Marsha is an old and dear friend. I officiated at her wedding, confirmed her older son, officiated at her daughter’s wedding, baptized her younger son and her first grandchild, and officiated at the funerals of her mother and brother.
She’s been watching our recorded sermons and Bible studies on Facebook. She sent me a message wanting to know if I was going to have a Maundy Thursday message. She says that is one of her favorite services.
This year is different. For the first time since 1971, I won’t be participating in a Maundy Thursday Communion Service. I will be delivering the meditation I would have delivered to whoever came to the Sanctuary at Palma Sola Church on line, through Face Book, our website, and YouTube. I won’t be breaking the loaf of bread and pouring the wine from the pitcher.
It feels strange. But if the roman Catholic Churches can put a sign out saying, “All Masses Suspended Until Further Notice”, we can miss Maundy Thursday. And I will.
But though we won’t celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we can engage in the Communion of the Saints, that “mystic sweet communion” that makes us part of something that encompasses all believers in every time and place. In the face of a world-wide pandemic, we can participate in a communion of the saints that bridges all distances including social ones, breaks down all barriers, and binds us together in the name of the One who was betrayed on that first Maundy Thursday, died for our sins on Good Friday, and was raised for our hope on Easter Sunday.
God bless and keep you safe!
Greetings in Christ Jesus!
Sometime about two weeks ago, I had a hope, a wish, a dream, a vision, of a choir processing down the aisle of our sanctuary (on the new carpet) waving palm branches, while we sang, “Hosanna, loud hosanna…”
I had a hope, a wish, a dream, a vision, of a Maundy Thursday Communion Service.
I had a hope, a wish, a dream, a vision, of an Easter Sunrise Service in the Botanical Garden.
I had a hope, a wish, a dream, a vision, of a packed sanctuary, with voices lifted in singing, “Jesus Christ is Risen today, alleluia.”
Now we know none of those hopes, wishes, dreams, visions, will become a reality.
Twice this week, I have participated in Zoom meetings on line with my colleagues in ministry in Peace River Presbytery. Twice we have seen any plans we might have made altered by efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19.
We will not be worshipping together in our churches in April.
But the work of the church goes on. Your Deacons are checking on their flocks. Your Teams and Session are meeting using Zoom technology. Even the Palma Sola Book Club will meet this month, using the Zoom video-conference app.
With the able assistance of Faraja Keyes, our Temporary Office Administrator, Elder Elizabeth Brackmann, our Communications Team Chair, and Billy Burke, Praise Band Leader and Tech Wizard, we are able to bring you messages from the sanctuary of Palma Sola Church to your home.
Palm Sunday’s sermon goes up on April 5 at Resources > Sermons Online. Maundy Thursday’s message will be posted there by April 9. This week's final lesson of the Lenten Bible Study on the "I Am' Sayings of Jesus will also be posted at Connect/Grow > Wednesday Bible Study.
And next week, there will be an Easter message.
But the message is still the same where ever we may be: Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed.
And in His rising is our hope and salvation.
To him be the glory, the honor, and the praise, In the church and in the world, now and forever more.
Greetings in Christ Jesus!
During this time when public gatherings of more than ten people are considered a health hazard, we at Palma Sola Presbyterian Church hope to continue to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of the ways we will do this is to record videos of sermons on YouTube and post them on the church’s website and Facebook page.
Two sermons have been recorded. Both are part of the series for Lent entitled Where is Jesus? The first, which was actually preached on March 15, is entitled At the Well. The second, which would normally have been preached on March 22, is entitled In the World. A third sermon, At a Tomb, will be posted on Sunday, March 29.
On this website, you can access sermon videos through Resources > Sermons Online and the Calendar found in the menu at the top of the website.
The Mid-Week Lenten Bible Study Series is being videoed as well, and posted Wednesday of each week. These lessons may be accessed through Connect/Grow > Wednesday Bible Study and the Calendar.
Billy Burke, Faraja Keyes, and Liz Brackmann are working diligently to make this happen.
Know that you are prayed for each day, until we can worship together again. God bless and keep you safe.
Ted Land, Transitional Pastor
We have temporarily suspended on-campus worship services, meetings, and outreach events In support of community and nation-wide efforts to limit the spread and diminish the impact of COVID-19 through social distancing. Organizations and groups who share our campus have been invited to continue to use the campus and nearly all have opted not to do so.
Video recordings of Transitional Pastor Ted's sermons and Wednesday Bible Study lessons will be made available through this website's Calendar, and its Resources>Sermons Online and Connect/Grow>Wednesday Bible Study sections. For updates, and the latest PSPC events schedule, please check this website's Calendar and PSPC News column.
Join in this special service of repentance and prayer through personal and communal confession. With focus on our mortality and sinfulness, we enter Lent with solemn reflection, seeking to use it to correct our faults and purify our hearts, so we are prepared to celebrate Easter with great joy. There will be a special offering during the worship service for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, to meet needs in Puerto Rico following the earthquakes they have suffered.
On Sunday Feb 23, PSPC participated in the 2020 Manatee County CROP Walk to help raise awareness and funds to end hunger locally and around the world. A PSPC team walked two miles from First United Methodist Church in Palmetto across the Green Bridge and back, and their efforts were supported by special donations from the congregation.
CROP Walks are community events throughout the United States sponsored by the Church World Service (CWS) and organized by local churches and other groups. 75% of the money raised goes to CWS to help fight hunger around the world and 25% goes to local hunger relief efforts (such as here in Manatee County). Money is raised by two means, sponsoring walkers and direct donations.
