording and live streaming worship.  Well, someone (Keith) forgot to hit record on the phone and we discovered that after we were done.  So we watched the Mevo recording and decided it was okay enough so we didn't have to do it again.  A couple times it shows just the piano or someone's shoulder.  And it was also following movement so at times when people are talking, it moves a little bit.  Ah, technology.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Worship Info for 6.28.20

Good morning, Saints!  Here is the link for Sunday's Worship Service:


Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Annette's brother Craig
  • Prayers for Carlene as she recovers from shoulder surgery
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Flo and Bill as they make some life transitions
  • Prayers for Sam's broken heels
  • Thanksgiving for Sherry's double lung transplant and excellent recovery so far; continued prayers for complete healing. 
  • For Union County; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
  • For racial justice and peace in our nation
  • An end to violence in all its forms
  • The work of the PC(USA) in General Assembly
Zoom Coffee Hour  will happen at 10 am on Sunday, link is below. 
  • Please mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom room.  We will be trying to facilitate the flow of conversation, and muting yourself when you are not talking is helpful. 
  • We will allow free-flow conversation later in the meeting, but at first we will invite you to share briefly with each other in relation to this question, "How is your soul?" We will start and then share the opportunity to speak by mutual invitation.
  • We will close no later than 11 am with prayer
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87261513822?pwd=dDZuRFdmc1pVSmpDUXVHZ2VXZDcyZz09

Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
Password: 009418
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Midweek Connection 6.23.20

Hi, Friends-Grace and Peace to You!  Here is our Midweek Connection for this week:


Here is the slide show/video of Keith's trip to Israel in February referred to in the Midweek Connection:

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Worship For 6.21.20

Here is the link for Sunday's Worship servicehttps://youtu.be/27aVLzdySOM

Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Annette's brother Craig
  • Prayers for Carlene as she recovers from shoulder surgery
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Flo and Bill as they make some life transitions
  • Prayers for Sam's broken heels
  • Thanksgiving for Sherry's double lung transplant and excellent recovery so far; continued prayers for complete healing. 
  • For Union County; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
  • For racial justice and peace in our nation
  • An end to violence in all its forms
Zoom Coffee Hour  will happen at 10 am on Sunday, link is below. 
  • Please mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom room.  We will be trying to facilitate the flow of conversation, and muting yourself when you are not talking is helpful. 
  • We will allow free-flow conversation later in the meeting, but at first we will invite you to share briefly with each other in relation to this question, "How is your soul?" We will start and then share the opportunity to speak by mutual invitation.
  • We will close no later than 11 am with prayer
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87261513822?pwd=dDZuRFdmc1pVSmpDUXVHZ2VXZDcyZz09

Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
Password: 009418
One tap mobile
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Dial by your location
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        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
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Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
Password: 009418
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbYGRRWTnU

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Be Angry But Do Not Sin...

In the June 17th Midweek Connection video, we talked about how the heat of anger and the sadness of grief are human emotions God has given us. Look at the Psalms. Psalm 137 shares the story of a nation in exile. In their sorrow, they cannot imagine singing the Lord’s song along the river of Babylon.  Infuriated by their circumstances,they want to see their oppressors suffer as they have suffered. They express these feelings freely to God; we are also invited to express ourselves. 
As Christians, we recognize that we have choices about how to express these feelings in our words and deeds. Particularly in anger, the Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephisians 4:26 to “be angry but do not sin.” Paul knows that our anger can lead to serious negative consequences. Anger is a fire that can burn a house down--but fire can also cook a meal!  God calls us to respond to our anger in ways that glorify God. We are not to cause others harm with our words or deeds, but to find ways to build up our community. 

What might that look like?  Here are a few ideas we have come up with:

Pray: Right now, there are a lot of hurt, scared people in our community.  Pray that God’s comfort and Christ’s peace surround them during this time.  Ask God how might God be calling you to share peace and comfort with those who have been impacted by this turbulent time?  How might your prayers be made manifest in and through you?

Give: Give a gift to the church in honor or in memory of your father for Father’s Day.  Your gift can go towards our General Fund or designate it to something. Two possibilities include the Youth Fund, so that next year our youth can do something that enriches their faith. Another is the Prayer Garden. Just before the pandemic hit, we were working on landscaping plans to make the space outside the sanctuary a beautiful place people can connect with God and creation. Note your specific designation on or with your gift. 

Support: Send letters of encouragement to our local law enforcement and/or the Union County Incident Management Team.  During the local protests in response to the death of George Floyd, the Police Department responded professionally and safely to an incident involving an armed protester who assaulted a police officer.  Also, the Union County Incident Management Team has been working countless hours in response to the Covid 19 outbreak.  Everyone likes to know that people notice and appreciate their hard work! Let’s support their efforts on behalf of our community.  The Management Team’s address is 1106 K Avenue.  La Grande Police/Sheriff’s Dept address is 1109 K Avenue. 

Connect: Reach out to one another in phone calls and cards. Connect with your neighbors, with proper precautions to protect each other, of course! Make some bread or cookies and pass them on to a neighbor you haven’t seen in awhile. People are isolated and afraid. You can be the calming presence of Christ in their lives. Wear a mask as a gift of loving your neighbor. 

Do you have other ideas that can help our church respond during this fearful time in ways that glorify God?  Let us know!  Know that God in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is holding you and this community in the palm of His hands. 

In Christ, 

Pastors Keith and Laura

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

FPC La Grande Midweek Connection 6.17.20

Hi, Friends-Here is the link to this week's Midweek Connection.  We had to upload this on the phone so there aren't the pictures of our lovely stained glass this week.  Just us!

https://youtu.be/AiYTGhhw5T4

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In Person Worship Update

My how things have changed quickly!  Due to the recent Covid 19 outbreak in Union County, the Worship Committee, on behalf of Session, has decided that in-person worship will not start this Sunday as planned.  There will be no in-person services until further notice as we take the time to assess what this increase in cases may mean for us.  Our main concern is for your safety, and the health and well-being of the community.  We will continue to offer online services to those who are on the internet, and mailing sermons and information to those who are not.

            The church office will also remain closed for the time being.  Feel free to call or email to set up an appointment with Keith, Laura, or Donna.  If you need to meet in person, please wear a mask.

            We encourage you to continue taking care of yourself and pray for the community.  Reach out to one another and show the love of Christ through phone calls and cards.    Additional health information can be found at https://www.chdinc.org/

Blessings,

Pastors Keith and Laura and Your Worship Committee

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Worship for 6.14.20

Here is the link for Sunday's Worship servicehttps://youtu.be/wzFpbPb9yD8

Many thanks to Roberta Smythe who did the editing and uploading this week.
And thanks to Mary Helen for some wonderful music!

Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Annette's brother Craig
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Flo and Bill as they make some life transitions
  • Prayers for Sam's broken heels
  • Thanksgiving for Sherry's double lung transplant and excellent recovery so far; continued prayers for complete healing. 
  • For Union County; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
  • For racial justice and peace in our nation
  • An end to violence in all its forms
Zoom Coffee Hour  will happen at 10 am on Sunday, link is below. 
  • Please mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom room.  We will be trying to facilitate the flow of conversation, and muting yourself when you are not talking is helpful. 
  • We will allow free-flow conversation later in the meeting, but at first we will invite you to share briefly with each other in relation to this question, "Where have you seen God this week?" We will start and then share the opportunity to speak by mutual invitation.
  • We will close no later than 11 am with prayer
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87261513822?pwd=dDZuRFdmc1pVSmpDUXVHZ2VXZDcyZz09

In Person Worship Reminder

Hi, Friends-a reminder that we are tentatively resuming in-person worship June 21, not tomorrow. 

Remember this is tentative.  We are monitoring the upswing in Covid cases in Union County very closely.  If our plans change, we will let you know ASAP.  Keep an eye on your emails and Facebook for announcements.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Plan to Return to In-Person Worship



