Moving Forward

“…if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” - 1 Peter 2:20

Dear Friends,

This past Sunday, after four months of being physically distant, while still spiritually bound together as a community, we threw wide the doors and welcomed you back to gather for in-person worship!

For those who were able, and felt comfortable gathering, I think it was very nice! For those who remained unable, or cautious and continued to gather online, I think it was also very nice! I was impressed with the increased number of people who were live with us on Facebook, over the previous Sunday. I do think there’s something special about just knowing that we’re all together, even if we’re not all physically gathered in the same space.

With that, I want to commend those of you who gathered. For all of the uncertainties and anxieties about what could happen, we were blessed to experience some great things that did happen! I was so grateful to see the kind of care that each of you took - wearing masks, remaining physically distant, observing the policies and procedures determined by the Session. I admit, it’s not the same as what it was. But it’s definitely two steps in the right direction!

I look forward to the day when we can have a full sanctuary, where smiles will be clearly seen, where we can once again shake hands, give high-fives and hugs, without fear of transmitting a deadly virus, but in the meantime, I am grateful for your care for each other! That is what a community of Jesus-followers does. It endures things it doesn’t like, for the sake of others well-being and blessing!

And I want to make very clear, we’re continuing to learn and evaluate this process as we go forward. One example of this was the actual “open door” policy that we instituted. This helped reduce the “high touch” areas… but it sucked the cool air right out of the building! Right before worship began, an elder approached me and asked, “So… is the air-conditioning on?” Thankfully, with Greeters positioned at all the doors, we were able to shut them, keep the cool air “in” and the hot air “out” but be ready to open them when people arrived or left the service, without them having to touch the doors.

We’re learning! And we’ll keep learning! We will keep making our gathered worship experience better and better each and every Sunday!

The truth is, during this “process” we are going to have some hits and we’re going to have some misses. We’re going to try some things that will work and some other things that won’t work. The reason will always be about the benefit of our community, their safety, their encouragement, their connection with God - but admittedly, they won’t always work. But if it doesn’t work, we don’t have to keep doing it!

I want to thank you for the trust you’ve put in our leadership - in the Task Force, in the Session, in me as your Pastor. We will do everything in our power to live up to that trust and whether in-person or online, we’re going to keep moving forward in worship and service,

Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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