April Letter from Pastor Joe

My soul longs, indeed faints for the courts of the Lord. Psalm 84:2

Arnold Belkin, 1951, Exodus








April 20, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

I am so grateful to the members, leaders and staff of First Church.  Your commitment to the ongoing mission of Jesus Christ is inspiring.  This whole episode feels like the Israelites in the desert escaping the oppressive yoke of the Egyptians.  Our usual structures of meaning and purpose have been suspended…births, graduations, weddings, funerals, etc.  We join all who lament these tangible losses.

We have entered a new ministry landscape and you have demonstrated your willingness to understand, adapt and continue. The church’s work continues because of your faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

At present, we will continue our level of ministry through online worship, fellowship, and meetings as well as wellness checks. We would like to hear from you so don’t be a stranger.  As the landscape changes we will evaluate and adapt accordingly.

With the assistance of the government, health authorities and the annual conference, we will monitor to see when we can safely return to in person ministry including worship.  Until then, we join in the Psalmist’s cry, “My soul longs, indeed faints for the courts of the Lord.”

Christ’s Servant,



The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson