A shofar (a Ram’s horn) is blown to begin the meeting of those present in the fellowship.  Most of the time, there is a designated person that receives the honor — and it is a privilege to do so.  Other times someone requests to blow the shofar.  It has a special significance that we hope to share with you in another blog post.

The Torah, an old testament reading is designated to someone ahead of time and the reader gives a little teaching on it.  Les has been asked to read this a couple of times.

Communion is also served every Shabbat as part of the service, held each Friday at 3:30 p.m.  

Praise and worship is also a very vibrant part of this time together.  Unique to this congregation, a home fellowship, is a very special mix of singing Hebrew & English songs.  The Hebrew is written phonetically so you can sound out the Hebrew words, a special treat.  This way, we are able to join in with the worship. Most of the time, when you see Hebrew it is written in the special Hebrew symbols and characters.

And, of course, each service like any other, must have announcements.  These announcements share about needs to the various areas of outreach.

This congregation has an ebb and flow of different visitors from many different places.

  1. Most Sanctuaries are decorated.  A unique and special thing in their home/sanctuary is a huge Torah scroll centerpiece.
  2. the “Sea of Galilee” also called “Sea of Kinneret”.  (The story of this is coming.)

During the month of August (month of Av), the congregation takes the month off from Erev Shabbat fellowship.

August is observed on the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. Av literally means “father.” It is customary to add the name “Menachem,” which means “comforter” or “consoler”.  In this month, both Temples were destroyed and many other tragedies occurred. Yet the Father in heaven is there to comfort and console us.

Erev means evening or evening of in Hebrew. Days in the Jewish calendar begin as the daylight leaves — as opposed to other calendar systems where a day begins at midnight or sunrise (as it becomes light).

The congregation, also known as Poriyah Congregation, is a home fellowship of messianic believers, an international English speaking fellowship since 2005.  It was formed on what they believe to be the New Testament model: meeting in homes governed by many elders.

Another reason they meet in a home is so that much of the funds received are used to help needy families in and around the congregation.  Those areas of giving are to reach out to the desperate and needy, to soldiers, widows, orphans, Arabs, and Druse. We also have a small prison ministry.

Three-thirty was the normal time we traveled up the hill to the upper Galilee in Poriyah in northern Galilee to join this fellowship until COVID-19 struck the world.  Congregation is a 20-30 minute ride skirting the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee then heading towards the west up a hill, to one of the first communities.

The Hebrew word “Poriya” (the name of the village) means “fruitful,” and “Kehilah” (K’hee-lah) means “Congregation,” so the name actually means “Fruitful Congregation.”  

Eric and Terri Morey, who host this fellowship in their home, made Aliyah around 1980.  They met some of the first believers in the modern state of Israel in Rosh Pina (see map); but, after receiving lots of persecution in Rosh Pina the first location, they relocated towards Tiberias.  Desiring to maintain a place for the English speaking international community fellowship, Tents of Mercy helped the Morey’s home cell group get started.

This Congregation has a huge heart for helping those making Aliyah, which is why they are very connected to the Aliyah Return Center (ARC).  Eric was the first to extend a hand of help and fellowship to the ARC.   The Congregation put together 64 scriptures that speak to Aliyah, the returning of the Jews to Israel.  

Poryiah has a lot of houses of prayer and is like a retirement community for believers.  Their home position overlooks the Galilee vallee and these believers have been praying years for the valley and the restoration of the kingdom in the valley.  The ARC is a part of the answer to their prayers helping Jews make Aliyah.

This congregation has an ebb and flow of different visitors from many different places.

  1. Most Sanctuaries are decorated.  A unique and special thing in their home/sanctuary is a huge Torah scroll centerpiece.
  2. Another very special aspect of this home fellowship is the mix of singing Hebrew & English songs.  The Hebrew is written phonetically so you can sound out the Hebrew words, a special treat.  This way, we are able to join in with the worship. Most of the time, when you see Hebrew it is written in the Hebrew symbols or characters.
  3. Another special thing is going back down the hill, and you see the beautiful scenery of the “Sea of Galilee” also called “Sea of Kinneret”.  (The story of this is coming.)