June 9, 2020

Dear Family in Christ of First Presbyterian Church,

The Session has tentatively set a date of Sunday, June 21st at 9:30 AM for a return to in-person worship.  Why “tentatively”?  Although we as a county have entered Phase 2, we are monitoring the situation daily and know things can change.  The Center for Disease Control states that worship “gatherings present a risk for increased spread of COVID-19.”  As our church considers resuming public activities, please know that we will do so through a careful process, with an abundance of caution and concern for those who are most vulnerable, upon consideration of the best scientific knowledge at our disposal, in the spirit of constant prayer, and with full trust in the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Once we open the church for in-person worship, there will surely be awkward moments as we adjust to new protocols and practices. Things will look and be different!  We will have countless opportunities to exercise the spiritual gifts of patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control, with the knowledge that these strange times will not last forever; faith and hope will always be ours through our belief in Jesus Christ.
Some changes need to be made in the way we conduct worship in order to keep people safe from contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. 
The Session has approved the following changes to our worship services from June 21-July 12.  In early July we will review and adjust these measures as necessary.
  1. The Session STRONGLY urges people who are feeling ill or recovering from an illness to stay home until they are completely recovered.
  2. Those who are at risk due to existing health issues should decide whether they feel safe attending worship.  Recorded or online services will continue to be available.  
  3. Worship services will be outside on the front yard near the corner of 6th and Washington.  Please bring your own lawn chairs for you to sit on. We will have additional chairs for those who don’t have lawn chairs.  If there is a threat of inclement weather, service will be in the sanctuary.
  4. When we sit outside, we ask you to arrange yourselves to allow for 6 feet social distancing. When we are inside, every other pew will be roped off to help with social distancing.  Feel free to sit with family members or with those you are quarantining with.
  5. On June 21 and 28, all worship participants must wear masks if we worship inside. Outside, we encourage mask use also.  Please note there is soap in all restrooms and hand sanitizer will be placed in easy to access locations.  The church will have masks on hand in case someone forgets theirs.
  6. The church and especially the sanctuary and bathrooms will be sanitized before and after we worship.  We are being vigilant in our endeavor to keep things clean and sanitized for everyone’s safety.
  7. All hymnals, Bibles, pencils, and offering envelopes have been temporarily removed from the racks for safety reasons.
  8. Worship participants will be encouraged to refrain from hugging, handshaking or touching other persons before, during, or after the service.  During Passing of the Peace, you may bow or waive to your neighbors to share the peace of Christ.
  9. Scientific research shows that this virus is easily transmitted by airborne particles.  Therefore, we will need to temporarily refrain from congregational singing.
  10. An offering basket will be placed in a convenient location for your offering before or after the service.  We will not be passing the offering plates during the worship.
  11. We will temporarily suspend the use of ushers and Worship Leaders.
  12. We will temporarily not be using a bulletin.  The pastors will guide the congregation through the service.
  13. If we are indoors, the pastors will dismiss congregants by rows so people are not bunched at the door.
  14. There will not be Time with the Younger Church nor a Children’s Table.  The nursery will not be available the remainder of the summer.  Children will need to stay with their families.
  15. Fellowship refreshments will not be served during this time.  We encourage people to check in on each other after the service outside, always remembering to follow social distance guidelines.
  16. People are encouraged to use their home bathrooms before coming to church to minimize the use of the church restrooms.  Worship services will be shorter than usual.
  17. Weddings, funerals, and baptisms will require a discussion with the pastors to determine the safest ways to conduct these church functions.

Your Session, and especially your Worship Committee, is acting responsibly, faithfully, effectively, and with your best health and spiritual interests in mind.  We pray that everyone will understand our need to be cautious in our decision making and actions.  All the above measures are being initiated for your safety and the safety of those who worship with you.  Also, these protocols and decisions are subject to change and revision if the need arises.  The congregation will be kept updated on all decisions.
Let us remain faithful to God and to one another.  Let us be guided by the Word, responsive to the Spirit, and open to the grace of God.  Let us remember that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us at the church (541-963-5114) or call or text our cell (541-786-8281) or email us at pastorshudson@eoni.com

Christ’s Peace

Pastors Keith and Laura & the Session

Midweek Connection 6.10.20

Dear Friends-Here is the link to this week's Midweek Connection with a special trip to the Lester's iris garden:
https://youtu.be/X_DyeT_Rq1M

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Trinity Sunday Worship 6.7.20

Happy Trinity Sunday!

Here is the link for Sunday's Worship servicehttps://youtu.be/Q1yhoB6TNmE

Note: This week, a special treat, courtesy of our ecumenical collaboration with  Rev.Roberta Smythe and Zion Lutheran. Keith, Laura and Roberta preside in our local liturgy, but the sermon this week comes from the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton. The ELCA did not want the video released early on social media, however; for this reason, our video will not be available until 9:00pm Saturday night.

Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Annette's brother Craig
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Prayers for Sam's broken heels and upcoming surgery on them
  • Thanksgiving for Sherry's double lung transplant and excellent recovery so far; continued prayers for complete healing. 
  • For Union County as we enter "phase 2" reopening; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
  • For racial justice and peace in our nation
Zoom Coffee Hour  will happen at 10 am on Sunday, link is below. 
  • Please mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom room.  We will be trying to facilitate the flow of conversation, and muting yourself when you are not talking is helpful. 
  • We will allow free-flow conversation later in the meeting, but at first we will invite you to share briefly with each other in relation to this question, "Where have you seen God this week?" We will start and then share the opportunity to speak by mutual invitation.
  • We will close no later than 11 am with prayer
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87261513822?pwd=dDZuRFdmc1pVSmpDUXVHZ2VXZDcyZz09

Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
Password: 009418
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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Midweek Connection 6.3.20

Here is our Midweek connection from yesterday.  We have been working with some very slow upload speeds so it took longer than expected.  Next week we are getting an phone/internet upgrade through EONI so we will be able to upload faster for videos and it should greatly increase our opportunities to live stream to stay better connected to you!

https://youtu.be/59XxtLkKAFk

Also, a "Give Now" button has been added to the church website.  We have had a couple people who have had a tough time getting their info in for the online giving, so we going to see if there is a help number people can call to set up accounts and get that going.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Worship Info for 5.31.20 Pentecost

Happy Pentecost!

Here is the link for Sunday's Worship service: https://youtu.be/QsJAlt19qXA

Search "Day of Pentecost Worship 5.31.20 FPC, St.Peter's and Zion Lutheran" on YouTube to get there without clicking on this link. 

Special Pentecost Events: 
  • Blooming Pentecost Cross: On May 31st from 10am-5pm, you are invited to come to the church lawn at the corner of 6th and Washington to place flame-colored flowers or ribbons (red, yellow, orange) on the cross as a symbol of the Holy Spirit fire. Please park on the Washington Ave. side of the church between the hours of 10am-12pm because the PFC will be occupied.
  • Drive-Through Communion: On May 31st, from 10am-noon in the Presbyterian Friendship Center (PFC) parking lot, we will be distributing the Lord's Supper to recipients in your vehicles. The pastors will be taking every COVID precaution in giving out the elements. Please drive your vehicle into the PFC parking lot by way of the Spring Ave. entrance, and turn to the left out onto 6th St. as you exit to facilitate the flow of traffic.
  • If you cannot come to the drive-through communion, you are welcome to use your own bread and juice at home and partake the communion elements after the Eucharistic prayer in the video recording. 
Time with the Younger Church Message: Marie Baumgartner, our church nursery attendant, has recorded a message for our young and young-at-heart! Check it out at: 

Search "FPC La Grande Pentecost Children's Sermon" to get there without using the link. 

No Zoom Coffee Hour on May 31st. 

Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Annette's brother Craig
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Ongoing prayers for Sherry, recovering from lung transplant
  • For Union County as we enter "phase 1" reopening; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
  • For racial justice and peace in our nation
 
Pentecost is different this year--but nothing can stop the coming of the Holy Spirit!  We give thanks for you, the church community of First Presbyterian Church, Spirit-filled blessings that you are to the world! 

May Christ's peace fill you and uphold you. 
Pastors Keith and Laura Hudson

Thursday, May 28, 2020

On Line Giving

A great big thank you to all of you who continue to give financially to the church during these interesting times.  We know that the Holy Spirit is still working in and through our church even through we aren't meeting collectively yet.  We are working on plans for that and will keep you posted as things progress.

We wanted to let you know that the church now has an online giving option that is handled through the Presbyterian Foundation.  You can set up your giving through this option, your gift can be recurring or one-time.  Reports are sent to Ellen Barton.  At the end of the month, your gifts are transferred directly into our church General Fund Account.  Here is the link:

https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/Vanco_ver3.vps?appver3=wWsk24ZWJSTZKsGd1RMKlg0BDvsSG3VIWQCPJNNxD8upkiY7JlDavDsozUE7KG0nFx2NSo8LdUKGuGuF396vbY94pmlaj6JG5DLUCX0OYM4iYnTg5dP4O6rpX5QvPEWlBhHDN59kLZFffwKfYERpQq5DdWo2XBL3TFD3PRfAlb4=&ver=3

We will soon have a "Give Now" link on our website that will take people to that sight. Typically, the admin fee is 2% of your gift but right now it has been dropped to 1%.  There is an option to increase your gift to cover that fee so the church gets the entire amount you want to give.

