First, a prayer: Holy God, we give you thanks for life and breath, for beauty and your tender mercies shown to us even in these turbulent times. Help us find you as a source of calm and peace, stilling our anxieties and fears. Strengthen and guide us so we can help one another, be in communion with one another in love. Amen.

Second, a word of thanks: Usually Art and I spend the last two weeks of July in Lake Tahoe but didn’t feel that was safe or wise to do this year. We have, though, been able to be on vacation in northern Arizona and are grateful to all those who have led our church while I’ve been away. I’ll be back in worship with you this Sunday, Aug. 2.

This Sunday we conclude our current series on “Called to Serve” with a message about “Community.” While it’s hard to be in community in person in these times, I’m going to offer some perspectives and ideas about ways of strengthening together. We’ll also celebrate Holy Communion together during our recorded 9:45 a.m. worship service, so get your elements ready to join in – bread or crackers and juice or another beverage.

This week Bishop Robert Hoshibata reiterated that our church buildings will remain closed with a few exceptions, like we’re able to do some recording in the Sanctuary. So we’ll continue to be the church – doing our mission projects, finishing our kitchen project, holding classes and meetings via Zoom, and worshiping together even as we are not in the same building.

On Aug. 9, we begin a new sermon series and “Coffee With the Pastor” resumes at 11 a.m. for the month of August. If you’d like to join me for that time of conversation – ask questions, reflect on the sermon and hear from me – send an email to and you’ll receive a Zoom link. I’d love to have you be part of that.

See you soon …