From:                                         Concord Presbyterian Church <>

Sent:                                           Thursday, December 10, 2020 7:15 AM


Subject:                                     Concord Connects - December 10, 2020


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December 10, 2020
Keeping you connected to the life and ministry of 
Concord Presbyterian Church!

Third Sunday of Advent - December 13 
Pastor Steve Clark preaching

    "Contours of Mary's Dream" by Lauren Wright Pittman (inspired by Luke 1:46-55)

     For this Sunday, READ Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 and Luke 1:46-55 and REFLECT: What do you make of the fact that at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus chose the beginning of the Isaiah text as his "lesson" to read in the synagogue, and then said to those listening that "it has been fulfilled in your hearing"? The prophet uses a variety of images to describe the deliverance being announced; is there one that particularly resonates with you at this time in your life? The Luke text is traditionally called the "Magnificat"; if you were to create a list of the "points" Mary is making in these verses, what would be on your list? Is there one or more of them that particularly resonates with you?  
     Artist's Statement: As I read Mary’s song this year, I felt a sting of grief, one that I hadn’t felt in response to this text before. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, artist Titus Kaphar created an image for Time magazine devoted to Black mothers. In his image, 'Analogous Colors,' he depicts a Black mother fiercely and lovingly holding her child. However, her child is cut out of the image, leaving a harsh, blank hole with shadows where the child should be . . . When I read the Magnificat, Kaphar’s image came into sharp relief. How could I image Mary holding the contours of her dreams for the world, while also holding the contour of her loss? Mary’s son would be publicly murdered at the hands of the State. Mary’s song reverberates for all mothers who have had dreams for their children shattered by senseless violence.

     TO JOIN US in worship this Sunday, December 13, CLICK ON THE PICTURE above to go to our Concord website. Near the bottom of the home page, click on the same picture to connect with the worship video. The worship video will be accessible after 9:00am each Sunday morning. 



This Sunday, December 13

This special service of scripture readings and music will be online at 4:30pm this Sunday and available for viewing any time after that. Matthew Pressley and Jeff DeVault are working diligently with choir members and other musicians to provide a very special celebration of the season.

To join us for the Service of Lessons & Carols, CLICK ON THE PICTURE above to go to Concord's website. Near the bottom of the home page, click on the same picture to connect to the worship video. The Lessons & Carols video will be accessible after 4:30pm this Sunday. 




Share the Spirit -
Concord's Holiday Mission Giving


This year Concord will be supporting the Friendship House Transitional Housing program with Christmas gifts. A request has been made for various gift cards for the 17 women living in the houses. Concord will be collecting the following gift cards for each resident through this Sunday:

  • Walgreens ($20)
  • Target ($20)
  • Walmart ($20)
  • Dollar Store ($20)
  • DART Bus Card ($15)

So that we can keep track, please use SignUpGenius to let us know what you will be purchasing. CLICK HERE to visit the site, then click on the item(s) you want to donate. Next click on "Submit and Sign Up," choose the number of gift cards you'd like to donate, then "Sign Up Now." You'll receive a confirmation email and so will we. 

Once you have signed up, you may drop off your gift card(s) to the church office by Sunday, December 13. (Place the cards in an envelope and label the outside with your name and "Share the Spirit." If the office is closed, please drop the cards through the mail slot at the Church Office entrance.) Contact Christina Pressley (302-740-8078) with questions or to arrange a gift card pick-up.



NOTES from December 2 

  • RECEIVED REPORT from Finance & Stewardship that the full amount ($248,000) of the Payroll Protection Program loan we received earlier in the year has been forgiven. In light of that information and the proportionate amounts of payroll for the Preschool and for the congregation, Session APPROVED designating 75% of the amount ($186,000) for use by the Preschool and 25% ($62,000) for use by the congregation. They further APPROVED designating $15,500 of the congregation funds toward benevolence needs, directing the Mission Committee to recommend community ministries/programs to receive those funds.
  • RECEIVED REPORT of the Nominating Committee that they have nominees for all six open positions (three elders and three deacons) to be presented to the congregation at the December 6 congregational meeting.
  • HEARD FROM PASTOR STEVE that in light of new state restrictions on gatherings, the staff is recommending cancellation of the planned in-person Christmas Eve service. After discussion, Session SUGGESTED looking into requesting a waiver from the state that would allow for larger attendance, which Steve agreed to do. [FOLLOW-UP: After contacting the appropriate state agency, Steve learned that any gathering would require collecting personal data for contact tracing in the event of a participant subsequently testing positive for the virus. Given the logistical hurdles for making that happen, Session was polled by email and agreed to cancel the service.]
  • RECEIVED REPORT from the Technology Committee with an update on current status of the search for a vendor to supply equipment for future live-streaming of our worship services. That report included a recommendation for designating up to $40,000 for the purchase and installation of the equipment. After lengthy discussion around expected use of the equipment, Session APPROVED the expenditure. Session also affirmed creating a process, to take place in January, for communicating to the congregation (a) the current status of this project; and (b) the expected ways in which the technology and equipment will be used. The plan is for information to be communicated to the congregation via an all-congregation email, and all-congregation mailing, and a congregation conversation, via Zoom, in which members can voice their question and concerns. [NOTE: News from the November Session meeting, reported in the December Courier, provided some details about the purpose and process for this project. Details for the expanded communication plan are currently being worked out; watch for more details in the next couple of weeks.]
  • ELECTED TWO ELDERS (Alan Jewett and Ron McKinney) to serve as Concord commissioners to the special Presbytery Meeting (via Zoom) at 4:00pm on December 8. The special meeting is to act on the nomination of the Rev. Cynthia L. Kohlmann to be the Connectional Presbyter for New Castle Presbytery.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about any of these matters, feel free to contact Pastor Steve or any member of Session.