We (the Hudson's) gave our June gift online and it worked very well.  Please note that the first page you go to on the link won't say First Presbyterian Church of La Grande.  At least not yet.  We are creating an image with the church name that will be put on that page soon.

As always, the opportunity to mail your gift to the church or drop it off at 1308 Washington is still available.

Again, thank you to continue supporting the life and ministry of First Presbyterian Church!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Midweek Connection 5.27.20

Here is today's Midweek Connection
https://youtu.be/QAR8CW9VQkc

Turn up your volume during the Bible presentations.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Prayer For Memorial Day

Thank you to all who have served our country.

Eternal God,
from whom all life comes, to whom all life returns,
we remember all who served our country in the military.
We remember and we give thanks.
We give thanks for sacrifices made and losses endured.
We give thanks for acts of courage, grace and hope.
We give thanks for our brothers and sisters who gave the full measure of devotion.
We give thanks for those we knew well and those we never met.
For the life, goodness, faith, courage, and love that was in each one, we give thanks.
We pray for our brothers and sisters who are recovering from wounds in body, mind, spirit, or soul.
Work healing in them in all the forms that healing takes.
We pray for those who provide care to them.
Show us ways that we can extend care and support.
We pray for families and friends and all who grieve for loved ones who have died.
Meet them in the valley of death's shadow.
Embrace them in the healing warmth of
your comfort, grace and love.
Grant them and all of us the assurance
that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whose name we pray.
May the day soon come when swords are beaten into plowshares, war is studied no more, and all peoples and your world will know peace.
May we work for that day.
We pray through Jesus Christ.
Amen.
- Mark Koenig

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Pentecost Plans May 31

We are excited to announce plans for our Pentecost worship celebration, which is next Sunday, May 31st (not tomorrow, which is May 24th, in case you are like me and a little lost in time during pandemic season 😊 ). 

First, an update on our worship plans in general. After reviewing the guidance from the Governor’s office, as well as from our individual denomination and congregational leadership, our congregation has decided not to have in-person worship until after Union County enters Phase Two. Exact dates and precautions are still being considered. 

So, we will be recording a Pentecost worship service and sending out the link. 
In addition, we are planning two special worship opportunities for May 31st"
  • Blooming Pentecost Cross: the outdoor Easter cross was such a joy, we have decided to bring it out again. On May 31st from 10am-5pm, you are invited to come to the church lawn at the corner of 6th and Washington to place flame-colored flowers or ribbons (red, yellow, orange) on the cross as a symbol of the Holy Spirit fire given to the disciples in Acts 2. 
Please park on the Washington Ave. side of the church if you come to the cross between the hours of 10am-12pm because the PFC will be occupied with the following event: 
  • Drive-Through Communion: On May 31st, from 10am-noon in the Presbyterian Friendship Center (PFC) parking lot, Pastors Keith and Laura and Roberta Smythe (of Zion Lutheran and St. Peter's Episcopal) will be distributing the bread and juice of the Lord's Supper to recipients in your vehicles. The pastors will be taking every COVID precaution in giving out the elements.
Please drive your vehicle into the PFC parking lot by way of the Spring Ave. entrance, and turn to the left out onto 6th St. as you exit to facilitate the flow of traffic.

There will be no Zoom Coffee Hour on May 31st (apologies to our long-distance members who have faithfully shown up for those events) because of the communion distribution. 

Pentecost, as with Lent and Eastertide, will be different this year! Yet we are encouraged by the power of the Holy Spirit to help us imagine and learn new ways to worship and be the church far beyond the bounds of any building! 

Worship Info for 5/24/20

Here is the link for tomorrow's Worship service: https://youtu.be/nHFs7WfdijE

Search "St. Peter's Episcopal & Zion Lutheran La Grande Online Worship for May 24th" on YouTube to get there without clicking on this link. 

