June Pastor's message

Dear members and friends of St. John’s:

Ring ring, click, beep!

“I can’t come to the phone right now, but if you leave a message, I will get back with you ASAP!” How many times have you heard this when you really needed to reach someone?

That someone almost always gets back to you. But sometimes, for one reason or the other, the message just doesn’t get through.

In this time of social distancing, pastors have been visiting regularly with their church members and friends on the phone, Skype, Zoom, or other apps.

Many years ago, my dear friend Max called to pray with me, when I was going through a particularly difficult time. And I have been doing the same for him and others, ever since.

Three ministers were discussing prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a repairman was working on the phone system in the background.

One minister shared that he felt the key was holding your hands together and pointing them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong—the only position worth its salt, was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.

By this time the phone man couldn't stay out of the conversation any longer. He interjected: "I found that the most powerful prayer I ever made was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended forty feet above the ground!"

Whatever prayer position we prefer, our Lord and Savior will always be there to intercede for us. There are no constraints. When that triangular connection is made between Jesus, ourselves and the one we are praying for, our prayers immediately go to work. Even when we can’t meet face to face, our voices are always heard and the message gets through.

As your pastor, it is a priority for me to stay in touch with you during these times we are apart. Please know that I have been calling and leaving messages on phones and at email addresses.

If you would like to call or email me, please don’t hesitate to reach out, especially if we haven’t visited in a while. It is always my great joy and blessing to hear from and have a prayer with you. And don’t forget that there is a prayer service streaming live every Thursday evening. It can be accessed on our Facebook link at, www.stjohnsnewark.org.

In Christ’s love,

Rev. Mark

Phone Communion

At St. John’s, we have a time-honored tradition of taking Holy Communion to persons in their homes. Since person to person pastoral visitors are restricted, I am planning to reach out to our members and friends for phone communion. As we gather at the table of the Lord with the elements in front of us, I will pray over and bless them, and have the words of institution on the phone. Then we will receive the bread of life and cup of blessing together. This celebration of the sacrament is being scheduled throughout the month of June. If you and your family would like to participate, please contact me by phone or send an email.

Rev. Mark Katrick