Pastor's Perspective

Pastor’s Perspective

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Firstly, let me thank all who recently completed the questions asked by the Re-Opening Team!  Thanks to your responses, we have gotten a good start on plans for re-opening and can affirm and further clarify expectations under which in person ministries will begin again — when the time comes. 

Secondly, while many details still are to be worked out, thus far the Re-Opening Team’s conversation is leading to re-opening recommendations to the session that plan to include:

  • required PPE (personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves or hand sanitizer)  
  • one Sunday morning worship service with adequate space to social distance in and between pews and modified aspects of worship that allow for safety for all
  • a livestream of in person worship for those who plan to remain at home
  • no fellowship coffee/items to be served
  • weekly professional cleaning that follows CDC guidelines

Thirdly, it’s quite likely things like recording of attendance (for contact tracing if ever needed), temperature or other health checks before entry, removal of items passed among the congregation, and modified dismissal from pews also will become new norms when we again gather.  We still are working out details for resuming building use by our community partners in ways that will be safe for all involved.  When re-opening plans are approved and finalized, the congregation will be notified well in advance and all will appreciate our cooperation at caring for each other by carrying out such new norms.  

For now, I hope you remain informed about the details of Metro’s Modified Phase 2 that began on 3 July.  Read below to be sure you’re in the know!

Guidance for Residents (posted at: https://www.asafenashville.org/roadmap-for-reopening-nashville-phase-2-guidance-and-resources/)

Modified Phase 2 Details:  The following apply for all residents and businesses in Davidson County during Phase Two:

  • Social distancing should remain universally in effect.
  • Live entertainment may continue, subject to the conditions set out in Public Health Order 7. Social distancing protocols should be observed between performers. There shall be a minimum of 15 feet between performers and customers. All performance equipment must be sanitized between users. All dance floors shall remain closed in Phase Two.
  • Except when performing essential services, those over age 65 and those with high risk factors (including: chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; people with compromised immune systems, either through cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplant, or genetic or acquired immune deficiencies; the prolonged use of corticosteroids) should remain safer at home to the extent possible.
  • Work from home should continue whenever possible, and cloth face coverings or masks should be worn in public.
  • Gatherings must be limited to 25 people or fewer. Gatherings are the most high-risk setting for transmission of COVID-19. Community gatherings such as block parties, backyard events, house parties, etc. must remain limited to small groups of 25 or fewer at this time.

Finally, it certainly has been a long haul!  Think marathon, not sprint — though I realize it may feel more like a triathlon more than a marathon!  If you are feeling lonely, reach out and get connected!  The impact of social isolation also can be deadly — text, call, message those you love.  At least once each day, do what brings you delight.  Continue to find ways to check in on neighbors, relatives, friends.  Rest when you are tired and take good care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Do something each day to be present to the needs of another person — consider caring for someone else during the 5 p.m. hour instead of gluing yourself to news that may unglue your soul!  Know you are more resilient than you know!  Even if you don’t like change, you are finding ways to change and we can get through this very difficult time together — even if we can’t yet safely be in physical proximity.  Turn to God.  Remember the wisdom of the Psalmist who wrote:  “. . . though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; those its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”  Nonetheless, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear!” (Ps. 46:1-3)  So, “be still, and know that I am God!” (Ps. 46:10).  No matter what comes, we can rest in God.  We can take courage and call upon God in our most challenging moments; for ALWAYS God is present — bidden or unbidden.  We are not alone!

Know you are loved and being prayed for, dear ones!  Peace to you throughout this entire week!

Pastor Jule

Worship Service

9 August 2020 Worship

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Click for Worship
Give Online Now
NEEDED FOR UPCOMING WORSHIP
(Please email pics/videos by noon TUESDAY THIS WEEK by
clicking here hillwoodpastor@outlook.com)
photos (or video clips) of that which inspires you and brings you calm!

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Special thanks this week to guest musician Terri Corker (guitar & vocals)!!!  
Please contact the  church office or Pastor Jule by clicking here
if you have any prayer concerns or needs to share for the week or call 615-352-6310.  Feel free to share this email and link with others!  
If you would like to gather mid-week via a conference call or in the virtual world, please indicate by emailing here.  This week Mid-Week Connection will be on Wednesday, 12 August at 6 p.m. and discussion will include reflections on the book White Fragility
Blessings for Sunday!!!!!!
Pastor Jule
Worship Service

2 August 2020 Worship

Posted on
Click for Worship
Give Online Now
NEEDED FOR UPCOMING WORSHIP
(Please email pics/videos by noon TUESDAY THIS WEEK by
clicking here hillwoodpastor@outlook.com)
photos (or video clips) of that which inspires you and brings you calm!

