Seaview Good News
 
May 16, 2020

Good day. The warmer weather has finally broken. People are out in big numbers. And it’s official that the Ocean City boardwalk and beaches are open. This places responsibility upon the individuals and households to be careful to maintain a proper six foot distance between them and others in all public areas. Face masks are required by law when in public buildings. A working document has been published by American Baptist Churches USA to aid with ideas and questions that need to be answered before our churches can reopen. When Advisory Council met on Thursday, it was agreed that the legal responsibility for designating such a plan Is in the hands of our Board of Trustees. It is very important that we lovingly support our Trustees as they carefully discern best practices that will keep everyone safe. They will meet on Tuesday, May 26. Remember to pray for them.

We are getting closer to having a more robust video system for live-streaming our worship. Andy Schaeffer (Thank you Andy) has put in several hours and expense to make it a reality. But we are not there yet. Many people are joining us for worship online during the pandemic and several are from distant places. What we offer in providing a full service from prelude to postlude, while not unique, satisfies a longing for normalcy. We will need live-steamed worship for the foreseeable future to serve our more vulnerable friends well. Until we are able to get the new system fully operational, we have been blessed by the skills of our own Larider Ruffin behind the mobile phone camera. 

Linda Slaymaker has been quite sick recently and is staying home from work. She has been tested and is awaiting results to determine the nature of her illness. She is getting good care fro her sister while being in quarantine for the rest of her family. Linda asked that we remember her in our prayers. A card would be a kind gesture as well. You can send it to her at 132 E. Seaview Avenue, Linwood, NJ 08221.

Administrative Assistant, Jodi Seevers, has also had to remain in quarantine due to exposure to coronavirus. Please remember her in prayer. In the interim, Matthew Foss has been maintaining office and administrative functions for us very well. Matt lives in Northfield and is a supervisor with Canada Dry on second shift. We are very grateful for his very capable help.

The Women of Seaview are ready to get out and have some fellowship. Barbara Garth (973-407-9797) has been coordinating a gathering in our picnic grove behind our church home for Thursday, May 21 at 1:00 PM. Bring a lawn chair and a heart to share the journey with one another. Proper distancing will be observed. Face coverings are also preferred especially with the idea of some singing lead by Marguerite Heaton-Colella. If the weather is not good, we will notify you by Seaview Good News.

Meadowview is the Atlantic County Nursing and Rehabilitation facility. One of our own, Nancy Alessendrini is a nurse there. As we have been corresponding with her and lifting her in prayer, she has been able to express some things that she and her colleagues would find helpful in this extenuating circumstance. The disposable gowns they have been given to protect themselves are very thin. She has found head to toe disposable paint overalls at Benjamin Moore that they feel safer with. They cost $10-13 a pair. They also need N95 or other masks, bleach wipes and other personal protective equipment (ppe). Food and Water is also helpful. This will be part of the discussion when the Deacons meet on Monday evening.

Tomorrow morning, as we live-stream worship, we come to the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Moving more closely to the celebration of Pentecost, we are turning more fully onto the face of Jesus’ preparation of his followers to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus does not want his people to feel like orphans. He promises to fully disclose himself. Worship with us at 10:30 on Fscebook or tune in later when the full video service is put up on our website. Just click on the tree on the left hand side of the homepage. Then look at the bottom of the sermon page.
 
 
May 9, 2020

Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is also the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Those flavors will be blended in our worship this week which continues to live stream each week at 10:30. A small choral group is planning to sing Pepper Choplin’s “Train Up a Child.” A song that has been rising in many worship settings is “Way Maker.” We will add this to our worship this Sunday. You may listen to a YouTube version of the song by clicking on the link below. Go to our website homepage to find the bulletin for tomorrow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxRo7CcgF0o

We are grateful for the people who are coming each week to help us enter into worship through live-stream. The team currently includes Larider Ruffin who has been video transmitting the service through Facebook as well as singing, Paula Dollarhide on organ and piano, Andy Schaeffer who does technical work as well as overseeing the offering, Davidson Ruffin on guitar, Myrilne and Shelby Ruffin on vocals, Nathaniel DeLeon and David Chong operating the sound and video, and Pastor Frank Reeder leading worship and preaching. We plan to continue live-streaming even after we resume in person worship.

Most people are itching to get back to normalcy. That includes in person worship. Yet we are being prepared to accept that our return will be slow and it will not look the same. We have not yet been given the freedom to gather. Our leaders will be considering how to return to worship. Several documents have been published to help us. Among the guidelines are attention to spacing in safe distance from one another, ways of keeping surfaces sanitized, flow patterns for receiving offering, safe distribution of communion elements, use of masks, and how to sing without projecting aerosol from our mouths at great distance. At this time we will ask that you remain open to different ways of coming to worship so everyone is as safe as possible.

