A Saturday Faith Notes from Pastor Steven
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Earlier this week the Session met to prayerfully discern what is a faithful response to the Governor’s Phase – 1 reopening. Loving each other as God loves us means first and foremost making decisions that safeguard the well-being of all of God’s children. The Session made the decision to stay the course adopting a cautious and conservative approach through at least the end of Phase – 1. We believe this stays true to our commitment to care for the welfare of our members, friends, guests and wider community. A Jesus-shaped love is willing to sacrifice for the sake of others, especially the most vulnerable and at risk. Session decided to continue holding online worship on Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 10am (all worship services are recorded and can be watched through our website and Facebook page at any time afterwards) through at least the summer. The building will remain closed and staff is encouraged to work from home.
Yesterday, the President declared houses of worship “essential” and demanded they be opened this weekend. LET ME BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, we will guided by health experts and will not be opening our building until we have absolute confidence in being able to provide safety for EVERYONE who comes in the door. Our church is not a building. Our church has always been open and has always been essential. Worship, prayer, care for one another, and service to the community and the world will continue in beautiful, creative and meaningful ways despite our building being temporarily closed. Faith and love are not confined to a building. We will continue to live out our faith in the world by modeling the selfless love of Jesus. This means keeping our building closed for now for the sake of the health, safety and well-being of all of God’s beloved children.
I am as anxious as you are to come together in person. I deeply miss your faces and the chance to greet you. I also believe love will see us through, our faith will deepen, our capacity to love will grow and we will emerge from this season stronger.
Please, please, please, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any pastoral needs: [email protected]
Grateful for you,
I was moved by these words by Cameron Bellm:
“While we grieve our closed churches,
I wonder if, maybe,
Jesus is happy
He’s been let out of the constraints
Of the physical church building
For a little while,
Freee to stretch His long limbs of love
In the world.
Sure we can’t go in to Him,
I imagine Him coming out to us.
I imagine his neck stiff
From resting His sacred head on our stone altars
His elbows cramped
From bending to fit into the transepts,
His holy feet
Always pressed against the doors to the narthex.
I imagine Him bending double
To step through our low entrances
And out into the crowning wreaths of cherry blossoms.
I imagine Him traversing our cities,
Wiping away tears with the hem of His robe,
Offering bread to those who need it,
Keeping vigil, fingertips blessing blazing foreheads,
With all those who die alone.
We long to return to our buildings,
Incense sanctifying our plaster and stone.
But Jesus lives and breathes out here among us,
And every molecule of oxygen
Is Holy air.