It was part of our regular schedule, but it has been a while since we attended because of COVID-19.  When things started opening up again, most of our Volunteer help was gone and our work increased.

THEN, because of COVID-19 radically changing the Volunteer environment, I became busy preparing for Shabbat.  Les, of course, has volunteered to help me, so we are unable to attend.

This ends our series of what our daily/weekly, more constant schedule looks like.  We hope you enjoyed it!  You can look forward to hearing about other life events here at the ARC and the Galilee that we have promised to share about in other blogs.  To keep in the loop on these events and not miss out, please subscribe.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by and peak into our lives.  Shalom aleichem! (shālôm ʻalêḵem means “peace be upon you.”


A day of rest that lasts from sundown on Friday evening through nightfall on Saturday night.

There are many things that Orthodox or observant Jews will not do on Shabbat (such as driving, working, or turning on a light switch), there are a host of things they do do in order to make the Shabbat a delightful celebration.

In the words of Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:”

You may already know that Shabbat is the weekly day of rest. The celebration begins in Jewish households in Israel and around the world during the Friday night dinner.

A big part of the “delight” of Shabbat is the enjoyment of three Shabbat meals, mainly the first two—Friday night dinner and Shabbat lunch—that are elegantly prepared, preceded by the sipping of ceremonial kiddush wine or grape juice (the best grape juice we’ve ever tasted, by the way), and the breaking of traditional challah bread, and blessings along with songs, inspiring thoughts and camaraderie integrated.

To host this event, much of the meal preparation takes place Thursday and Friday morning.  Shabbat usually starts at sunset for the candle-lighting and prayer. This is a prayer of thanksgiving over the workweek coming to a close of a week of activity, a week of growth, and a tiring week with the celebration of a day of rest and tranquility with a Shabbat rest.

At the ARC, most Fridays receive guests. Every Friday is Shabbat, a special meal is prepared.  This meal is really a celebration meal where guests and the hosts enjoy sharing the experience of five observances that are an integral part of any Shabbat meal. The ARC has had upwards of 80 or so guests that we know of.

These are the blessings (Baruch) observed throughout the Shabbat meal:

  1. Blessing for the Lighting of the Candles
  2. Blessing over the Wine or Grape Juice
  3. Blessing for Washing of the Hands
  4. Blessing over the Challah (braided bread)
  5. Blessing from the head of household (over wives, children, others)

We think this is a special biblical practice that the LORD God instituted for mankind for a reason.  It is not only for health but for remembering Him and honoring Him.

WHO doesn’t like receiving a blessing?

In a separate post, I will share these 5 Blessings practiced at Shabbot and there meaning and why it is a blessing for everyone.

How Sweet!

One Shabbat, we collected our Shabbat meal we had our own private meal.  We are allowed a special weekend off every month, which is such a huge blessing.  We will share about in another blog article.  This was totally acceptable and the kitchen staff at that time enjoyed preparing a special hallah bread for us and a small h’orderves plate just for us.

Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “semi-“normal” life:


The congregation post will conclude the series of our semi-consistent day to day life at the Aliyah Return Center (ARC).



Generally, all staff meals are shared and so is the kitchen.  As you may know from our article Our Three Homes, our places of residents are dorm-like.

Right now our staff/volunteer group is very small.  I will introduce you to our new communal family in another post.

For now, lunch takers are 9-10 and supper takers are about the same only with some different people due to schedules.


For a week, and being very short-staffed, I, Catherine, inherited being the head of hospitality/kitchen, which originally included meals, rental properties, etc.  There simply is not another person to fill this role, and it is a full-time job.

When I was first asked, thankfully, I had another young lady helping with meal preparation named Yola, from South Africa in Cape Town.  We shared kitchen duties include:

  1. Meal planning
  2. I collected the grocery list, sent it to the main office for purchasing for the week’s groceries.  There is a designated budget for meals and other hospitality items.
  3. Organize the kitchen, making sure everything is inventoried for meals and rental properties.
  4. My part was to prepare lunch for our small group of up to 7 to 8 people plus any visitors.


Most of the time, this is just a couple of sandwich varieties and vegetable tray items.  Pretty simple preparing fresh sandwich spreads and cutting vegetable tray items.  Sometimes reheating leftovers from Shabbat meal is necessary.  Recently, I prepared an eggplant dish just for a new item.  Israeli’s really like eggplant but so does the staff.  I collected 10 different types of eggplant dishes and was prepared to make something new.

