We are moving our Sunday morning services to the church sanctuary for the month of December. Services will be at 10:30 am For details, and important information regarding attending, please click the link below
By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps … How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? - Psalm 137:1-2,4
Advent is the season of hope and expectation. But how can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? This is the question posed by the Psalmist in Psalm 137, which described feelings of abandonment and despair when the nation was taken into exile following their deportation to Babylon. Even though we are not in a foreign land, per se, it does seem that we are in exile due to the protracted pandemic in which we find ourselves. This is true especially during the holiday season when it is no longer an option to meet with family and friends in a manner we are used to or would prefer. In addition and even with the exciting promise of a vaccine, the resolution of the pandemic is still far off, and fatigue is a concern for many. Yet could it be that it was into just such an environment that God sent a small child to bring us hope? There may not have been a global health crisis in Israel in the 1st century, nevertheless, the people were under the control of a foreign power, namely Rome. Certainly, the nation hoped fervently for relief. Even so, the people’s idea of a “cure” turned out not to be what God had in mind. Whatever the case, God chose that moment in history to introduce God’s own vaccine, which is 100% effective against the power of sin (caution: side effects include joy, peace, and a new outlook on life).
Still today, we do not fully appreciate how much in need of a savior we truly are. Perhaps, then, the carols we enjoy so much at this time (however we get to sing them) can take on a new purpose and meaning as we continue to sing the Lord’s song in this foreign environment in which we find ourselves. As a result, we have fashioned our December calendar as an Advent calendar, where each day we can build hope as we follow the unfolding story of the birth of Jesus. Please check our website to see updates on how we will continue to worship during the month of December. And in whatever ways are best, we pray we may all continue to bring “Joy to the World” as we look forward in expectation to both the end of this health crisis next year and the celebration of our Savior in a few weeks to come.
Anchored in the past, sharing Christ’s message today, and growing in faith into the future.
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland, but we an imperishable one. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, NRSV
When I was at university spring semester sophomore year, I had to take a course in differential equations. I felt I had a good grasp of college calculus for the first three semesters, but once I started differential equations, I encountered a subject that I understood in principle but could not master in practice. I say this because as a family of faith at the Ramapo Reformed Church, we also have one large differential equation, i.e. the pandemic, with which we have been wrestling since March. We know many of the parameters and conditions of the situation. Yet the challenge is not merely trying to define and solve the equation, but to determine the proper steps we will need to take in order to do so along the way. We have already taken several such steps and made progress, but we are still working towards a solution and trying to determine what should be next.
We began and will continue with pre-recorded weekly worship services that have been posted on our website since mid-March. We added outdoor worship on Tuesday nights for August and September. In October we are looking to continue outdoor worship, but now on Sunday mornings at 10:30 with the same parameters (weather permitting in the backyard, wear a mask, bring your own chair, sit apart, etc.) What happens with worship in November, however, has yet to be finalized. We are also resuming soup and wreath orders for curbside pick-up and have included order forms for both in this mailing. Also, consider joining us via Zoom for a DVD Bible Study on Tuesdays in October and November. Taking a cue from the current election cycle, we plan to conduct our next consistory election via mail. A suggestion form for deacons and elders for consistory to consider is also included. Finally, enclosed is the October calendar with suggestions on how to celebrate each day of this beautiful month.
As the Apostle Paul referenced in the scripture above, this Covid-inspired journey upon which we have embarked (without our asking) is a marathon and not a sprint. We must run in a way so that we may all win it together. We are grateful for everyone’s support, patience, and encouragement, and we look forward to the day, whenever that may be, when we can gather once again in God’s house together. May God’s grace fill you with hope and joy in the coming months ahead and continue to bless you on our shared journey of faith.
Anchored in the past, sharing Christ’s message today, and growing in faith into the future
March 19, 2020
We hope you are doing well during this time of uncertainty. Accordingly, it is the upmost priority of the Ramapo Reformed Church to protect the safety and well-being of our parishioners and friends. Therefore, Sunday services and all upcoming church events will be halted for the time being.
During this time of important social distancing, we are working to bring worship to you in the comfort and safety of your home. The Ramapo Reformed Church has created a YouTube channel to assist you in doing so. Weekly services will be recorded and available to view each Sunday. These videos can be viewed via The Ramapo Reformed Church YouTube channel or by visiting our website (www.ramaporeformedchurch.org). Information and links for the videos, our channel, and much more can be found on the "RRC From Home" page of our website. We encourage those who are interested to spend some time checking out the page in the coming days. You can access it from the navigation bar at the top of the website, or use the link on the home page. Please let us know if you have any trouble accessing it. We will continue to post pertinent updates on our website and FaceBook page.
As we find ourselves in an unprecedented time, please know that although we may not be meeting together each week, we are still here for each other as a community of faith. If you need to talk, or if there is anything that we may be able to assist you with, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can leave a message at the church office (201-529-3075) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).