Each Sunday we include a list in our bulletin of those who are celebrating birthdays in the coming week. One of those persons we celebrate on Tuesday, May 12, is Jean Stewart, who will be 95 years young. Jean grew up in Upper Darby and graduated from Springfield (Delco) High School. After living in Connecticut with her family, they relocated to Ocean City. That is when Jean’s connection with Seaview was formed. She has been active among us for over 30 years. Happy birthday, Jean.

Most of us are aware of how devastating the coronavirus has been on our economy. Many folks are out of work. That continues tom put a strain on our food pantries. Our local ecumenical pantry that serves Somers Point, Linwood and Northfield is housed at Grace Lutheran Church. We are grateful for those who have been dropping off non perishables in the protected box under the education building canopy. We will be making a delivery to the pantry on Monday morning. Especially needed are canned meals, soups, boxed mac and cheese, cereals, canned beets, spinach and asparagus. condiments and sanitary items like soaps, toothpaste and paper goods.

A decision has now been made regarding the summer camping season at Baptist Camp Lebanon. Regular camping weeks will not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Camp leadership is considering ways to provide experiences for Christian nurture in place of the regular season. Stay tuned for updates.

We want to remind you that your group can meet together by Zoom. Everyone would need to download the Zoom app to their phone, tablet or computer, create a free account and have access to the internet. Youth meetings, Board meetings and Discipleship Training and Prayer currently use Zoom to meet. Pastor Frank can help you set up a meeting. Just give him a call.
 
 
May 2, 2020

Tomorrow we will be remembering the Lord  and celebrating his presence among us in Communion. As has been the case in the past, we invite you to prepare by having a piece of bread and a cup of juice or wine with you as you tune in for worship at 10:30 AM on Facebook. The message will be based in John 10:1-10, “The Voice of the Shepherd.” Music includes Because He Lives, This is Amazing Grace, Still My Soul be Still, and In the Garden.

Our Deacons receive a special offering that we make available to people with special needs as a way of coming alongside them. When you are considering your regular offering, perhaps you will put some extra money into your check and note on it that it is for the Deacons Offering. There is a good deal of extra need now due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Please be as generous as you are able. In giving through our website, you will see a comment line for you to designate part of your gift to the Deacons Offering.

This afternoon at 2:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, a virtual praise concert will be broadcast from London. Normally this is a sell out event at Royal Albert Hall. Again, because of the unusual global situation, it will be offered virtually and made available to anyone who wants to connect. Known as “Prom Praise,” the concert that has been in production for 40 years has grown from the music ministry of All Souls Church, London, to be a standout event. Since the actual concert had to be cancelled, All Souls is doing it virtually. There will also be a brief message by Hugh Palmer, Rector of All Souls Church and Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen. Go to the following link to connect. We understand it will be offered later on demand.

https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2020/virtual-prom-praise/
 
 
April 29, 2020
 
Discipleship and Prayer is offered again this evening at 7:00 by Zoom. Please email Pastor Frank at drfreeder@aol.com if you wish to be added to the distribution list for the link. Once again, we will be in Chapter 5 of The Magnificent Story by James Bryan Smith. You can download this title from Amazon to your Kindle app ($10.99). While you do not need to read the chapter in advance to be part of the discussion, you will find reading helpful. The focus of the chapter is “Embracing Our Goodness.” Many Christ followers have been taught that our basic nature is evil. Dr. Smith challenges that view. Quoting from Ephesians 2:10 (NIV), “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God takes sin seriously. And so should we. Yet, Dr. Smith offers, “we are made in God’s image, with original goodness, which cannot be marred by our sin.”
 
To our knowledge, no one directly related to Seaview has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are very grateful. If you do know of someone who is battling this disease, please let us pray with you about it. You may email Pastor Frank at drfreeder@aol.com or simply become part of our Seaview Prayer Page on Facebook.
 
One of our members who works in health care, recently placed a plea on Facebook that we repeat here for your consideration. If and when [you are asked] to wear your mask properly it is for your safety as well as theirs AND YES they know it’s difficult to breathe in the masks. They wear them at minimum 8-12 hours a day. If and when you are asked a series of COVID19 questions remember it is required by CDC to do so. Most importantly we understand you are frightened, angry, and probably tired but before you respond in a quick, harsh, or explicit way –I ask you to remember we choose to leave our home (and everyone in it-significant others, parents, children) every day because we care and we want to help, we believe in what we are doing.
 
This coming Sunday is the first one of the month and we will be observing the ordinance of Communion. Along with that, our Deacons receive a special offering that we make available to people with special needs as a way of coming alongside them. When you are considering your regular offering, perhaps you will put some extra money into your check and note on it that it is for the Deacons Offering. One of the upcoming uses of the offering is to help kids go to Camp Lebanon.
 
