View this email in your browser

e-news from MCCLV

Upcoming Events @ MCCLV

Easter Sunday
April 12 @ 10am & 11:30am

10am Adult Spiritual Formation class. Karl Steiner teaching on "Easter Blessings." To attend the class, go to this link at 10am on 4/12/20:

11:30am A Resurrection Celebration Worship Service via Facebook Livestream or viewable on the website. At 11:30am on 4/12/20 go to or to view the live video.

Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting via Zoom
April 15 @ 7pm

Join in prayer via Zoom at this link at 7pm on 4/15/20: 

2nd Sunday of Easter
April 19 @ 10am & 11:30am

10am Adult Spiritual Formation class on Zoom video with Lisa Engle teaching. To attend the class, go to this link at 10am on 4/19/20: 

11:30am MCCLV Sunday Worship Service via Facebook Livestream or viewable on the website. At 11:30am on 4/19/20 go to or to view the live video.
Assisting Neighbors at the Grocery Store

Experiencing work disruptions or paycheck problems and in need of food assistance? MCCLV has grocery store gift cards available for individuals and families. Contact or to receive cards or facilitate cards for someone in need.
Coronavirus, death, life and generosity

On a quarterly basis, MCCLV's Rev. Goudy writes for the "Faith & Values" section of the Morning Call newspaper. Her Easter column is below, or can be accessed via this link:

Faith & Values: A look at coronavirus, death, life and generosity
APR 10, 2020 | 12:50 PM

Many years ago, I was on the phone with my mentor, who had the title of “District Coordinator” for the Mid-Atlantic region. Rev. Elder Arlene Ackerman did not “gladly put up with fools” (2 Corinthians 11:19) and I was careful not to waste her time.

During this particular phone call, she was helping me set up some financial stewardship plans for the church, and she made it clear that “generous giving starts at 10 percent.” I understood her teaching but was baffled as to how to share this with a church that resided within a world disdainful and dismissive of tithing. Additionally, not everyone came from a denominational background that expected a 10 percent tithe of income to God through one’s particular faith community. Rev. Ackerman would not permit me to wiggle away from the teaching or soften it for the church. She was not pressuring me, just holding me to the truth.

The way forward I found was to share with the faith community on an annual basis the dollar amount of my 10 percent tithe to God through the church, as well as contributions to other organizations above the 10 percent. If people saw the pastor’s investment in the faith community, perhaps they may think about giving in a new way. As far as I know, publishing my financial giving did not inspire anyone to give 10 percent (best to leave inspiration to God). Instead, I hope it continues to help some people connect their finances to their theology.

If God is separate from our money, then God is separate from everything else, and a person of faith cannot compartmentalize anything, including work, home life, online viewing choices, decisions about food and, especially, money. For those who have made a significant spiritual commitment, giving one’s money grows out of prayer, listening to God’s calling and practicing generosity.

The COVID-19 pandemic will reveal the heart of religious organizations around the world: are they generous or stingy? It is often said that a congregation’s annual budget is a “statement of faith.” In the midst of a global health crisis, how a church handles its finances will expose its theology and the depth of its faith. Is God the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, or is God absent when tough times come around? Is the church giving itself away or is it hoarding? Things like panic buying are about a lack of trust that God will provide and is also about a lack of sharing with neighbors.

Recently, I was on the phone with a community leader talking about the programs at the church where I serve. The grocery store gift card program came up and the colleague asked, “and the cards are for church members, right?” I explained that most of the gift cards were provided to people outside of the church and we had no idea if recipients attended any religious services.

Those who are not a part of congregations often assume that religious organizations limit their assistance to their own, but there are a number of faith communities who give far beyond their walls, not expecting anything in return.

Adapting words from the late A.W. Tozer, our giving will be rewarded not by how much we gave but by how much we had left. For Christians, the model for generous giving is Jesus, who gave his all on the cross.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a call to generosity with funds, emotional support and prayers. If these things remain inside a particular congregation, the church turns into a club and has bid farewell to the Holy Spirit. Assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980, canonized as a saint in 2018) is more blunt: "A church that does not unite itself to the poor is not truly the Church of Jesus Christ.” Giving away 10 percent of one’s resources is very little in response to a world in need.

Easter is the ultimate display of God’s infinite generosity: the promise of life everlasting. Eternity is a gift that has no beginning and no end; it is a great mystery and also something we receive glimpses of during our earthy lives. But as death counts mount in the pandemic and Easter 2020 is unlike any in memory, sunny platitudes about the resurrection may provide little comfort. Instead there is this: At some point we will all courageously face Golgotha (Matthew 27:33), a place of death and destruction. Equally courageously, we will all encounter eternal life, “for if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Roman 6:5).

A generous person understands that all of life, temporal and eternal, is a gracious gift from God. The grave, tomb, casket and ICU bed are not the final word. Instead, abundant love, amazing grace, overflowing mercy and plenteous hope reign forever.

Copyright © 2020 Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley, All rights reserved.