Suntree Weekly Update
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Good evening Suntree!
Pastor Annette shared during our staff meeting this morning an article from the New York Times. In it, David Brooks writes about entering the “endurance phase” of this pandemic. Brooks writes that endurance is living with uncertainty because it takes stamina to not know what is going to happen for so many weeks, and now months, on end.
In Romans 5, Paul writes: “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Certainly, our suffering apart has produced a different kind of endurance in us, as we wait with hope for a different kind of day. We are weary as we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to end, or at least abate. Yet we are clear here at the church that our hope is not in any date on a calendar, but in the love and grace of our God. While we are eager to begin being together again, even in a smaller fashion, we continue to proceed with an abundance of caution.
A part of that caution is the knowledge that our endurance needs practice for it to be endurance. There are four things that experts are saying we should get good at, to return to some kind of normal: frequent hand washing, strict monitoring of our health, mask-wearing, and social distancing (6 feet apart). These are things we will all need to get good at in these next few months!
We hope for a day where we can be together again, and we practice for that day, too. The staff is hard at work making this practice a reality so that we might gather with you in safe and socially distanced ways. This hope does not disappoint us, because it is grounded in the love of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in this season of Easter.
In that way, this week in worship we will talk about Acts of Prayer in Acts 1. Prayer has been a sustaining practice for us in this endurance phase- helping us lean on the power of the Holy Spirit. In our service on Sunday, you’ll be able to pray for both our seniors who are graduating from high school and our Cuba Mission. As we pray for them, we’ll be motivated to action, as well, in the following ways:
- The Cuba Mission Team will share how your generous resources are gifts to the Cuban church. Throughout this week, you can go to our website at suntreeumc.org/give to donate to this vital ministry.
- As we pray for our seniors, we’d also love for you to join our Drive-By Graduation Celebration from 5-6pm at the church. Come honk, wave, and say well-wishes to our gathered seniors. You can also choose to bring a card or a token of your good wishes to them. You can contact Joel or Michelle for more information about that at or
Finally, our Acts study continues Wednesday at 6:30pm as we think about Acts 1 together. You can sign up for this at suntreeumc.org/zoomstudy.
Keep an eye out for other opportunities to “practice” our hope- and we will, too. Stay safe, wash your hands, we love you!
Have a good evening,
Pastor Annette and Pastor Allee