Dear congregation, dear friends near and far,
I hope you had a chance to see the Youth and Graduation service yesterday. Do you still enjoy these services? Of course we spend many hours every week putting them together, from the writing of the script and the prayers, to the selection and recording of the music, to the recording sessions on Saturdays and any additional editing that is needed. We try to involve different people from across our church community. Next Sunday it will be a male cast as we prepare a service focused on Father’s Day. The scripture readings usually follow our regular church Lectionary and the services are shorter than a full sized in-person service with Holy Communion. Are you someone who would like to speak some parts for a church service recording but who hasn’t been asked? Please let me know. We are all feeling our way forward, trying to make the best decisions during these unusual times. The movie “Covid 19” hasn’t finished yet and I’m afraid it’s still a while before we come to the credits and our popcorn is running out! Who produced this movie anyway?
I have mentioned before that we are going to reopen in-person services on Sunday, July 5. Attached is council’s official re-opening document which gives you a clear idea of all the protections we have built into the re-opening process after reviewing many resources about the subject matter. It will not be a “grand re-opening” of glorious church services; rather, it will be a modest step toward services in our sanctuary and giving people a personal choice. I look at it more as prayer service for our people, our country, our world. During this time, churches are adopting different strategies. Some remain totally closed for in-person services. Some began offering services as early as June 7. We are somewhere in the middle. We will send you a survey this week to also get input from you regarding various questions, including your social comfort level at this time. The survey will come to you in the form of a Survey Monkey link that you can access online. It will also be included in the special edition of Steeple Views that is coming out this week.
As a pastor I intend to leave my monk’s cell at home a bit more often in the upcoming weeks, and one thing I would like to offer to you if you are interested and comfortable with it, is a socially distanced walk with your pastor for conversation and prayer. Of course, the phone is always an option, but I would like to offer this meeting form because I know that the months of isolation and being distanced from most of your friends, church and family members are wearing on people. It is wearing on me. And I have a pretty high tolerance for solitude and also family members around me. I know some of you don’t.
This week our Adult Faith Formation Team will meet to discuss various sessions for the summer season. We will certainly offer some more Zoom sessions, but a small gathering in an outdoor setting (socially distanced) is also a possibility, and we are working on a few things. Stay tuned! We are still looking to add a few people to our Tech Team as we try to share responsibilities for the recording of church services. Life is an adventure and we embrace every bit of it.
Steve W. is scheduled to return home today after his heart surgery last week. Many blessings to him on his road to recovery!
Please don’t forget the food drives on Wednesdays between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Be blessed and be safe!
Pastor Andreas Wagner