THEN, I shared at the end of the month, I would need to step back for a week to work on our newsletter.  They decided to have lunches catered from the local Kibbutz.  They seem very happy with this decision and will continue using this catering service.

My plate is lighter.


Yola, South Africa, was responsible for the evening meal and does a really good job of throwing things together.  Because she worked in the kitchen differently than I do, and I plan ahead with meal plans, and since she was in the kitchen more, we had an agreement.  You know how it goes when there are two kitchen queens and getting along can happen.  I agreed to help her in a pinch if she needed it preparing supper.

She was on borrowed time though.  We did not know how long she will be around.  She is waiting for news from her consulate as to when she can book her flight to South Africa.  It sounds like it gets really complicated and there are a number of South Africans still in Israel waiting for the skies to open up to return to their homeland.  She did get the news that South Africa was closing their skies and to travel as soon as possible, that their border would not open up again till January.

She is now gone but was very helpful in meal preparation while here.

Because the catering service provides plenty at LUNCH, it was decided that left over’s will be the plan for SUPPER.  They may continue on this course hereafter.

Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “semi-“normal” life:




During the winter, around the time we arrived in Israel, it was cooler.  There was no push to get going (to work) very early. A group called, “The Discipleship Journey for Israel” (DJI) was here and generally visits in the Israeli winter.  It is kept busy most of the morning with work.  The afternoons were filled with speakers and a little free time off.

SUMMER WORK HOURS ( Hebrew: שעון קיץ ‎ sha’on kayits “Summer Clock”)

April-May is regarded as Spring.  April and May’s average highs are around 22-25 C / 72-77 F. Summer is June to September.  June through September and even October present highs of approximately 27-30 C / 81-86 F.

We cannot fathom what true Summer will feel like if May is Spring.  May brought very hot temperatures and so far we have experienced 111 degrees in the afternoon.  Drinking fluids is key to stay hydrated.  Many who work outside during this time take it easier during the afternoon hours.  The ARC starts earlier in the morning when it is cooler to take advantage of two more hours before the heat really hits.

There is a never-ending workload for the few hands since COVID-19.  With the closed borders, ARC’S regular incoming, out-of-Israel Volunteer help is at an all-time low.

Recently, most of the South American team of youth that was here for a couple of months, left June 1st.  Three remain for another 10 days and are now gone.

PTL, the Jewish Agency (JA) has booked our next group to replace the South Americans.  We are learning that the JA is constantly booking these rooms with in-country groups to help with its revenue.  They may be able to help with jobs around the campus.


  1. The Vertical – I, Catherine, will post more about this is in another blog.
  2. The Cafeteria/Office/Internet for the whole campus. –  All offices will be located in another building, which needs walls torn down, and a new floor plan to implement.  Les will help with this project.
  3. The garden growing season is on hold but not forgotten.  We do have exciting plans to share about this later regarding that.  In the meantime, he is taking care of the newly planted trees around the Golim building, the first place we staying upon our arrival.  Read more about our three homes here.  Learn about the trees by visiting our Instagram posts here.
  4. New International Building set up – This is where our kitchen, meals, and Shabbat will be held.  More on that in another post.
  5. The Aliyah Family House – that houses for right now, Interns and Volunteers, and anyone that wants a place to rent for a weekend.  It is where we held our bible study one evening via Zoom during COVID-19.  The outside is getting a landscaping facelift.  Les has done some work there but for the most part, they are trying to use Israeli workers.

What’s next in the line-up of our semi-“normal” life:


The Teardrop

The TEARDROP Driveway

The Tear Drop driveway is a special memorial.  It is a showcase for all who enter.  There are a number of groups, people, visitors supporting Israel.  These people have visited the Aliyah Return Center (ARC) and placed their countries flag to show that they want to bless Israel.

There are a number of ways to support Israel, but for this post, we will focus on the TEARDROP:

  1. These flags last only three months due to Israel’s hot sun and wind.
  2. These flags should be replaced four times a year.  This will help maintain a fresh, well-cared for, bright-looking flags for the teardrop drive as a visual reminder as they enter the ARC, a save haven for the Olim, those who are making Aliyah (returning to Israel).  This is a visual reminder that mentally raises the spirit, as well as, brings a sense of encouragement to all who enter as they see these flags.
  3. They are a testimony and banner of the LORD’S goodness and blessing to Israel.
  4. All who see them will be blessed knowing Israel is supported and remembered.
Les & Catherine DeRoos are serving Volunteers and the Aliyah Return Center (ARC) in Israel.

If your church or group is willing to help support your nation’s flag, these flags are $50.00 apiece and four flags a year comes to $400 a year.  Shipping anything to Israel is far too costly, and the flags are made here in Israel so to expedite replacing the flag in a timely manner is done by sending financial support.

This project is not only to encourage the returning Jews making Aliyah, it is one of many ways to support Jews returning to Israel as they absorb into the Jewish culture and they learn a whole new language, Hebrew.


  • You are welcome to send support for this encouraging project here.
  • If you have any more questions please feel free to email us at
  • Watch The Teardrop at ground zero.



At 7 p.m., on Tuesday nights we attend a bible study to which we were invited in the upper Galilee area called Poriya.

When COVID-19 hit, we stopped going.  We attempted to connect through a Zoom meeting like most everyone else was doing, but we were faced with some other problems.

We had to walk into the kibbutz where the Family House is located.  The Family House has a faster internet connection.

The Zoom was just too difficult to keep that going partly because the kibbutz didn’t like everyone going to the Family House which is located in the kibbutz, especially with COVID-19.  Another reason was that the Zoom was cutting in and out and made interaction almost impossible.  A newer Jewish believer attendee was asking all kinds of questions.  We decided to wait until we could all meet again in person.

May 12 was our first night back and we are meeting at 7:00 p.m. Lots of things change in the Summer because it is just too hot.  The temperature has reached 111 degrees but thankfully the higher elevation brings a cooling atmosphere and with it being later in the day we experience lower temperatures as well.

We are currently studying the book of Daniel.  Our leader is a digger and brings depth to the study through historical accounts as well as current world events.  We leave the study with much to think about each week.

July 7 we began meeting again.  We have finished the book of Daniel and are now studying the covenants and shortly on to the book of Revelation.  We are very excited about what we will learn and are looking up for the return of our LORD and Savior.

Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “normal” life:  WORK

Heat Wave

Our 4th Month in Israel at the
Aliyah Return Center (ARC) began with unusually rainy days and THEN an unusual heatwave hit.

Our temperatures reached 115 degrees with drying winds.

Our plants were progressing very well and in two days we about lost most of them. (pictures below)

Our newly planted trees are well watered, but the heat is trying to burn their tender leaves.  Thankfully, the trees are doing better than the garden plants and shade cloth is the plan for them during the summer.

Our nucleus family disappeared, and we are down to a hand full of full-time Volunteers.






Has the workload diminished due to the heat?

Uhm, no, not really.  The work continues on, but the helping hands slowed down considerably due to the COVID-19 situation.  There are a number of people that did remain in Israel after flights shutdown, satisfied their mandate to quarantine and few knew about the ARC or heard about it and headed our way…the LORD’s provision.  PTL!


“The Vertical”.  The Vertical is the future 24/7 Worship Center that will also house teams that can stay for a designated time to Worship.  A donation from China was given to renovate this building.  The dedication of this building took place on a very special day called Shavuot (Pentecost), on Thursday the 28th.  There were special international guest speakers and worship songwriters via Zoom in attendance as well as local friends of the ARC.

Even during COVID-19, this project continued to be under construction.  The hope is to post its transformation, so please be looking for images of its transformation.



These projects are the upkeep of this ARC property.  Aside from ARC’s general vision to help facilitate Aliyah for the returning Jewish people by making sure there is a place for them to stay, there is the ongoing maintenance of these buildings and grounds.  This includes the upkeep of all the buildings on the property that continually are used by other Jewish groups.  BUT, there is a problem…

There are not enough hands to maintain the buildings and grounds.  The ARC facilitates in this area through volunteers that come.  The buildings continue to be occupied by different groups within the country, but with insufficient volunteer’s hands to help in between these different occupants. Since COVID-19, there are no volunteers coming to serve in these areas.

This month alone has seen three groups each staying a few days and a team of pre-army leaders just arrived for orientation.  These pre army groups always come through the JA.  In between groups, there in a need to repair things and make sure everything isworking well.  That’s the ARC’s job.

The ARC received an African tourist named Yola, who is here helping in the kitchen and hospitality area.  She is waiting for flights out of Israel to South Africa are flying again, which means she will most likely stick around till July when those flights are reported to commence flying.  Until then we will enjoy having her around and have fun watching her African culture come through.  Yola is a vibrant, very upbeat, joyful young lady and is willing to put her hands into service wherever they are needed.


LES, is the right-hand person of the project’s manager, Garret.  Together they weed wack, mow, fix broken parts of machines and buildings.

In addition to making sure the nursery plants are doing well, Les makes sure that the newly planted trees are watered, shaded, and fixes most water leaks.  Every plant here has really suffered due to the HEATWAVE Israel had this month.  We are not sure how many nursery plants will survive.

CATHERINE helps out in the kitchen and clean up.  WOW!   Her other responsibilities are keeping you in the loop through the various forms of media (Instagram, youtube, monthly newsletter, and this blog.)


Stay tuned in by subscribing so that you don’t miss a beat.


What will

next month

look like?



A devotional time is a regular important part of the Aliyah Return Center’s (ARC’S) daily activity. The schedule does change a bit due to the group size and time of year as you will soon read.


When the Discipleship Journey for Israel (DJI) was here, every day included a time set aside to have a communal breakfast @ 6:30 a.m. and worship @ 7 a.m. with devotions to start our day.  Devotions were longer with worship leaders and a devotional series/teaching on the covenantal promises to the Jewish people.

The annual DJI group kept a detailed schedule and stayed for almost a month.  Again, we arrived the day after they did, so we participated in their schedule.  Once the DJI left, the schedule was more relaxed.

After the larger group left and COVID-19 hit, we began meeting at 8:25 – 9:00 a.m. and were divided up into nucleus families of no more than 10 persons. One of the devotions before we broke into nucleus families, Les was asked to lead a devotion.  You can listen to his devotion by clicking here.

SMALLER GROUP DEVOTIONS:  Our family was seven, five single ladies on three mornings a week: Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday.  Tuesday and Thursday we were on an honor system to have our own individual devotional time.  Friday and Saturday are Shabbot.

Because of the ever-changing climate of people coming and going, we are presently down to three ladies and soon that will change.  Two of our young ladies had to leave, meeting a very empty airport and plane and face a fresh 14 day of quarantine start to their return home.  Shortly after their departure, many of the restrictions lifted in Israel.

We will begin meeting as a group again with the Volunteers that are here for a longer duration of time.


When the rains stop and the weather peaks the upper 90’s and into the lower hundreds, devotions take place after lunch.  To take advantage of as many daylight hours as possible, work begins at 7 a.m. two hours earlier than usual.  So the regular devotional time is moved.

This is a welcomed move for some who are not morning people.  This also fits well for a relaxed personal devotion in the morning without having to rush to get ready for the day.

Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “normal” life:  BIBLE STUDY

COVID-19 lockdown

April 1st marked our 3rd month in Israel at the Aliyah Return Center (ARC).

Just like the previous 2 months, this month will be no different.  It will be a very different month than all the rest because of the COVID-19 situation.  Please visit our COVID-19 updates.

How did we as missionaries continue ministry in a COVID-19 lockdown situation?

Here at the Aliyah Return Center (ARC), the ARC leaders have friends in high places of the Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) that know what is coming before the announced mandate, we began maintaining a step or two ahead of the country as a witness of compliance with the authorities and keep a relationship in good standing with the JAFI that has an office on the ARC property.

The neighboring kibbutz community was also getting nervous with all the new faces showing up at the ARC property, some that came through the JAFI.  The kibbutz one morning locked the gate showing us their discomfort.  They also wanted only a couple and one guy, in the Family House, our second residence.  Soooo, all the girls moved onto the ARC property.  This is when Les and I became nucleus parents.

Gatherings in our small group changed.  To best maintain community moving from One bigger family to four smaller nuclear families.  We were divided into having 4 nucleus families.