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Special thanks this week to guest musicians Terri Corker (guitar & vocals)!!!  
Please contact the  church office or Pastor Jule by clicking here
if you have any prayer concerns or needs to share for the week or call 615-352-6310.  Feel free to share this email and link with others!  
If you would like to gather mid-week via a conference call or in the virtual world, please indicate by emailing here.
Mid-Week Connection Participants invite all to join in reading the book White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo.  Order your copy today for discussion at an upcoming Mid-Week Connection this summer.  Interested in learning more:  White Rage and Color of Compromise are additionally suggested reads.  Contact Pastor Jule with questions or interest.

Blessings for Sunday!!!!!!
Pastor Jule
Worship Service

26 July 2020 Worship

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Click for Worship
Click for Words to Songs
Give Online Now
NEEDED FOR UPCOMING WORSHIP
(Please email pics/videos by noon TUESDAY THIS WEEK by
clicking here hillwoodpastor@outlook.com)
photos (or video clips) of WATER!!!  Especially water that invites you to rest and refresh!
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Special thanks this week to guest musicians Noel Wardford (piano) & Brian Warford (vocals)!!!  
Please contact the 
church office or Pastor Jule by clicking here
if you have any prayer concerns or needs to share for the week or call 615-352-6310.  Feel free to share this email and link with others!  
If you would like to gather mid-week via a conference call or in the virtual world, please indicate by emailing here.
Mid-Week Connection Participants invite all to join in reading the book White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo.  Order your copy today for discussion at an upcoming Mid-Week Connection this summer.  Interested in learning more:  White Rage and Color of Compromise are additionally suggested reads.  Contact Pastor Jule with questions or interest.
WHILE YOU ARE AT HOME:  The Presbyterian Mission Agency offers a free online workshop on Dismantling Racism this Wed, 29 July at 1 p.m. CST — one of three major PCUSA Matthew 25 emphases (Congregational Vitality, Eradicating Systemic Poverty, and Dismantling Structural Racism).  Sign up and learn more about our connectional ministry as a denomination by going to:  https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/matthew-25/racism/  Unable to attend Wed?  Click the link to explore a wealth of information on your own.
And remember:  Book Club meets via Zoom Tuesday night (28 July  6:30-7:30 p.m.),  Contact Pastor Jule for the Zoom link.  The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd will be discussed.  
Blessings for Sunday!!!!!!
Pastor Jule
Pastor's Perspective

Pastor’s Perspective

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Things to ponder this week: 

What’s growing in your life? 

What might God be growing in the world around you — maybe even consider this question as you tune into local, national, and international news.

Psalm 139 reminds us that God has searched and known us completely.  How can you relax more deeply into God’s love of you knowing you are fully known and loved by God?

Hmmm.  I hope you can take time this week to listen and wonder!

Peace and love throughout this entire week!

Pastor Jule

Worship Service

19 July 2020 Worship

Posted on
Click to Worship
Click for Words to Songs
Give Online Now
NEEDED FOR UPCOMING WORSHIP

(Please email pics/videos by noon TUESDAY THIS WEEK by
clicking here hillwoodpastor@outlook.com)
photos (or video clips) of that which inspires you

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Special thanks this week to guest musicians Noel Wardford (piano) & Brian Warford (vocals)!!!  

Please contact the 
church office or Pastor Jule by clicking here
if you have any prayer concerns or needs to share for the week or call 615-352-6310.  Feel free to share this email and link with others!  

If you would like to gather mid-week via a conference call or in the virtual world, please indicate by emailing here.

Mid-Week Connection Participants invite all to join in reading the book White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo.  Order your copy today for discussion at an upcoming Mid-Week Connection this summer.  Interested in learning more:  White Rage and Color of Compromise are additionally suggested reads.  Contact Pastor Jule with questions or interest.