Our weekly MUG & MUFFIN study meets again next Wed., December 16 from 10:00-11:00am. To join the Zoom gathering, follow the instructions below.


To join ONLINE, click on this link.


To join by CALLING IN:
(1) dial 646-558-8656
(2) If asked, enter the meeting number 879-780-5150 (no dashes)
(3) When asked for participant ID, just press the # sign
(4) When asked for meeting password, enter 489133, followed by the # sign



Concord Photo Gallery

If you have photos you'd be willing to share with your Concord family, please send them to Margaret. Show us how you're preparing for the holidays, how you're worshiping, special occasions, children or pets being adorable...! We'll try to share your photos in Concord Connects as space permits. 


Baby Moses? No, it's Dottie Harding's grandson Porter checking out a baby-sized basket.


Kathie Pownall's Christmas Kitten, decoratively relaxing on her window sill.


Our Zoom congregational meeting held last Sunday.



Prayers of sympathy for Rick and Rob Bates following the death of their father Bill Bates last week. Burial will be private; memorial service will be planned once Covid restrictions have been resolved. (obit)
Prayers of condolence for the family of Dottie Harding following the death of her mother's cousin Marshall Austin from Covid on Nov. 30.
Also safe travels for Dottie's daughter Anne, husband Clay, and baby Porter (plus dog & cat) as they travel home by car to CO after spending 3 months in GA.
Continued healing prayers for Phil Lind - at home for now but future hospitalizations may be necessary to deal with fluid retention issues.
Prayers for Carol Lind - seeing a hand surgeon this week to get help with injuries suffered in a fall.
The Janas family - quarantined at home after Eric was exposed to Covid at work.
The Brutus family - also quarantined after Aleea was exposed to Covid by a classmate last week.
Anna Mae Landt - currently in quarantine at Maris Grove after dining with another resident who later tested positive.
Alan Jewett's brother Bruce and Bruce's two daughters - all tested positive for virus. Bruce is feeling unwell at times but daughters are asymptomatic.
Healing prayers for Kathie Pownall's niece Carlyn - recovered from Covid but suffering lingering serious health issues interfering with her return to work.
Prayers of sympathy for the family of former member Jeanette Durstein-Brown who recently passed away.
Continued prayers for 11-yr.-old Shane Newton, brother of a Preschool student - recent surgery to remove a brain tumor. Will be receiving PT and continuing treatments at CHOP.
Prayers of strength and healing for Paul Persak's wife Maria - currently battling cancer.
Prayers for the speedy recovery of Gail Dill's grandson Nic, who is very ill with mononucleosis.
Continued prayers for Gail Greene, visiting a pulmonologist and cardiologist next week for continuing health issues.
Prayers for our country as new virus cases continue to rise - heal the sick and infected, protect the vulnerable, and be with our frontline healthcare workers as they work to help those in their care. Especially guide those responsible for approving and distributing the new vaccines - grant them wisdom and discernment.
A Diaspora Prayer Group prays on Mondays at 9:00am for those on the church prayer list (of which this is just a part). If you would like to add names/needs to this list and this ministry of prayer, click here:



Reverse Advent Calendar

Concord Youth Group is trying something new this year – a REVERSE Advent Calendar — and you are welcome to join them!

This is the opposite of a typical Advent calendar where we receive a little gift as we count down the days to Christmas. Instead, with this calendar we give back daily by placing a non-perishable food item in a box or bag each day. (See p. 4 of the December Courier for suggestions.) Drop off your items to Concord Church by Sunday, December 20 so they can be shared with Hanover Food Pantry for Christmas. 



Give the Gift of Chickens!

     The Guatemala Partnership of our New Castle Presbytery invites you to consider making a special gift to our partners in Guatemala. Levels of hunger and food insecurity have skyrocketed to daunting levels during this pandemic, especially in rural Guatemala. These chickens provide a sustainable food source for vulnerable families.
     Each gift of $40 includes three chickens, delivery, training, and special feed for the first month—providing an indigenous family with more than a dozen eggs every week. This makes a great holiday gift for friends and family, especially this year! Custom gift cards are available to honor a loved one. Click HERE for more info and how to donate.



Karla Koll - Presbyterian World Mission Co-Worker Letter

Our mission co-worker Karla Koll has posted an update from Costa Rica.
Catch up on how God is at work in this part of the world!


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