Nucleus Family 1:  Les and I were parents to five single women on campus, seven of us in all.  This keeps within the 10 per homegroup guidelines.  Two ladies from our family cooked the meal for everyone, and then it was divided into our nuclear families.

Nucleus Family 2:  Another couple on campus became parents two single guys and their extended family of five.

Nucleus Family 3:  One couple lives outside the campus that lives in the kibbutz and only the husband was allowed to enter within our gates and take food from our campus home.

Nucleus Family 4:  The other couple also lives outside and is located centrally with the kibbutz.  They are both staying in their places.

Eating, devotions, and celebrations (Shabbat/Passover) were celebrated with the confines of the nucleus families 1 & 2.

The kitchen staff, two of our nucleus daughters, plus a couple of occasional helpers, prepared a meal for 16 people who were divided up into three nucleus family groups.

We were all requested to wear masks while outside walking about the ARC’S campus with a 2 by 2 principle with no more than two to a group and 2 meters apart.

Les has worked with a young group of Brazilians, South Americans who have stayed in the former post-army building, the first building we stayed in.  They are beautifying the grounds around the former post-army building.  The image on the building has a different name.  The hands are Jesus’s hands holding the valley.  The name says, Fiddlers in the Valley.  There were violin players that would play their fiddles in the valley.  The ARC is the Kibbutz’s original boarding school grounds for their children years ago.  This land became run down and the ARC and Jewish Agency are working together on this property.

Our Three Homes


OUR FIRST HOME:   The Former Post-Army Building Rm9

Our room was modest but nice.  We had our own bathroom which is luxury here on campus among the volunteers.  There was no little kitchenette with a stove or microwave.  It does have a small refrigerator.  The building we were in called the Golim had its own full kitchen downstairs on the main floor.  We were free to use this if we wanted.

Most volunteers receive a room with a shared bathroom which we were expecting, but our room came with its own bathroom.  We remained in this room, in the Former Post-Army buildingtill the end of the month.  The hope was to find an apartment in the local kibbutz; however, there were no current rentals available.   

The building we were in was a former boarding dorm. The Kibbutz, a communal settlement established in 1927 and 650 residents, typically a farming settlement, within walking distance nearby.  They have built a new settlement close by that is not quite ready to move into.  The plan was to move into the Kibbutz once its residents moved to this new settlement.  This plan has changed as you will find out as you continue reading.

Our Second Home:  Family House Rm3

On the morning of Shabbat, we hurriedly packed our belongings and headed to our new resting place.  What we thought would take most of the morning, and we were settled in within two hours into our new room.  We had moved off the ARC campus and into the Family House located in the kibbutz two blocks away.

With the DJI group gone, we moved right in behind their departure.  In fact, they had just packed and left that morning.  It seemed like a mass exodus.  It was very quiet.

Our room was nestled in one of the middle room of four rooms down a hallway. Residents at the Family House share a meeting room, kitchen, toilets (two for gals, two for guys), showers (two for gals, two for guys), and a washer/dryer set for laundry.  Our room was smaller but very comfortable and cozy.  Our stay here was only one long week.  As you continue reading, you will read about one of many favors we have been a recipient of from the LORD God.

Our Third and Final Home: University Building Rm13

March 8, marks the day we moved out of our second home into our third and final home.

On Thursday the day before Shabbot, Catherine was walking from the ARC to the Family House, our second home which was located in the Kibbutz, after lunch.  She saw Ofer, the director of the Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI). He has an office on the ARC property.  She went to greet him and he came to greet her.  While he was walking toward Catherine, the words I am giving you favor came to Catherine’s mind.  He asked how she was and if we were settled in yet.  Catherine shared with him that we were settled for now but still waiting to be settled, settled.  His immediate response was, I will find a place today for you.  Then, he quickly walked off to his next appointment.


The next day Catherine was in our new apartment cleaning and preparing to move into it.  It is a dorm room of a newly renovated University Building located back on the ARC property.


We were given permission to find all our furnishings for free that were given to the JAFI from a hotel that had recently closed down.  The apartment is also 1/2 the amount normally charged to university students. What a blessing this was!

Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “normal” life:  DEVOTIONS