Blessings for Sunday!!!!!!
Pastor Jule
Worship Service

12 July 2020 Worship

Posted on
Click to Worship
Click for Words to Songs
Give Online Now
NEEDED FOR UPCOMING WORSHIP
(Please email pics/videos by noon TUESDAY THIS WEEK by
clicking here hillwoodpastor@outlook.com)
photos (or video clips) of that which inspires you

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Special thanks this week to guest musicians Noel Wardford (piano) & Brian Warford (vocals)!!!  

Please contact the  church office or Pastor Jule by clicking here
if you have any prayer concerns or needs to share for the week or call 615-352-6310.  Feel free to share this email and link with others!  
If you would like to gather mid-week via a conference call or in the virtual world, please indicate by emailing here.
Blessings for Sunday!!!!!!
Pastor Jule
Pastor's Perspective

Pastor’s Perspective

Posted on

Things to ponder this week: 

Metro Phases may be moving backwards, but in what ways is your life with God moving forwards?

What have you done this week to show the love of God to those struggling due to challenges presented by CoVid 19?

If your life were a seed, what is the condition of the soil in which you find yourself?  What is ideal for the seed of your life to sprout and grow?  What might impede your growth?  What can you or the Master Gardner do to modify that?

You remember we’re just a few days beyond USA Independence Day.  What have you done to give thanks for independence and appreciate our world-wide inter-dependence?

Peace and love throughout this entire week!

Pastor Jule

Worship Service

5 July 2020 Worship

Posted on
Click to Worship
Click for Words to Songs
Give Online Now
NEEDED FOR UPCOMING WORSHIP

(Please email pics/videos by noon TUESDAY THIS WEEK by
clicking here hillwoodpastor@outlook.com)
photos (or video clips) of seeds
photos (or video clips) of things growing in various places and ways

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Special thanks this week to guest musicians Noel Wardford (piano) & Terri Corker (vocals & guitar)!!!  

Please contact the church office or Pastor Jule by clicking here if you have any prayer concerns or needs to share for the week or call 615-352-6310. 

Feel free to share this email and link with others!  If you would like to gather mid-week via a conference call or in the virtual world, please indicate by emailing here.  NEXT DATE: yet to be announced.

Happy Independence Day All!!!

Blessings for Sunday!!!!!!
Pastor Jule
Pastor's Perspective

Pastor’s Perspective

Posted on

The session met Sunday, 28 June in the virtual world.  As we still are unable to meet in person; we spent time catching up with each other, sharing concerns of the congregation and our lives, listening for God’s word through Scripture readings and reflections, and praying together.  To me, this part of our time together is extra important in these days because major portions of our discussions together include the current ministry and spiritual needs of the congregation and our community partners along with discernment about the next right steps to take regarding in person ministries for the congregation.  We were meeting the very day the mayor’s office was putting into effect the new face mask order because numbers of those testing positive for CoVid has been increasing.  Though other congregations that may be gatherings of those at lower risk for CoVid may be returning to some sort of in person meetings, we know it is not yet time for HPC to be re-opened for in person ministries.  What else can be said other than these are difficult times?  Some are growing impatient.  Others are struggling mightily to stay positive as they are isolated at home.  With so many unknowns ahead, we no longer can live with any sort of illusion that we can be in control of the future.  I hope you are finding ways to trust in the deep wellspring of a God who always is present and who loves us entirely — even when life is difficult.  As people of faith, I pray we each can keep centered in that!

This weekend marks our nation’s celebration of our Independence.  I hope you will take time to give thanks for being a part of a country founded upon the separation of church and state — one of the first such experiments of its kind, thanks be to God, where true religious freedom for all is a unique gift to be treasured.  We are a young nation-state compared to so many first world nations of the world.  We continue to see the struggles to perfect our union — to make right the lack of true freedom for all throughout various times of our history and to find a way to live as a nation open to the strength of diversity.  I’ve been reminded of that mightily as our Book Group spent Tuesday night discussing A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, the horrifying yet hopeful story of three generations of women in one Palestinian family that immigrated to the USA in the latter part of the 20th Century.  We are blessed to live in this great land and we have work to do as citizens of immense privilege in this land.  I encourage you to give thanks this weekend.  Ask God for guidance.  And re-commit to living each day — in all you do and all you say — the highest principles of independence that call us to recognize our essential inter-dependence.  Most of all, continue to put first your commitment to Christ — the One who calls us to follow him on the path of self-giving love!

Peace and love throughout this entire week!

Pastor Jule