Pentecost (May 31) information mentioned in the video will be sent in a separate email so as not to cause confusion with this Sunday's service. :) 


Prayer Requests
  • Prayers for Teresa's continued healing
  • Ongoing prayers for Sherry, recovering from lung transplant
  • General prayers for those facing or recovering from various kinds of surgery in our congregation
  • For Union County as we enter "phase 1" reopening; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
Zoom Coffee Hour will happen at 10 am on Sunday, link is below. If you don't want to use the direct link, you can log into Zoom and enter 
  • Please mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom room.  We will be trying to facilitate the flow of conversation, and muting yourself when you are not talking is helpful. 
  • We will allow free-flow conversation later in the meeting, but at first we will invite you to share briefly with each other in relation to this question, "Where have you seen God this week?" We will start and then share the opportunity to speak by mutual invitation.
  • We will close no later than 11 am with prayer
If you do not want to join by clicking the link, you can sign into Zoom on your device and then input the Meeting ID and Password below to enter our Zoom meeting room. You can also dial-in on your phone with info below.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87261513822?pwd=dDZuRFdmc1pVSmpDUXVHZ2VXZDcyZz09

Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
Password: 009418
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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Midweek Connection 5.20.20

Hi, Friends-Some things to do while stuck inside during a drippy day!

Here is our link for this week's midweek connection:

For those hesitant to use an embedded link, go to Youtube and search "FPC La Grande Midweek Connection 5.20.20" and it should take you there.  If for some reason it doesn't, click on one of the other midweek connection videos and proceed to Laura's page.  It will be listed there.

And thank you to everyone who sent in a note or a picture for the Reflections in the Pandemic Newsletter.  

A link to the Newsletter is also available on the church's blog

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Worship Info for 5/17/20

Dear Friends, 

Here is the link for tomorrow's online worship service: 

 
On You-Tube, search "Ecumenical Online Worship Service for May 17, 2020" and this video should come up. 

Prayer Requests
  • Tara Tucker's mother Peggy, who has been sick 
  • Ongoing prayers for Sherry, recovering from lung transplant
  • General prayers for those facing or recovering from various kinds of surgery in our congregation
  • For Union County as we enter "phase 1" reopening; may all of us make wise decisions about protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19
Zoom Coffee Hour will happen at 10 am on Sunday, link is below. If you don't want to use the direct link, you can log into Zoom and enter 
  • Please mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom room.  We will be trying to facilitate the flow of conversation, and muting yourself when you are not talking is helpful. 
  • We will allow free-flow conversation later in the meeting, but at first we will invite you to share briefly with each other in relation to this question, "How is it with your soul?" We will start and then share the opportunity to speak by mutual invitation.
  • We will close no later than 11 am with prayer
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87261513822?pwd=dDZuRFdmc1pVSmpDUXVHZ2VXZDcyZz09

Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
Password: 009418
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+13462487799,,87261513822#,,1#,009418# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
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        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
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Meeting ID: 872 6151 3822
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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbYGRRWTnU

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

In Person Worship Update

Dear Friends-The Worship and Music Committee met today and it was decided to postpone in-person worship until further notice.  Instead of setting a date that we might be able to have corporate worship again, we decided it was better to continue to monitor the situation until such time we can safely meet again in person. We hope and pray that it is soon!   We also discussed the health and safety protocols we will need to have in place when we do have in-person worship again.

We continue to look at ways to keep our faith community connected to each other and to Jesus.  If you have ideas, please reach out to us or Linda Fratzke, Connie Ingerson, or Mary Helen Garoutte.  In this interesting time, we are open to exploring new ways of being church!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Holy Humor Sunday

Hi, Friends-Here is the Holy Humor Worship Service from the Methodist Church with Sally Wiens preaching.  From what we understand, they ended up recording the service twice because of technical difficulties the first time around!  Enjoy your Sunday!

https://youtu.be/Qlrlm1k16u8

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter services

Dear Beloveds of Christ, 

Here is the link to our Easter service!  We recorded a little bit of it at Zion Lutheran, First Pres, and St. Peter's as we wanted every
one to have a chance to celebrate the resurrection at their own church.


For those hesitant to use an embedded link, please go to Youtube and search 'Easter Worship 2020 Zion Lutheran First Presbyterian and St. Peter's Episcopal La Grande OR'

During the service, Pastor Roberta leads what is called a Spiritual Communion.  It is used in the Episcopal church for those times that people cannot actually gather.  There is a corporate prayer for people to join in at the end of this post.

