To the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury Family,

Resumption of Public Worship

September 20, 2020

As we prepare to enter into corporate worship on Sunday, September 20th:

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). So begins the account of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church in the book of Acts. As we approach the day of Pentecost in the year 2020, we understand that it may not be possible for the members of our congregation to be “all together in one place” this year. While some restrictions are being lifted in some places and for some people, the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 global pandemic will require that we return to church in a way that is measured and mindful of the needs of the most vulnerable among us. While some may begin to attend public worship in person, we know that some will need to continue to worship at home for some time.

We give thanks, then, for the promise of our faith—that the Lord God will bless and keep us, the risen Christ is with us, and the Holy Spirit connects us with believers near and far. We take comfort and inspiration from the example of the earliest believers, who “spent much time together in the temple” and “broke bread at home ... with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). As we anxiously track the news in these times—with numbers of new cases, numbers of persons who have died, and numbers of those who are recovering—we remember the good news of the gospel: “And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

As the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury begins to resume public worship, please know that we will do so through a careful process of discussion and discernment, 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.

We may make mistakes along the way. There will surely be awkward moments as we adjust to new protocols and practices. There will be times of frustration, disappointment, and grief. We will have countless opportunities to exercise the spiritual gifts of patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

But there will also be blessings. There will be wonderful surprises, great celebrations, and moments of deep satisfaction. We will get to see glimpses of the new thing God is doing, even now. We will have opportunities to savor the spiritual gifts of love, joy, peace, generosity, and faithfulness.

Let us be faithful, then—to God and to one another—as we receive the gifts and work through the challenges of this time in the life of our congregation and world. 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.

In Christ,
Rev. Dr. Philip W. Oehler, Sr

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Recent Sermons

Worship Service, September 20, 2020, Matthew 20: 1-16

MOTION TO HAVE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING WITHIN WORSHIP PRAYER OF PREPARATION Holy God, guide us away from the ways of the world to hear Your call and follow You. Guide us away from the temptations to put ourselves first and see that we are the body of Christ, that we need each other. We all have […]

Worship Service, September 13, 2020, Matthew 18:21-35

WELCOME Come! Come praise the eternal God! Let all that is within us— body, emotions, mind, and will— praise God’s holy name! Despite our failures, He forgives and releases us. More than any doctor, He heals our diseases. When we are famished and weak, He fills us with good and beautiful things, satisfying our needs, […]

Worship Service, September 6, 2020, Matthew 18:15-20

WORSHIP NOTES Proper 18A/Ordinary 23A/Pentecost +14 September 6, 2020 OPENING PRAYER God of justice, peace and righteousness come into our midst this evening Breathe your breath, your Spirit of prophecy, your energy, your enlivening, your imagination on us. Wake us up Open our eyes Unplug our ears That we might hear That we might see […]

Worship Service, August 30, 2020, Romans 12: 9-21

OPENING PRAYER Liturgy of Malabar, 5th century Grant, o Lord Jesus, that the ears which have heard the voice of your songs may be closed to the voice of dispute; that the eyes which have seen your great love may also behold your blessed hope; that the tongues which have sung your praise may speak […]

Worship Service, August 23, 2020, Romans 12:1-8

OPENING PRAYER O gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us O God, a mind to meditate on you, eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you and a life to proclaim you; through […]

Events Calendar

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