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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

On Sheltering in Place

To say the past week has been surreal is an understatement. Thanks to the Coronavirus our world has practically shut down.

While it remains to be seen if the social distancing measures being adopted around the globe curtail the spread of the virus, our hope and prayer is that it would be so. As a people we’ve begun to respond in heartfelt ways to the new normal.  My neighbor had to close his popular area restaurant for at least the next two weeks.  Rather than have the perishable items in his cooler go to waste, he drove through our plan handing out eggs, milk and bread from the back of his pickup truck to neighbors in need. He also handed out toilet paper, which while not perishable was in short supply in some area homes. We are members of Orchard Hill Church (OHC) a large non-denominational church located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Most weekends OHC attracts several thousand people to the six services spread across three campuses throughout the area.

Like most churches OHC has suspended in person services until further notice while offering the opportunity to view the worship and message online.  In addition to the weekend message that’s being streamed, they have also begun live streaming a 15-minute evening devotional at 8:30 PM weeknights. The devotional includes music and a brief message from a member of the church’s leadership team.

They began the devotional in the Book of Psalms from the Old Testament.  I’m praying that the current quarantine ends before the entire book can be reviewed as there are 150 chapters in Psalms!

That being said, the psalter is a wonderful devotional choice as the authors frequently share how they overcame their struggles and fears through trust and faith in God. A relevant theme in these trying times. Here’s the link to the evening OHC devotional if you’d like to check it out .

As comforting as the OHC devotional is, I was also moved by a touching video I received from worship leaders Keith and Kristyn Getty (In Christ Alone).  The Getty’s are from Ireland and spent years as the worship leaders at Parkside Church in Cleveland under Pastor Alistair Begg (Truth for Life).  They now live in Nashville. 

On the spur of the moment the Gettys sent out a St. Patrick’s Day Hymn video which was recorded in their Nashville home.

While the quality is “home movie-ish”, the 24-minute video features some history of Irish music, a hymn they wrote to the tune of Danny Boy and their three young daughters singing with them around the piano. 

The session ends with their family singing In Christ Alone (which they wrote) followed by the Prayer of St. Patrick, which I had heard previously but never realized the attribution.

When you have the time, I think you’ll enjoy viewing this video with your family.

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