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Our next test of our live-streaming equipment will be on Wednesday, September 2nd at 10:30am.   On Wednesday, watch and sing along at:  https://youtu.be/Dh1FEjLBii0
A "Bulletin" and Hymns may be found linked here.

Please consider sending in short news items as Aaron suggested for a "News from the Flock" column in our paper newsletter.  His email is: aaron@ukulele.church

Find our September Worship Schedule at the bottom of this email.

Friends, I hope to begin a regular Bible Study on Zoom again.  For reasons that will be apparent in what follows, Tuesday morning is out.  I will be reaching out to past participants in the Tuesday Morning Bible Study to ask about alternate times, but if you would like to participate in such as study and have not before, let me know so that I can ask you as well.
Devotion for Tuesday, September 1st

Teach Your Children
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NRSV)

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
School on September 1st of 2020:  Michael shows his worksheet to his teacher. Emma participates in a class discussion.  Lydia takes her reading assessment on the computer.
Dear Friends,

My e-mail is a bit late today.  I wasn't able to get today's e-mail together in the early hours of the morning, and through the morning I was tech support for my two daughters and kindergarten assistant for my son.

In our household, Amy does this demanding work by herself Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while I disappear to the (relative) peace and quite of the office.  On Tuesday and Thursday morning, however, she is able to see clients for her work over her computer, and I take over the virtual school assistant role.   It is busy.  With three children, someone constantly needs something.  Sometimes all three do.

School this year is different.  Some of you well know just how different it is.   If you are a parent of a child in school, or if you are a grandparent or other family member caring for a child while their parents work, you know very well just how demanding each and every day is.  

What survives of the school day are the assignments, but those assignments must be completed using technology which is itself a skill that requires mastering.  A worksheet must be photographed.  A vocal answer must be recorded.  Older children must learn to create and upload files.  PE, Art, and Music are all assignments that require creating or uploading on the computer.  I have even spent time teaching Lydia to use the same video editing software that I use to create the music videos for church.

(Hmm, can I get Lydia to make those videos...  ???)

What is missing are the face to face interactions, the social skill building, the running around with friends, the learning that goes on as they navigate new spaces and new people.

Like many adults have found in their work over the last few months, our children are working harder to do less (using technology) while missing out on all the social aspects of what they are doing.

And I write all of this knowing that my own children are incredibly fortunate.  They do always have a parent who can assist them.  We have assembled enough devices so that everyone can have the use of the one or two devices that they need at any one time.  We have enough space for each child to spread out - and we still have space for an adult to work.

We can trade off who is working when.  I can do my Tuesday / Thursday work for the church later in the day - and I am thankful for the grace of a congregation that will accept and understand that.  Not everyone gets to work for an organization that does.

We can make it work.  We know most of the answers our children have.

(And there are moments that are just funny.  During week 1, I received an important phone call from a church member while I was assisting Michael.  The circumstances of the call were such that I could not stop to speak to Michael.   Michael was watching a video of his teacher, and this teacher began to tell her class about the craft of the morning that involved Elmers Glue.  As I watched, Michael began to squirt glue all over a piece of paper while I waved at him more and more frantically to stop and wait for me - all while trying to stay calm and collected and clear on the phone.  Michael looked at me with indifference, shrugged off my waves, and carried on with his project as instructed by the teacher, and managed not to get glue on the computer inches away from his glue bottle.)

Not every child has a parent, grandparent, or caregiver who can help each and every morning no matter what else is going on.  Not every child has a home with parents who are (mostly) equipped to handle (most) anything Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, or 5th Grade can throw at them.

One of the most telling moments I have encountered was during Michael's first Zoom meeting with his Kindergarten Class.  On the call was a student who was in a day care.  Also on the call was this child's mother who had stepped outside of her office building to be on this first Zoom meeting.  When the teacher called upon the child for the first time, the mother - in a different place on a different device - tried her best to coach her child through un-muting herself and answering the teacher.  In that moment I was so very thankful to be sitting next to my own child.

And this was a child who still had the support to be on the Zoom call.  There were other children in that class who did not have the support to get that far.

I write all of this thankful for all of our children's teachers.  They are doing such a wonderful job with our children.  And they are connecting with each of the children as best they can.

I write all of this understanding that it is likely better for the health and safety of everyone for our children to be at home.

I write all of this thankful for the privilege of keeping our children at home.  Many don't have that opportunity.

But it is hard.

Friends, I fear that all of this sounds like complaining.  Perhaps it is.

But - as we are in this third week of a school year unlike any other, I did want to bring it up.

My own family's situation is unremarkable at present, and it is far, far better than many others.  We are fortunate.  

But the experience of families of school-age children is in the best case hectic, compromised, and at times just tough.  I hurt for the many, many families who face situations far off the best case.

