Friday, June 26

Good morning church,

Steve W. asked me to extend his heartfelt thanks for the many cards and well-wishes he has received.  He is doing well, but recovery after open-heart surgery will take some time, and he has to find new sleeping positions to get the rest he needs. Overall though, he is doing very well. I was also happy to be invited to a wedding in Michigan next year. Maggie H. is planning to get married on July 31, 2021, and even asked me to officiate. That’s a wonderful honor and one that I hope the situation next year will allow me to fulfill. Maggie was in my first St. Peter’s confirmation class, a very small group of just four young people. I remember that we studied a lot of deeper and more difficult subjects because it was possible in that small, intimate group. Maggie went back to her roots as it were; both of her parents hail from Michigan and that’s where she went to college. These days she works as a software engineer for a good German company in the Ann Arbor area. She writes this: “I’m doing well! I’m currently working as a software engineer at Bosch programming radar systems for semi-autonomous driving. The pandemic has hit the auto industry hard but I’m lucky to still be unaffected by budget cuts and layoffs. In my department, our German sister office is in Leonberg (just outside of Stuttgart). I was hoping to have an all-expenses-paid trip to southern Germany for work sometime this year, but it will have to wait. 🙂 My fiancé Ryan is also a software engineer, so we’ve both been working from home since March, and likely will be for the foreseeable future. We also just recently purchased our first home together, and we close on Monday! We will be living in Northville, MI (20 mins north of Ann Arbor). The next few weeks will be busy with moving, but we are very much happy to have a real house to call our own.”  I also wonder whether Maggie still plays the violin and whether she would record and send us a piece… Maggie, do you hear me? Of course, we will first let you move into your new home, but later this summer maybe???

So what are we going to do with the re-opening? While we covered a lot of safety territory in our re-opening document, the situation is clearly still volatile. After a number of conversations and a lot of thinking and agonizing (mostly agonizing!), I have come to the decision to offer strictly outdoor services this summer for the months of July and August and perhaps September as well. There are several advantages to that, not the least of which is the fresh air surrounding us in that setting. You don’t need to make a reservation for those services; you can just come and bring your own chair. (The crowd restriction is irrelevant, in the green phase it’s 250.) We will set up a sound system on top of the stairs that lead to the church. Whenever possible we will have an instrumentalist and also some recorded music from our growing bank of recordings, as well as a live message and an opportunity for us to see one another. We will ask everyone to wear masks and keep the recommended safe distance. We don’t ask people who have medical conditions or are concerned about their health to join us. But for everyone else, I hope this is something that we CAN DO at a time when we have been asked not to do so many things. The services will be at 9:30 a.m. and if the weather is bad we will cancel via email. We are purchasing individual pre-packaged communion kits for these services. They will be set up on a different table. As I wrote yesterday, I am concerned about the situation later in the fall getting worse again and would like to use the summer months to give as at least some opportunity to congregate in smaller and safe groups. The outdoor services will begin on July 5.

Gail T. wrote about Eileen J. who has been in our prayers: “Thank you for your inquiry about Eileen J. After being in the hospital since February, she finally got to go home on June 7 for the first time. She is still very weak and had her last chemo treatment last Thursday. I can’t thank the St. Peter’s community enough for all the prayers. She has a long way to go, but she is at least home with loved ones. She stays in touch with my son in law and daughter through skype, they are grateful for that. Thank You Again. Gail”  Eileen is the mother of Gail’s son-in-law and she had COVID earlier in March on top of it all. The Turners started coming to church a few years ago and Gail’s daughter-in-law Vicky is a member of our choir. Her granddaughter Lilian is usually one of our Spark kids. Thanks for sharing, Gail!    

Today are the birthdays of Julia W. and Taelyn G. Happy birthday!!!

Be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner