These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. —Psalm 42
As we continue to respond to the pandemic, all of us are hoping that the day will soon come when we can gather in worship to praise God together. We have learned so much during this event in the life of our world. Many of you are reaching out to each other in new ways and we are discovering again what we have known all along: the love that holds us together as a community is stronger than anything in this world. This is the first great and enduring truth.
No pandemic, no disaster, nothing can overwhelm the Church of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle puts it: “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Still, we long to gather and make eye contact, to sing together and praise God, to share communion and share fellowship, to pray together and laugh and cry together.
All of us want to gather again, and we are working and getting closer to that reality. As the conditions of the pandemic shift and the danger to the most vulnerable mitigates, we are responding to the new and evolving circumstances as rapidly and carefully as we can. The Session has met and a committee is working with health professionals and staying updated with the best scientific data we can find to navigate a path back to corporate worship just as quickly as we can. We believe we can open for worship with new safeguards and seating restrictions in place in a few weeks. Thanks be to God.
Of course not everyone will be able to attend at that time because they remain high risk and must remain in quarantine. Others will have ongoing health concerns that keep them shut in or hospitalized. This will make our celebration of gathering incomplete, but suffering is part of our life in God, and God’s grace will always be enough to carry us through that. We will also record worship so that whether you are able to physically gather or not, you will still be participating as a vital part of this community.
Until then let us be in prayer for our family, for our nation and for our world. The world needs us now more than ever. The division, anger, hatred, name calling and identifying with groups by the way we oppose each other is tearing us apart. Our world needs us to be who we are: disciples of the One Lord who is leader of all tribes, all nations and all peoples. This great King we serve is greater than sour petty childish divisions. So let us embrace him and everyone around us, whatever their political leanings. Life goes on, and those who know the Source of all Life are needed to exert the influence of love and unity now more than perhaps ever before. So it is with great joy that I say to you, soon…
I’ll see you in Church,
Note: Once our protocols for opening are in place and a definite date to begin worship is decided upon, you will receive a letter in the mail with all the information. It will also be posted on the website.