From the Pastor- July 2020

There was once was a time when I was in good enough condition that I could have run a marathon. Now I can barely run two houses down and back.

There was once a time I could remember every little detail. Now you should see the slips of paper with reminders and notes I keep taped on the wall of my office at home.

Sometimes you just have to do things differently. Sometimes you just have to have more help to function well.

Which is precisely what we have been doing during this pandemic. It has been necessary to do some things differently. And by the looks of things, we will be in this different mode for many more months.

And so we prepare to resume in-person worship on July 5. This is a good thing. And we are also going to be very careful in making sure that in our worship we will do whatever is necessary to keep us safe. This too is a good thing.

On the next couple pages of this newsletter you will read of some of the different things that will occur. In addition to providing enough space, and opening up the nave to more fresh air, and even shortening the time length of the service (shorter sermons??) the most important thing to do, to care for one another, is to bring your face mask to church. It is proven to be an effective safety device, or as I like to call it, a measure of care. You can find many scientific articles that bear this out. But I’m coming at it from a theological perspective. It is a faithful thing to do.

It expresses care for the neighbor, which Jesus spoke a lot about. It also helps us live up to the meaning of the fifth commandment, the one about don’t kill. Martin Luther wrote in his explanation of this commandment that, “We should not harm anyone.” We violate the commandment when we, “fail to prevent, protect and save (him) from bodily harm or injury.” We are to show to everyone, “Kindness and love.”

I look forward to seeing you again in worship. And expressing together our gratitude to God and our care for the neighbor.

Clifton D. Eshbach, Pastor