Has your inbox been flooded with Covid-19 related emails? Seems like so many people have the next best thing to do to get through it and then to live on after we see some light at the end of the tunnel. And I don’t know about you, but I just want to get on with life!
In fact, I dreamt about the day we get to re-gather for worship. No, I don’t always remember my dreams, but that one was, well, it was enough of a nightmare that it was crystal clear. I showed up for worship, old jeans and my old black t-shirt I wear in the garden. (It doesn’t show dirt!) I was surprised that people were in the sanctuary. To add to the surprise, there was a family who wanted to have a baptism.
I was speaking with people and realized it was time for worship so I hurried back to the office, having talked too long. (Yeah, it happens!) But I had no sermon, no certificates for the baptism, no service folder. Still in the office, I realized there was no music being played; the prelude pieces were all done. Nothing was going on! I headed to the sanctuary when, gracefully, I woke up!!
Whenever we re-gather, I hope to be prepared. But it won’t be the same. There will be differences which it will take some grace to accomplish. As of this printing the Administrative Council has not met and decided when to re-gather. The next ‘newsletter’ from the church may be exclusively about the directions and parameters of that new season of our life together. Stay tuned!
Jane and I will be taking some time for R3 (Rest, Relaxation, Retreat!) in June. Well, I had originally planned to go to General Conference in Minneapolis in May and then to graduation at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary but, of course, that didn’t happen, though we did participate in the UDTS graduation online. So now we’re not sure what’s on the docket.
Prior to being on R3, I contact a couple area pastors to be on call. If you have needs for spiritual care or pastoral services contact the church office (during hours) or the person specified. In June that will be Lay Leader, John Rahn.
~ Pastor Paul
Last year, in the June newsletter, I wrote about “RADICAL HOSPITALITY,” based on Colossians 4:5-6:
Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Your speech should always be gracious and pleasant...
I thought of the above passage and our new stage of life as I read, in a recent publication, this line: “Let’s not think that being able to be in the building means people will feel connected.” So many of you have made an effort to reach out to one another, to connect with people who may have been strangers to you in the middle of March. Those connections need to be strengthened as we move forward, not ended! What have we learned in this time of separation and distancing? How can we embrace some of the new practices so Grace UMC can be even more vital moving forward?
I can say that we will be moving toward live-streaming the worship events, and thereby having the capacity to live-stream other events as well. If you have interest in that side of the technology, we will have opportunities for you to give assist to the weekly Tech Teams! Our experience of being online has created in me a new awareness of and value for having an online option for worship.
Sign up through the church office at 712-262-5970 OR firstname.lastname@example.org.