Category Archives: Uncategorized

Praying With The Pastor – Livelihood Crisis

Workers lined up last week to apply for unemployment benefits at the Hospitality Training Academy in Los Angeles. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

“The coronavirus pandemic will cause a severe economic contraction, 14.4 million job losses and a spike in the unemployment rate this spring, with an economic recovery starting the second half of the year, economists forecast in a Wall Street Journal survey.  Business and academic economists in this month’s survey expect, on average, that the unemployment rate will hit 13% in June this year, and still be at 10% in December. The jobless rate was 4.4% in March.”  – The Wall Street Journal (04/08/2020)

Dear Friends,

In addition to causing a health crisis, the novel coronavirus pandemic is also causing an economic crisis in our nation and world that is impacting millions of people’s livelihoods.  I invite you to join me in in prayer again this week for everyone suffering in every way from the effects of this disease.

Blessings,

Pastor Basile

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:31-32)

A Prayer

Gracious God,

We know that your love is infinite and that you care about all areas of our life.

In this time of economic insecurity, help us to trust that all of our security is in you.

Keep us mindful that you always have and always will provide for our needs.

Apart from you we can do nothing.

Merciful God,

We ask that you give our leaders the wisdom to guide our nation and the world

out of the current economic crisis, caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Help us to protect the poor and all those who are struggling during this difficult time.

Provide for their needs and give them hope.

Open new opportunities for them and furnish the resources they need to live with dignity.  Encourage those who have enough to share essential resources

with those who lack the necessities of life,

and to do so with humble, grateful and loving hearts.

We ask this through Christ, Our Lord.  Amen.

  • Adapted from a prayer by The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Praying with the Pastor” is a resource highlighting prayer needs in our community, nation, and world.  Names of Zion members and friends requesting prayer are listed in the weekly church bulletins, and monthly Messenger Newsletter.  May God’s blessings abound as we consistently lift up the world, including our own church family, in prayer!

 

 

 

Join Us Online For Easter Worship

“He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:6)

Dear Friends,

I invite all of you to join me online this Sunday, Easter morning, to worship our Risen Lord!  I will lead worship from the church sanctuary that morning.  The service will be live streamed onto Zion’s Facebook page again at our normal service time, 10:10am.  Pre-recorded music that Jonathan Block and the soloist have created especially for the service will, again, be used during worship.

Easter morning, among other things, we will celebrate the Holy Sacrament of Communion together.  I invite each of you, in your homes, to prepare elements for Communion before the live streamed service begins.   During an appointed time in the service, I will ask God’s blessings upon the elements on the altar, and in your homes, after which we can then receive them together during live streamed worship.  I will guide you through the process.  I ask that you use as elements for Communion any kind of bread you already have in your homes (leavened or unleavened), and wine or grape juice you already have in your homes.  You may also use water in substitute of wine or grape juice, if you don’t currently have wine or grape juice in your home.  In light of our Governor’s issued travel advisories, I encourage you not to make a special trip to the grocery store or elsewhere to obtain elements for Communion.  God will richly bless the items you already have in your homes.

There are some in our society who say that the current pandemic will make it impossible for Americans to celebrate Easter this year.  That, however, is not true!  We will celebrate the most important thing about Easter this Sunday.  Join me online at 10:10am so that all of us, on that most sacred of days, can safely lift up our Risen Lord together in praise as a church family!

Those of you unfamiliar with how to access our church’s Facebook page online, can do so my clicking the following link:  https://www.facebook.com/ZionEvangelicalUCC/

Bless you all!

Pastor Basile

Praying With The Pastor – Least Developed Countries

A girl washes her hands at the entrance of her parents’ house in Pikine, on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal (REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

“In the world’s least developed countries (LDCs), 900 million people are at risk from coronavirus.  These countries lack the economic resources and medical infrastructure of their more developed counterparts but can learn lessons from their response and benefit from their support…The ongoing death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in developed countries such as Italy and the US portends a looming disaster in the world’s most impoverished countries…those nearly 50 countries who fall under the UN’s Least-Developed Country (LDC) status.”  – World Economic Forum, 03/23/2020

Dear Friends,

In addition to continuing to pray for our nation and other nations currently suffering from the devastating effects of the novel coronavirus, I invite you to join me this week in also praying for the world’s least-developed countries, and the looming COVID-19 crisis many face.

Blessings,

Pastor Basile

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear…” (Psalm 46:1-2)

A Prayer

Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well-being.  We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.  We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.  We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future.  We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.  Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good…Reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.  Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,  You, the God who does not abandon.  Amen.

  • Jesuit Resource, Xavier University

“Praying with the Pastor” is a resource highlighting prayer needs in our community, nation, and world.  Names of Zion members and friends requesting prayer are listed in the weekly church bulletins, and monthly Messenger Newsletter.  May God’s blessings abound as we consistently lift up the world, including our own church family, in prayer!

Praying With The Pastor – Unemployment


The coronavirus outbreak has devastated the business of many U.S. restaurants and retailers (Bryan Anselm for The New York Times)

“A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.” – The Washington Post, 03/26/2020

Dear Friends,

In addition to causing a health crisis, the novel coronavirus pandemic is also causing an economic crisis in our nation and world. I invite you to join me in in prayer this week for everyone suffering in every way from the effects of this disease.

Blessings,
Pastor Basile

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:31-32)

A Prayer
Gracious God,
We know that your love is infinite and that you care about all areas of our life.
In this time of economic insecurity, help us to trust that all of our security is in you.
Keep us mindful that you always have and always will provide for our needs.
Apart from you we can do nothing.

Merciful God,
We ask that you give our leaders the wisdom to guide our nation and the world
out of the current economic crisis, caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Help us to protect the poor and all those who are struggling during this difficult time.
Provide for their needs and give them hope.
Open new opportunities for them and furnish the resources they need to live with dignity. Encourage those who have enough to share essential resources
with those who lack the necessities of life,
and to do so with humble, grateful and loving hearts.

We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

– Adapted from a prayer by The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Praying with the Pastor” is a resource highlighting prayer needs in our community, nation, and world. Names of Zion members and friends requesting prayer are listed in the weekly church bulletins, and monthly Messenger Newsletter. May God’s blessings abound as we consistently lift up the world, including our own church family, in prayer!

Praying With the Pastor – Healing


“Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” (Matthew 15:30-32)

Dear Friends,

I invite you to focus with me, this week, on prayers for healing for those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Blessings,
Pastor Basile

A Prayer
Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” Come to our aid now, that we may experience your healing love.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.

• Kerry Weber, Executive Editor for America Magazine, 03/03/20 issue

“Praying with the Pastor” is a resource highlighting prayer needs in our community, nation, and world. Names of Zion members and friends requesting prayer are listed in the weekly church bulletins, and monthly Messenger Newsletter. May God’s blessings abound as we consistently lift up the world, including our own church family, in prayer!