I write this with so much love and care and hope for our mutual future as a Body of Christ. Over these past eight weeks, you have truly shown yourselves as a faithful community in every way — continuing to give your time, talent and treasure to keep our ministry strong, and participating in formation, fellowship and worship virtually. Thank you!
And, if you’re anything like me and your brothers and sisters at St. James, you may be growing a bit weary and longing for us to be reunited in person. Although, as an optimist at heart, I had envisioned a joyful reunion by the end of May for Pentecost, after announcements last week by our Governor, Inselee, and our Bishop, +Greg, it appears that we will have to wait a while longer for that happiness.
Both of these wise leaders are advising a 4-phase approach to public re-opening, with the move to Phase 2 not announced until there is, among other factors, “a sustained reduction in COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days”, a benchmark we will not see for a while. You can find that chart HERE.
Although there has been some discussion about a possible “drive-in church” experience, there still remain many barriers to accomplishing something like that (which our worship team is discerning). Additionally, Bishop Greg has determined that there will be NO communion of any kind until we reach Phase 3 on the continuum. This can seem discouraging. And our faith can sustain us in times such as these.
Like the Apostle Paul, I’m fond of using experiences of running as metaphors for our faith journey. Lately, running alone on trails has been a saving grace for me. Yesterday, I recalled how, just before you reach the finish of a long, difficult course the urge to give up becomes so powerful! Then, memories flooded me of my teammates along the way, stopping to offer water and words of encouragement. Perhaps that is our role for one another now: as a church, as friends, as followers of Christ. Encouragement!
So, please keep up the good work! Keep showing up: on Wednesday nights at 6:30 (tonight we will be unveiling an exciting proposal for 2021!) and Sundays at 10am (Saturdays Mornings with Maggie for children and families!). Stay connected, to me, to one another, to our Lord.
Don’t grow weary! We’re in this together and we will celebrate a joyful harvest in due course.
Yours in the steadfast Love of Christ,