Dear Church,
 
I wonder how many of you have had an experience in your life where you were on the way to somewhere, met a stranger, and the journey you were taking experienced a detour? I wonder, were you caught up in compassion along the way? I heard a story this week about a dad making a doughnut run with his kiddos, and in the stress and circumstance of COVID-19 restrictions, this weary dad ended up yelling at the baker and storming out of the donut shop without doughnuts. On the way home, muffled sniffles of sad kids and a tugging at his heart that wouldn’t leave him alone, this dad turned the car around and went straight back to the donut shop. With his heart in his hands, he apologized to the baker and they shared tears of the struggle of these days. A simple doughnut run took a significant detour and rerouting, grew compassion in their hearts for one another, and sent everyone away a little better.

This week, we are learning from the happenstance and situations of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah and the compassion they had for one another along the way. I wonder, what have you done to be present for friends and strangers in this season where happenstance leaves many of us in tough situations? How are you extending and receiving compassion this week?

Peace be yours,
Pastor Lindsay

COMPASSION CAMP MATERIALS FOR WEEK #4 – JULY 26:
Daily Examen
Colorable Prayer Page

COMPASSION IN ACTION: Since it is hard to be physically present with others because of social distancing, we can be spiritually present with others by leaving signs of hope in our yard. The surprise of seeing a simple word or picture of hope can fill us with encouragement and help us keep going on our way. Write and draw encouraging words, phrases, and/or images to hang from your window or door. What messages of hope and encouragement do you want to share? Here are some quotes for inspiration:

  • “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” – Mother Theresa
  • “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank 
  • “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai
  • “Just keep swimming.” – Dory
The amazing thing is that these are also wonderful things to share with others! Loving yourself well can lead to loving and caring for others in easy ways.
 

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE for Visitors/New Members THIS SUNDAY
Have you been receiving these emails and are thinking about dipping your toe in the water of our welcoming community? Did you join the church recently and want to connect a little more deeply? Considering coming back to the church after drifting away?

Whatever your situation is, you are invited to join our staff and a handful of members at our virtual Open House on ZOOM! This is a SUPER casual, non-judgmental, and low commitment opportunity to get to know the FPC community, and it’s a great way for us to learn how we can best serve YOU! So, grab your coffee, hop on your computer, and say hi. ALL are WELCOME!

Join the ZOOM meeting HERE.
Meeting ID: 899 7768 2877
Password: 529890

DON’T FORGET TO GIVE!
The work of the church continues during this time – and a virus cannot even stop us! Make sure you are mailing in your pledge, in gratitude for all we have and all we are, by God’s grace. Online donations are easy and secure, and special gifts are ALWAYS welcome – it’s how we continue to love and serve our people and neighbors in need, maintain our building, appreciate our staff, and more.

COVID-19 PROTOCOL
All businesses (including churches) are required to have a protocol for this strange season of COVID-19. With a big thanks to Lynnette, we have a working protocol, and it can be viewed HERE. Note, committees can now meet in the church, but there are some rules and regulations we must follow to keep everyone safe. Click HERE for the guidelines. Call the church office with any questions or to set up a meeting. Most importantly, be kind, be well, and be safe.

JOIN US SUNDAY MORNINGS  FOR WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK!
Remember to join us LIVE each Sunday at facebook.com/FPCmankato for worship with Pastor Lindsay at 10:00 am, Puppet Story Time with Bailey at 10:20 am and Music with Ben at 10:30 am. If you are unable to watch live, you can always access recordings of all of the above at fpcmankato.org/virtualchurch.