Tomorrow morning, the Blooming Cross will be up by 9:00 AM on the lawn near the corner of Washington and 6th.  Bring a flower to hang on it anytime up until 5:00 PM.  There will be extra flowers, but if they go as fast as the palms did, you may want to make sure you bring at least one!  We will ring the church bell at 9:00 AM so be listening for that.  Throughout the day we will come down and take a pictures of the cross to see the progression of the 'blooming.'  We will also email out a final picture to share with everyone.

In Google, type in 'PCUSA Easter Worship Service' and it should be your first option of search results.

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen, Indeed!
Happy Easter from the whole Hudson Family!

The invitation to a Spiritual Communion
A spiritual communion is a personal devotional that anyone can pray at any time to express their desire to receive Holy Communion at that moment, but in which circumstances impede them from actually receiving Holy Communion.

The presider invites the following prayer to be said by all.
In union, dear Lord, with the faithful at every altar and table of your church, where your blessed body and blood are being offered to the Father, I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body, with the earnest wish that I may ever be united to you. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I receive you spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, and embrace you with all of my soul. Let nothing ever separate me from you. Let me live and die in your love. Amen.
Adapted from the A Form of Spiritual Communion of the Diocese of Malaita of the Anglican Communion  


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Hi, Friends-You could call this the Holy Week of experimentation!  Some things worked great.  Others, not so great.  We are learning so we extend these offerings to you with grace and humility.

Maundy Thursday-We were going to try a live feed of some kind for this, but ran into too many difficulties.  So, attached is a liturgy we composed for at home use.  Also, due to the situation we are in that does not allow us to be together for communion, our denomination has said virtual and at-home communion is allowed.  We invite you to participate as you feel comfortable with those parts.  We were planning on having the service at 6PM, but feel free to participate as your schedule allows.  Also, we recorded Laura singing the two songs that are part of the service.  The links are:
For those hesitant to click on links, go you Youtube and search "Laura sings they will know we are Christians FPC Maundy Thursday," and "Laura sings What Wondrous Love is This? FPC Maundy Thursday."

Good Friday-Here is our Ecumenical service!  We each had a last words of Christ that we gave a brief meditation on.  Again, some sound and visual issues but it came together pretty good.  This service was planned for Friday at 7PM, but again, watch as you feel free.
Youtube search "La Grande Ecumenical Good Friday Service"

Info about Easter will come soon!

May these days between now and Easter fill you with the mystery of Christ's saving grace.

Blessings,
Keith and Laura

Maundy Thursday Home Worship 4.9.2020

Please prepare for this service by gathering a candle and lighter; a bowl of water and a towel; enough small cups, juice, and bread which can be broken to be shared with all home participants. Decide which participant(s) will lead each prayer. Bold print indicates all participants speak together.

Light your candle at this time as a sign of Christ’s presence with you and our connection with each other in him. Leave it burning until the conclusion of the service.

Opening Words
In the growing darkness we gather.
Our Lenten journey has brought us here.
Jesus, our Teacher and Lord, sets before us
a towel, a bowl, bread, a cup.
He gives us an example
and a commandment ever new:
to love one another as he has loved us.
This is how everyone will know we are his disciples,
when we love each other.

Song: They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love v. 1-2  
(See the link in the email to a You-Tube recording of this song)

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
and we pray that all unity may one day be restored:
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father from whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus, God’s only Son,
And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.




Call to Confession
Even among Jesus’ closest disciples, not all were clean.
On this night of all nights, we confess the ways
we disappoint, deny, and even betray Jesus, our Teacher and Lord.
Our confession of sin is made in the sure knowledge
that Jesus is able to wash us in forgiveness and love.

Unison Prayer of Confession
Holy God, you have called us to serve others as Christ has served us, but we have not followed Christ’s example. We turn away from people in need. True humility eludes us, and we hide our vulnerability before others. You have commanded us to love one another as you have loved us, but we do not love so generously. On this Holy Thursday, we confess that we are capable of denying you and betraying you and one another, no less than the first disciples. Forgive us, merciful God, and cleanse us of all our sin; then guide us to walk with you always. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness
Disciples of Christ, having loved his own who were in the world,
Jesus loved them to the end.
Jesus knows us fully
and offers love and forgiveness unconditionally.
In gratitude for the grace given to us,
and as a witness to our faith in Christ, we will love one another.
The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Use bowl of water and the towel and to cleanse one another’s hands; participants with no available partners, simply dip your hands in the water and dry them off with the towel, in the awareness that you are joined in the Spirit to all others engaged in this hand-washing act today, as we remember Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and how Jesus cleanses us from sin.

