Archive for Pastor’s blog

“No Matter What Happens We Are Together”

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”                                                          Psalm 46:1-3

It is written that people often define their lives by some major event or experience.  This is especially true for a life-shaping disaster.  I know that you’ll agree that this is happening to us—and the rest of the world, with the onslaught of the coronavirus. 

It seems almost impossible that this is happening, and certainly in my lifetime I’ve never seen anything like it.  It reminds us of 9/11, and some of us have experienced other disasters.  Yet, COVID-19 seems different in so many ways. 

I was in a conference call today via an online application called Zoom with other COPA (Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action,) leaders led by our very own Mayra Bernabe, to talk about what is happening in our local institutions.  We shared how people are panicking, hoarding food and supplies, and basically freaking out as they shelter in place.  Now that all the schools are closed, parents are trying their best to maintain order in the home, and lack of childcare is an issue.  Some who are financially secure feel like they will get by okay, but others, especially families in poverty with little financial reserves, face inescapable suffering ahead.  Plus, we know the virus causes many deaths.  We’re not at the end of this crisis. 

Sheltering in place is absolutely the right thing for us to be doing now as we attempt to “flatten the curve,” and lessen the impact of the disease on the population.  But I’ll be honest; it feels totally weird.  Sure, some industries are exempt, and for good reason, including food production, emergency responders, hospitals, etc., but the rest of us must now physically and socially distant ourselves from everyone—six feet minimum!—unless it’s a close family member.  And that’s hard.

Besides fear, we can feel lonely, isolated, and overwhelmed.  When we listen to the news, we feel bombarded by conflicting reports and panic.      

What’s a believer to do?  We must turn to God.  We must turn to God.  As the Scripture says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  There aren’t many guarantees in life, but “what is guaranteed is that when we trust in God, God will be with us.  God never meant for us to be alone, ever.  God is with us in the worst and in the best of times.  Even in death, God promises to meet us on the other side.”

I pray we reorder our priorities, take stock, and prepare to live as Christ taught us in this new world.  Won’t you join me?

Shalom,

Pastora Robin

 

Beautiful Music // Música Hermosa

Crazy Man, Crazy!

“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1

There is story that dates back to at least the fifties and the “beat” generation about a really cool dude who happened to wander into a very dignified church one Sunday morning. He was met by the pastor after the service, and he grabbed the pastor’s hand, and he said, “Hey, daddy, I really dug it.”

The pastor said, “Uh, excuse me, young man, I’m afraid I don’t quite understand.” So the goateed guest said, “Listen, cat, it was cool, it was gone, man, it really blew my mind!”

This really shook the pastor, and he said, “Could you explain what you mean?” “Well, dad, what I mean is, I really went for what you had to say, so much that I put fifty pieces of bread in the collection plate!”

All of a sudden, the pastor’s face lit up and he said, “Crazy, man, crazy!”

Sometimes we forget how exciting church can be. Our congregation has been involved in serving our community and beyond, since it started on the banks of the Pajaro River in 1852. Part of our past includes making beautiful music. Here’s an article by Jane Borg, Hal Hyde and Marilyn Hyde about the following photo, which we hope will inspire you to join us, as we sing to the Lord a new song!

 CHURCH OLD black and white photos 148 (Large)

Our photo shows the Watsonville Methodist Sunday School Orchestra, organized in February 1905. In those times, “Sunday Schools” were very large, partly to encourage their meeting in outlying districts, especially during the winter. Overall Church membership was large and Methodists were very interested in music, so a group of this size could be organized. Some participants probably played in other Watsonville music groups, too, such as the high school orchestra, Watsonville City band, or women’s orchestra and band. In addition to church programs, orchestra members could have played in parades, given concerts at the “Opera House,” or performed at the downtown Watsonville Plaza bandstand.

At the time of this photo, the First United Methodist Church was located at the corner of Fourth Street (now West Beach Street) and Rodriguez Street, near downtown Watsonville and the city plaza. The orchestra probably practiced in the Sunday School rooms in the annex behind the church sanctuary.

This photo included Watsonville civic leader, H.A. Hyde (back row, last right), a Methodist and conductor of the Watsonville City band for many years. His descendants continue to worship with us today. Other early members of the church who could be identified are Mr. Clarence Perry, Mrs. Heron, Miss Dora Bliss, Miss Lucy Bliss, Mr. Fred Dempsey and Mr. Buckhart.