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To the psalmist’s question “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” the Rev. Ron McKinney had a ready answer during a recent online Chapel service for the national staff of the PC(USA): “How can we as Native Americans not sing our song? We are not in a foreign land. We are in our own land.”
The Four Chaplains stood on the deck of the USAT Dorchester on Feb. 3, 1943. Linked arm in arm, chaplains George Fox (Methodist), Alexander Goode (Jewish), Clark Poling (Reformed) and John Washington (Roman Catholic) sang hymns and offered prayers as the ship sank beneath the turbulent waves of the North Atlantic. Perhaps these courageous servants of God were comforted, even as we read in our Psalm, by knowing the faithful love of our Lord endures forever.
As Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations commemorated Reformation Sunday — remembering when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses for reform on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517 — their thoughts turned to Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli and the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
“Blessed is the church that trusts in the grace of Christ to build congregational vitality,” said Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly (2020). This is just one of the Beatitudes read by Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Jerome Bentley, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly, as they opened the newly recorded Matthew 25 worship service.
The Rev. David Gambrell wrote extra stanzas for the classic hymn “For All the Saints” to help the Church address the pandemic and a need for racial justice.
Congregations are invited to make use of a prerecorded worship service based on the Matthew 25 vision, which will be available by November 22.