CROP stands for the Christian Rural Overseas Program, which was active in the late 1940's and involved American Midwest farmers who donated food and seed to help feed the hungry in post WWII Europe and Asia. The historic name (CROP) was kept when the first CROP Walk was organized in the U.S. in 1969.
On February 9th we were blessed to welcome our Scouts BSA for a special Scout Sunday worship. It was wonderful to see so many young people, their parents, and Palma Sola members gathered together to renew their commitment to Scouting on our campus. Prior to the worship service, many people enjoyed a pancake breakfast fundraiser hosted by Pack 22 in the Fellowship Hall. A great day was had by all!
Friday, February 7 at 7:00 pm, we show the movie 'Harriet', which tells the story of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. With tenacity, ingenuity and courage, Harriet freed 70 slaves on multiple trips before retiring to Auburn NY. Bring a friend, grab some popcorn and a drink, and enjoy the movie. The event is free and open to the community. The movie will be shown in Palma Sola's Fellowship Hall at 3rd Ave and 67th St, one block north of Manatee Ave.
David Kennon, gives a presentation on achieving financial peace of mind in retirement in the Fellowship Hall from 10-11 am on Thursday, January 23. The presentation will include basic principles for investing, spending, and giving in retirement. David’s goal is for all seniors to fully participate in the “retirement revolution.” David is an Accredited National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) and Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS). The presentation is free and open to the community. The Fellowship Hall entrance is through the door on the circle driveway off 3rd Ave.
Our first work day for Manatee County Habitat for Humanity’s 25th Interfaith Build was Saturday, January 11, 7:30 am-noon. We participated in landscape prep, painting, and hammering. A small tree and shrubs were removed and dirt was graded and leveled in preparation for sod. It was a beautiful day and all volunteers felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment in helping to provide a forever home for the Harris family. We look forward to attending the dedication sometime later in the Spring. Before then, we expect another work day and opportunities to get this house move-in ready! For more information about the Habitat for Humanity program, see the February Newsletter (posted soon).
The team that traveled to Agape Flight's hangar in Venice FL on October 24 packed 210 Thanksgiving-meal care packages. Each package included a hand written message of gratitude and encouragement written by the congregation. The packages were then flown to missionaries in the Caribbean in time for Thanksgiving. We received thank you letters, including this one from the Dominican Republic.
Palma Sola hosts a community Rise Against Hunger meal-packing event Saturday, October 12, 9:30 -11:30 am, to lend a hand to people in critical need of food across the globe. In two hours, in a fun and educational assembly-line process, we'll pack thousands of life-giving soy and rice meals. Adults have both sitting and standing jobs. Children accompanied by an adult(s) age 5 and up are welcome, with special run-around jobs available! Packing will be in Palma Sola's fellowship hall at the corner of 67th St and 3rd Ave W. Please reserve a space by calling the church office at 792-3141, or signing up after Sunday services.
On Sunday September 22, we had the pleasure of hosting Rev. Miguel Estrada and his family from Misión Peniel in Immokolee FL. Rev. Estrada preached on Mark 6:30-44, how Jesus taught generosity through a shortage of loaves and fishes, and described the desperate housing situation of the Immokolee farm workers. Unlike other farm workers whose housing is provided by growers, Immokolee workers pay 60% of their income to landlords for housing in trailers that not only lacks AC, but is so substandard it's considered condemnable by county authorities. The ~20,000 Immokolee workers provide 85% of tomatoes in the United States. Palma Sola has donated $5,000 towards the purchase of land for future housing for the workers, through the Immokolee Fair Housing Alliance, an amount that will be matched by another organization. To listen to Rev. Estrada's sermon, go to Resources>Sermons Online and click on the September 22nd soundtrack.
Our ABC of Dementia program was well attended by Palma Sola Presbyterian and community members. Presenter Debbie Selsavage, founder of Coping with Dementia, shared many insights, stories, and techniques helpful to those suffering from dementia and their caregivers--drawing from her personal experience as caregiver to her husband Albert and expertise as a trainer of the Positive Approach to Care. As a result of our participation, Palma Sola Presbyterian is now a certified Dementia Friendly Congregation, allowing us to better serve those affected by dementia. To listen to the 1.5-hour presentation, beginning with its introduction by Roger Tyrrell, go to Resources>Sermons Online and click on the September 14th soundtrack.
On September 12, representatives from local Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, and Protestant faith communities, including Pastor Ted, turned shovels of soil at home site for the 25th Anniversary Interfaith Build. Future homeowner, Markisha Harris, shared her excitement about the project and experience working on past Manatee County Habitat for Humanity projects. Markisha, born and raised in Florida, is a single mother of three, works as an LPN at an assisted living facility, and dreams of going back to school to complete her RN degree. We also learned about Habitat’s advanced construction techniques that dramatically reduce maintenance and energy costs for homeowners, while keeping construction cost low. Look for volunteer opportunities in the coming months on ways you can participate.
Fall season at Palma Sola was kicked off with the Rally Day Ministries Fair on Sunday, September 8. The event included potluck breakfast, live instrumental music, and booths with information about Palma Sola ministries. Participants learned about ways to volunteer, and had their questions answered by representatives from our mission-partner organizations and other organizations who share our campus.
Join the talented youth of one of our campus partners, Creative Arts Academy, on Friday, May 31 at 6 pm in the Fellowship Hall for original poetry and live entertainment by the Creative Percussion Ensemble. Plus food, raffle items, and art by a local artist!