Off the Pres at FPC
E-!nf0 Letter
Saturday Apr 4, 2020

And some announcements for the week

Do you have a branch (or a Palm from the Church Office steps) ready to wave during our virtual worship tomorrow morning at 10:00am? Have you gathered together some Communion elements to join with the rest of the congregation to share this Holy Supper also tomorrow at 10:00am online? Here are the ways to connect with each other this coming weekend (click HERE to read details about how we'll do this from Beau's message last week):

Link to the 10:00am Palm Sunday Service on Sunday Apr 5. Click HERE

Link to the Lectionary readings appointed for this day. Click HERE

Link to the 11:00am Fellowship Hour on Sunday Apr 5. Click HERE

Try this Holy Week Tradition
Palm Sunday is also the first day of Holy Week and has been called Passion Sunday in some traditions. The entire passion narrative (this year from Matthew) is often read as a dramatic reading by congregants during worship to heighten the solemnity and effect of Holy Week. If you are alone but especially with a loved one or companion today, try reading the story aloud. The entire narative can be found by clicking HERE

We hope to see you ONLINE very soon!





To email the Office, David Shew, Dir. for Administrative Ministry

Main line: (970) 247-3175 
Emergency/After Hours: For the time being please leave a voicemail message in the pastor's mailbox (ext. 102) and he will be notified
The National Church's Daily Coronavirus Briefing is a newsletter with the most recent news about the pandemic and what Presbyterians are doing around the globe. Click HERE and stay up-to-date.
Resources for Accurate and Updated Information:
For general COVID-19 information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), click  HERE .
For Colorado-specific information from The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, click  HERE .

For local LaPlata County information, click  HERE .

For up-to-date information about steps Mercy Regional Medical Center and Centura Health are taking click HERE.
An update on my Sabbatical plans
(Article first appeared last Saturday. But if you missed it:)  

Some have been wondering about this given our "new normal." At this time it feels premature to make a firm decision on cancelling. However, I sense this very likely could be the direction we go. In which case the Lilly Foundation has expressed their understanding and would be flexible with adjustments to the timeline. Kristin and I simply would have to do some work on cancellations and refunds with places and flights we booked. I plan to wait out the 30 day closure (or longer) we’ve got going on here in Durango until making a final decision with prayers (and I’d ask for yours too) that this situation will pass (for many many more reasons than my Sabbatical plans).

In the meantime, if you have concerns around your own availability and timing—especially those of you who would be traveling—please feel free to reach out to me any time.

I thank God for all of you!

In Prayer,
Deacon Gay Kiene is organizing volunteers to help make homemade face masks for area medical facilities. To email her to let her know your interest in helping out. Click HERE


Food Bank Sunday, usually the first Sunday of each month , cannot happen the way it usually does tomorrow. But we still can contribute! In fact the need for food contributions is urgent right now.
Elder Chris Calwell initiated a conversation with some of us about how FPC might help with food contributions.

He suggested that first each of us needs to read "A perfect storm": U.S. facing hunger crisis as demand for food banks soars. Food banks are reporting unprecedented demand across the US as millions lose jobs, investigation shows. HERE'S the article posted in The Guardian this past week. (Thank you, Chris!)
Then Chris wrote:

Dear All--
Feels like our church might be able to make a tangible difference in our community by helping on this issue in some way. What do you think? 
Chris Calwell

He suggested a food drive " where interested church members leave out a bag of groceries on their front porch and we pull together a couple interested volunteers to drive around, pick them up, and deliver them to the Food Bank."

In order to get started right now let's use the front porch of the Church Office as our one "Food Bank Sunday" Drop-off location all through this week. By Easter we should be able to organize enough volunteers to pull off a Food Drive home pick-up operation like Chris is suggesting to start up later in the month or the first week of May. Can we all make this work?

A closer-to-home glimpse of Durango's food shortages was told to us by Elder Ginny Miller-Cavanagh :

One of my Rotary friends, Jeff Bleeker... told us today about a talk he had with the Manna Soup Kitchen staff:

"To follow are some things I was told by Shawnin and Rebecca. Before Covid they were severing about 150 meals per day, currently the are not doing dining room service but are handing out prepared meals in front to walk ups. They are now serving 400-500 meals PER DAY. This will likely increase as the crisis deepens. Also, the lunch program for children has exploded as schools are closed and children are stuck at home. The supplies that Manna purchases for this program from wholesalers such as Sisco foods are not able to provide the basics for them right now. Items like bulk pasta, canned goods, ramen noodle packs, etc are unavailable given the shortages. They need items including, potatoes, rice, peanut butter, fruit cups, granola bars, mayo, canned items and raw pasta. They currently have a small supply left in the warehouse but they will run out in April sometime if supplies are not replenished. The need for emergency food will only increase. "

Food designated for Manna can be delivered directly to the Soup Kitchen's loading dock (1100 Avenida Del Sol, Durango, CO 81301) most weekday mornings.
Call first (970)385-5095
Thank you, everyone, for anything you can do to help!