Prayer for Illumination
Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that we may see the light of your Word in the darkness of our lives. And seeing, may we understand;
understanding, may we do all that you ask. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.



Scripture Reading: Scripture Reading: John 13:1-17, 31b-35
          Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’
          After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
…Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

Meditation: What are You Hungry For?
The Passover Feast Jesus celebrated with his disciples was a remembrance of the deliverance from slavery in Egypt God had brought the Jewish people. It is significant that it was on that night when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to offer them a new symbol of God’s radical, self-giving love. It is significant that it was amidst the Passover celebration that Jesus offered the bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper, a sacrament of how that self-giving love brings our ultimate liberation. 
After nearly four weeks of social distancing and quarantining, I am hungry to be delivered from the captivity of the COVID-19 virus—I’m guessing you are, too.  I’m hungry to reconnect with you, the community of human beings through which I have known Christ’s love most profoundly. I’m hungry for the liberating love of Christ to be experienced by people all over the earth, not only that all people would receive the saving knowledge of Jesus, but also that human beings would learn to live each day, here and now, following the way of Christ’s radical love, serving one another with humility, generosity, and grace.
What are you hungry for? What message do you yearn for from Jesus? What assurance, what hope, what inspiration or encouragement does he have for you tonight?
Jesus invites us to love one another as we have been loved by God: in that love, all our hungers are met, and we are empowered to feed one another as Christ’s hands and feet on this earth. Amen.

Prayer of Intercession and Preparation for the Lord’s Supper
God of power and might, on the night of Passover, you commanded your people to be ready to go in a hurry; to be dressed, with sandals on their feet, and a walking stick in hand as they ate a special meal. We pray for people everywhere who long for freedom, who are ready, eager to do as you have commanded. Bring down oppression’s rule; overturn unjust laws; break the chains of those enslaved. Without delay, may we enter a new place where all lives are honored and all voices heard.
          God of tenderness and compassion, on the night before he died, Jesus set a table for his disciples. They took off their sandals and sat down in the presence of their Teacher and Lord, who washed their feet, one by one. We pray for people whose feet are tired and dusty from hard labor; for those whose backs are bent by care and worry; for those laid low by illness or guilt or grief. Wash away the tiredness of our bodies and souls. Hold gently in your healing hands the broken places in our lives and relationships. Be our company in isolation, our source of hope in despair, and the way forward at every dead end.
          God of all good gifts, thank you for setting a table of welcome for everyone; for making room whether we are faithful or faithless or failures. We pray that all who are hungry will find enough to eat and clean water to drink, as we share and live more responsibly. Teach us to sit down with enemies, sharing common meals and common hopes. Make us true servants of yours for the sake of the world. Teach us to love as you love for the sake of the world.
           Now, gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and these gifts of bread and cup that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ. May sharing them remind us that we are to be Jesus’ body for the world. Unite us through the Spirit with Christ and one another, all of us who celebrate alone/together that we are part of Christ’s body. Amen.

Invitation and Institution
This the Lord’s table and it is offered to you for strength. On the night when he was betrayed Jesus took the bread and broke it and after giving thanks he said,
“This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Please break the bread and pass it to each person. All eat together.

In the same way Jesus took the cup saying:
“This cup is the new covenant sealed in my  blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.” 
Remembering God’s boundless love revealed in Jesus Christ, we break this bread and share this cup and commit ourselves to live for Jesus in joy and praise.

Pour and share and partake cups of juice.

Closing prayer
God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people. May we demonstrate your redeeming love to the world as we proceed with you through Good Friday and ponder your demonstration of courage that enabled the cross to be transformed from an instrument of punishment to an instrument of God’s love. Amen.

Song: What Wondrous Love is This
(See the link in the email to a You-Tube recording of this song)
1. What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul;
What wondrous love is this, O my soul.
What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the heavy cross for my soul, for my soul
to bear the heavy cross for my soul!

2. To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb who is the great I am
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
While millions join the theme, I will sing!

3. And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on!

Sending:
From this night we go into the days of Christ’s crucifixion and death.
Let us blow out our candles together as we depart,
awaiting the resurrection in grief and penitence, trust and hope. Amen.

All blow out their candles.