Camp Lebanon is taking applications for the summer camping season in hope that, with the proper precautions, we can still have a camping season. Go to www.camplebanon.com to see the line up of camping weeks as well as to find an application to download. If you would like some help with the fees, please let us know in the church office. All inquiries are confidential.
 
 
April 25, 2020
 
It was March 21, five weeks ago, when New Jersey Governor Murphy took to the airwaves to announce the beginning of austere measures to protect our people from Covid-19. We had to learn new ways of connecting with each other and new ways of maintaining learning, worshipping and gathering provisions. We all know someone directly affected by the disease. A giant hole has been punched into our economy. Fuel is cheap because of the greatly diminished demand. Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Government infusions of cash dry up quickly. And there is a longing for normalcy and being together. But not yet. It is painful to write those words. But not yet. And the Lord knows what normalcy will look like when we come out of this. The flu pandemic of 1918 gives us some clues. It took a few years before people began to feel safe. Let’s continue to be kind to one another. That is never out of fashion. And genuinely listen with interest after asking the question, “How are you?” Many of us are still trying to figure out the answer.
 
We have been working on a more permanent live steaming system in our sanctuary. Dr. Larider Ruffin has been wonderful at keeping us live by streaming with his smart phone for five weeks now. He has truly been God’s instrument. The new system will use three cameras as well as a direct view of the monitor screen. Bugs are still being worked out. Until then, we will continue to be dependent on Larider.
 
Tomorrow is the third Sunday of Easter. This leads us to the story of Emmaus Road. How likely is it that Jesus is walking with us and we don’t even recognize him? It’s heart work. Worship begins at 10:30 live-streaming on Facebook. Our gathering hymn is “He Lives.” You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart. The Gospel reading is from Luke 24:13-35. We will also sing a song written by the Rev. Carolyn Gillette to go with this message set to he familiar hymn tune of “Though I May Speak.” Go to our website (www.seaview.church link at the bottom of this page) to download the bulletin and learn more.
 
Discipleship Training and Prayer on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 is by Zoom. We are using the book The Magnificent Story by James Bryan Smith as a resource. While you do not need to read the chapter (we are on Chapter 5) to participate, it is especially helpful. The reading raises questions and stimulates other thoughts you may wish to explore. You may download it to your Kindle or Pastor Frank would be glad to order you a hard copy. Pastor Frank will also be glad to add you to the distribution list for the Zoom link by just asking him by emailing at drfreeder@aol.com.
 
We are still collecting non-perishables to keep the ecumenical pantry stocked in Somers Point. Bring your non-perishables and place them in the yard box at the entrance to our education building. So many are in need during these trying times and your donation helps in a big way.
 
Another great help has been the way so many are sending in their offerings by mail or going to our website homepage and clicking on “Give Now.” Your online giving is best when connecting your bank account. It is very secure and costs us much less than when you use a credit card.
 
Yesterday was LeiLoni DeLeon’s 13th birthday. We are still celebrating that beautiful smile. Last Monday, Ben Harvey turned 18. Look out world. We are not done yet. Caleb Berger had his last single digit birthday on Tuesday. Aiden Solheim celebrates on Friday, May 1 and Ilia Kheirkhah goes to number 18 on Saturday, May 2. Our kids keep growing up. The imposed distancing makes hugs impossible for most of us. Still we send them lots of love.
 
 
 
 
April 22, 2020
 
Today is Earth Day. Beginning with 1970 when we were first made aware of the volatility of our fragile environmental system, we continue to encourage wise and sustainable stewardship of the world God gave us to care for. Efforts are made to use paper products as little as possible and recycle them when feasible. We are using less plastic and discouraging the use of styrofoam. The City of Somers Point stopped allowing single use plastic bags in all stores last year, joining many other communities already on that band wagon. This year we are faced with yet another environmental crisis as we battle a pandemic. Caring for one another is our greatest need. We urge you to not grow weary in well doing. This problem will not be over next month. Although some have chosen to throw caution to the wind on the grounds of exercising their rights, we believe this will cause much more destruction in the longer run. Maintain safe distance. Stay home when possible. Use masks, and wash your hands. And listen for the voice of God’s Spirit, “Love one another.”
 
This evening we are back to Discipleship Training and Prayer at 7:00 by Zoom. If you would like to be a part, make sure you indicate that to Pastor Frank who will be sending the link later today. Using the book The Magnificent Story by James Bryan Smith, we will begin Chapter 5, “Embracing Our Goodness.” If you are not able to read the chapter in preparation, please do not let that stop you from being part of the discussion. All are welcome.
 
A big thank you to all who participated in the food drive to help stock Grace Place, our ecumenical ministry to those who are challenged to make ends meet in Somers Point, Linwood and Northfield. We took two large shopping carts filled to overflowing to Grace Lutheran on Monday. You can join those of us who are determined to keep helping. Just place your donation in the brown yard box under the canopy at the entrance to our education building.