It Knows No Bounds

I have found myself muttering this phrase a lot lately. It is usually in a sentence like “that man’s stupidity knows no bounds” or “man, their greed knows no bounds.” See, lately, I have been thinking a lot about whiteness. Now let me say right at the start, I am not talking about people of European descent (though they are the most likely to be possessed by this specific demon). No, I am explicitly referring to the principality that is the racial construct of whiteness.

In times like these, when armed white men and women (some carrying confederate flags and swastikas) who storm state capital buildings, are called “freedom lovers” and “patriots” by pundits who just a short time ago called Black athletes who took a knee “traitors,” my mind wanders to whiteness. When a Black man on a jog in his neighborhood is hunted down and murdered because, well, how dare he jog; when the president of the United States tells a Chinese American journalist to “ask China” because, well, how dare she question him; when corporations and the billionaires who run them are eager to get back to business as usual in the face of a pandemic and our president calls us all “warriors,” my mind wanders to whiteness. Does it know no bounds? How long, oh Lord?!

In verses 5-9 of the 104th Psalm, the psalmist writes:
5 He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
     the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
   never again will they cover the earth.

In her book The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right, Lisa Sharon Harper notes that “the ancients were deathly afraid of the sea... The sea was a mysterious place of great struggle, loss and fear” (p. 23). The ancients quite literally believed that there were monsters in the sea. This was a place where one could easily be overwhelmed and consumed; the sea was chaotic. And the vast and seemingly limitless danger of the waters captured, and at times held captive, the imaginations of ancient people. It is in this context that the psalmist writes “But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.”

What the psalmist understood is that nothing but God is boundless! Evil is real, there are powers and principalities at work on a daily basis, demonic forces, literally hell bent on diminishing the very image of God in you and in me. But God not only sets boundaries they cannot cross, through the Holy Spirit he allows us to see them for what they are. We can say to the seas of racism, violence and greed (corporate and otherwise) “we see you and we will not be overcome!”

The sources of our fears and anxieties do not often disappear. The forces that bear down on our bodies don’t often just go away. Seas rage. But “just as Elohim did on the first day [of creation] when darkness was limited by the boundary of light, God called forth the land to place boundaries on the deep” (p. 23); we will not be overcome! In times liken these, the Spirit reminds me of this truth, and my soul finds anchor in the raging seas. 

-Pastor Michelle

Community Prayer Requests

For our community prayer requests we're continuing to highlight an opportunity to pray for our medical personnel during the pandemic. Rebecca Kornack has organized this effort and there is a way for you to commit to praying at a certain time each week as well as for medical personnel to submit specific prayer requests.

Also, if you're free at 8:00AM on a weekday, please join us for our 15 minute devotions and prayer call.

NCO Care Packages

Please watch this video from Sonia Wang, the new Executive Director for New Community Outreach, about an opportunity to give generously to the young people we serve.

Donations for Matthew's House

We are partnering with Matthew's House to provide needed supplies as they care for those experiencing homelessness. They have asked for the following items:

  • Paper cups
  • Paper plates 
  • Paper towels 
  • Plastic silverware 
  • Napkins 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Any kind of sanitizer 
  • Bar soap

You can either drop items off 7am-4pm Monday-Friday and 7am-2pm on Saturday
or have them delivered: 3722-28 South Indiana Ave; Chicago, IL 60653.

Interview with the Delps

Joel and Kim Delp partner with the Covenant Church of Ecuador to provide support for homes for at-risk children and a medical clinic. In this video, they share about the impact of COVID-19 on Ecuador and how their ministry and family are adapting to these struggles. Please pray for them and stay updated on their ministry by following their blog:
Click on the picture to go to the video.

Calendar & Opportunities

New Community Marriages | Saturday, May 16; 8:00PM
Join this webinar for married couples formatted as facilitated conversations led by Pastor Michelle and Karlos Dodson and Pastor Kevin and Linda Swanson.

Commissioning for Rediscipling the White Church | Sunday, May 17; 7:30PM
For New Community folks only. Pastor Michelle will moderate Q & A about Pastor David's new book and there will be a short time of prayer. Register here.

CHANGE!! We are Combining the 2 weekly sessions into ONE!
Kid City Online | Tuesdays; 1:00PM

Kids are invited to this Zoom call for a weekly Bible Study lesson and games.

The Journey Online | Thursdays; 1:00PM
Middle School students who are going through The Journey confirmation curriculum should join this weekly Zoom call.

Church Retreat | Friday - Sunday, June 19-21
Registration is now open for our annual retreat at Covenant Harbor in Lake Geneva, WI. Details are up in the air, and it may be postponed, but please register if you are interested.

Google Group
Join our Google Group for unofficial church news, happenings etc.

Thank you for your generosity to our benevolence fund. This fund is overseen by the leadership team to meet practical needs in the church and community. You can use the church website to give any tithe or offering; select "benevolence fund" to give directly to these needs. If you have a financial need, please let us know.
While were unable to gather for Sunday worship or in small groups, please stay connected in the following ways:
  1. Please enter your information in our communication database if you've not done so.
  2. Sunday worship is streamed on our Facebook page at 10:00AM.
  3. Register for our weekday 8:00-8:15 AM Zoom call for a short devotional and payer.
  4. We posted 5 weeks of evening reflection videos if you haven't checked them out.
  5. Community groups are using Zoom to meet during their regular times. Everyone is invited to join the Thursday Bible Study Zoom from 7:00-8:30 PM.
  6. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  7. The Distance is Love webpage on our site which will be updated in response to new developments.
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