To the parents, grandparents, and others of you who are directly helping your children navigate this year, please know that I am praying for you, thinking of you, and cheering for you and your children.  To parents who are trying to juggle teaching and work - or parents who are having to balance the work and obligations of both spouses who work, know that I am rooting for you. This is tough.  It is tough that so many of our normal ways to have community are stymied by the pandemic.  Please give me a call if you ever just need to talk.  I would be glad to hear from you.  Really.  God bless and keep you and your family.

To those of you who are not presently raising or helping to raise school-age children, may I suggest that you check in with your family and friends who do have young children.  Chances are they are navigating difficult days.  Encourage them.  Send a card.  Be patient if they don't immediately have time to talk with you.  Understand if after 30 Zoom meetings in a week for their household they don't want to video chat with you.  Pray for them.  Love them.


The scripture reading at the beginning of this e-mail is a famous passage from Deuteronomy.  Called the "Shema" (from the Hebrew word for "Hear"), it has been recited by our Jewish siblings for centuries.

To me, what is fascinating about it are the instructions to teach our children.  When we are at home and when we are away.  When we lie down and when we rise.  All the time.

Friends, despite all the challenges, I am tremendously thankful for the chance to help teach my children:  about the world, about reading, writing, and math, and also about faith and our relationship with God.

Teaching is a blessing.  I am thankful for that blessing.   I am thankful for my time with my children.   And even though I look forward to the day when they can return to school, I am also thankful for the present.

Pray for the children.  Pray for their families.  Care for them and love them.  Pray for our world.  Today.

God bless and keep you all,

Emile
Friends, I know it is not a hymn, but Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Teach Your Children" is on my mind this afternoon.
"Teach Your Children'
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
Worship at WPPC in September 

Sunday, September 13th at 7pm - Outdoor "Parking Lot" Worship Service with Communion.   We will have individually packaged Communion bread/juice cups.

Wednesday, September 23rd at 7pm -  Online Communion Worship Service on Zoom.

Wednesday, September 30th at 7pm -  Outdoor "Parking Lot" Worship Service.

Friends, as always, please wear a mask, bring your own chair - if possible, and exercise caution when deciding whether an in person service makes sense for you and the members of your household.

Sunday Morning Worship:   E-Mails to Live-Stream

Friends, this Sunday we will send out a liturgy for at-home worship by e-mail.  Soon, however, we will begin sending out a link to watch our worship service live on Sunday morning (or watch the recording any time after the service has concluded).

The timing of that transition depends on how well the two tests described below work.   We want our first "live" Sunday to be easily accessible and a good experience for those leading worship, the computer / sound board operator, and everyone at home.

If you are able to watch the services below either live (as they occur) or after the fact, I would appreciate your feedback.  It would be a great help to hear what went well - and what didn't!

Live Stream "Test" Services

Wednesday, September 2nd at 10:30am:   Hymn Sing 

YouTube Link:  https://youtu.be/Dh1FEjLBii0

PDF of Hymns:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y_jIOrQcpwmRVBIW7edj1B-T1uxFbTw0/view?usp=sharing

What we are testing:  Our last musical test had quite a bit of distortion on voices and the organ.  We think we have the problems figured out.  The big change from normal, in person church to a live-stream is that in order for sound to be heard, it has to go into a microphone.  Before we begin worshiping together on Sunday mornings, we want to get our music right!


Wednesday, September 9th at 11:00am:  Preaching Practice

YouTube Link:   Will Come Later

What we are testing:   I have never preached to a camera in the balcony before.  I am not sure how different and difficult that will feel.  So, for this service, I am going to give an old sermon as well as lead prayers.  We may also try to insert a pre-recorded video into the live stream.  Is the sermon - one that was originally written to be delivered in person - still effective?   Too long?  

Depending on how the two tests above go, we may announce others.  Thank you for your patience and your prayers!

In Christ,

Emile
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Copyright ©  2020, Winter Park Presbyterian Church

Our mailing address is:
4501 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC

Contact Us by Email:

Emile: emile@winterparkpres.org
Rachel:  rachel@winterparkpres.org
Aaron: aaron@winterparkpres.org
Sharon:  sharon@winterparkpres.org
Dorothy: dorothy@winterparkpres.org
Ruth: ruth@winterparkpres.org

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Facebook
Website
Copyright ©  2020, Winter Park Presbyterian Church

Our mailing address is:
4501 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC

Contact Us by Email:

Emile: emile@winterparkpres.org
Rachel:  rachel@winterparkpres.org
Aaron: aaron@winterparkpres.org
Sharon:  sharon@winterparkpres.org
Dorothy: dorothy@winterparkpres.org
Ruth: ruth@winterparkpres.org

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.