Good morning, church!
“Life is a series of adjustments.” America W. brought this saying to my attention when we talked last week. And it is so true, isn’t it? As a church, we are adjusting and changing like never before in my 12.5 years at St. Peter’s. It’s borne out of necessity of course.
Thank you for all your comments, encouragements and feedback about our Facebook Live service yesterday morning. We received more than 600 views and more than 100 comments, which is pretty good by our standards. (We are not a celebrity after all!) We had participants from different parts of our country, and some of our friends in Puerto Rico were watching as well. It tells me that people pay attention and that there is a hunger to connect on personal and spiritual levels, especially during this time. We, the staff and the leaders of the church are constantly evaluating other ideas to help us connect better and in ways that adhere to public safety protocols.
We are already thinking about the Easter season and how we can make this very special to our members and families if (as I expect at this point) the quarantine is still in place. Please feel free to send me your ideas, because this is truly a community effort!
This week we are planning several things. On Tuesday night I will have a teleconference with our expanded Executive Team. This group has no voting or decision making power. That lies with council, but in times like these those types of conversations will be helpful and will make the work of our council and my work easier as well. Also on Tuesday night, Jenn will have a virtual meet-up with our youth. If you have a teenager in your family and don’t know about it yet, please reach out to her directly (email@example.com). As far as I know, it will be at 7:00 p.m. We want to check and see that our kids are not bored silly yet and have an opportunity to talk to each other. On Thursday I will have a teleconference with our visitation deacons (6:00 p.m.). I have encouraged them to reach out to their “sheep” via telephone and to do it more often. Usually, they aim for a visit once a month with our homebound members. I think, especially since we can’t physically visit, most of them need a bit more attention right now.
On Friday we will again accept donations for Manna on Main Street between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. You can leave the bags of food in front of the church door and we thank you all for your response and generosity last Friday! Joy states, “it was the best day for our food drive… 370 food items were brought in!”
For today I would like to ask your prayers for our friends from the Lamb Foundation. We always have a few “regulars,” North Wales residents who live at the Lamb Foundation and worship with us on a regular basis. They all struggle with their own sets of disabilities and compromised functioning, that’s why they are there. We love them and embrace them, which often includes putting up with certain quirks and habits that we would find odd in the general population. It’s part of being a caring church. Last week I spoke to our friend Joseph H. (Little Joe) in the hospital. He sounded good and is on the mend, but I am still not exactly sure we know his exact diagnosis. Joey is a sweetheart and he has sung with our choir for several years now, including last Christmas Eve. Some of you may have seen him proudly wearing a train conductor’s uniform and ushering people to the trains in North Wales (his gig a few years ago). He gave me a picture, little Joe beaming from ear to ear in his uniform. What a hoot! Then there is Evelyn who often knocks at our door whenever she sees light in the church. She craves attention and human contact, and sometimes more than other times we have to remind her of boundaries. We can’t have her walk into every meeting for instance. But I was thinking of her especially since I know that she is suffering and in need of a kind word and attention here and there. For the most part, our members have been very good about it. But this quarantine must be killing her! Please say a prayer for her. Then there is Carl W., especially sad for me because I saw his mental decline practically happen before my own eyes. He first attended church with a woman he was romantically involved with many years ago. The relationship came apart as his mind took a turn for the worst. I think for Carl the routine is especially important. He ALWAYS comes to the 8:30 a.m. service. He is missing that routine right now and has no way to communicate like the rest of us. For all those, as well as for Mark and Beth and another gentleman whose name I haven’t learned yet, please say a prayer for them. We so often forget about the segment of our community that lives permanently with those kinds of disabilities. May God bless them all!
(The names of the people I just mentioned will be initialed in any public media space, such as our website. But most of you know our friends from Lamb by name already.)
I continue to be encouraged and extremely pleased by the many responses I receive to these emails, as well as requests to add other people.
Thank you all! Be well and be safe this week! Pastor Andreas Wagner