From the Pastor- June 2020

Today you and I are in the “now…but not yet” time. That’s theological shorthand for the time from the first coming of Jesus to his second coming.

Between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost, the apostles were in their own “now…but not yet” time. They received a promise from Jesus that they would get some help. And it came at Pentecost in the form of the Holy Spirit. From that time forward apostles of Jesus have been sharing the good news of salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. When they started they had the gift of the Spirit and themselves for mutual care and support. They did not have a building.

As we turn the corner to the month of June, we are still in our “not yet” time. It is getting somewhat closer, but clearly it is “not yet” time to reopen.

One of the mistaken comments of this time has been something like, “we have to reopen closed churches.” Excuse me, but only the building is closed, and for good reason. It’s unsafe to gather in large groups. And we value and apply the tenants contained in the fifth commandment.

The church, the CHURCH, has never been more open than right now. People are sharing their faith. God’s word is shared in the sacred manner as it always has. Study of scripture goes on. People are talking to and caring for each other frequently.

One of the constants over the centuries is that the church is always changing. Today we are taking on some new ways of being the church, less reliant on a physical structure, and more reliant on the structure provided by Christ. Grace, peace and mercy. And our baptismal call to serve and love the neighbor.

Will it be good to be back together? Darn right it will. It will occur, sometime. Not yet. God has provided the science, the precautions and the steps to take to make sure that safe gatherings will happen. That is the faithful path to follow.

Clifton D. Eshbach,

Pastor

 

COVID-19 Precautions

From the Centers of Disease Control

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

 

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

 

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Community Yard Sale Postponed

Due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus and the mandates of the government and public health officials, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church has closed its doors and cancelled all worship services and activities that occur on our church campus.  This closure is in effect until April 30, 2020 at a minimum. It could extend further into the future. Because of this closure and the uncertainty of when we will be able to return to normal operations, as well as concern for the well-being of the community, we have postponed this year’s Community Yard Sale until Saturday, September 19, 2020.

We appreciate the early response we received to this year’s sale.  We will keep all the applications we have already received and apply them to the September sale.  We will also accept additional applications throughout the spring and summer.  If this new date conflicts with other plans you have already made or is otherwise not convenient, we certainly understand.  Should you need to withdraw from the Yard Sale, please email the church at holyspiritluth@gmail.com and we will refund your fee as soon as the church office reopens.

Thank you for your continued support of our annual sale.  Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy. We look forward to seeing you on September 19

From the Pastor- May 2020

I hope that you are feeling well and dealing well with this temporary new reality we must live in.

When I chose a photograph of just one person in our nave for the cover of the March newsletter, it was to be a visual reminder of Lent and our need to come before the cross of Christ. I had no idea that it would come to reflect the distancing that we are going through during the rest of March and now April.

In the past, when I have been in the nave, alone, I knew it was only temporary. Sunday would come and we would be together. Such is not the case in the COVID-19 world. While the news and the social restrictions appear to change daily, our unity in Christ remains. While we must keep following the well-publicized precautions, our unity in Christ remains. While our worry may cause great anxiety, our unity in Christ remains.

Continue to reach out to one another through the various electronic means we have. Your congregation continues to function, albeit at a reduced level. I hope you have been able to view the little worship liturgies we have been recording and posting on social media.

April 12 will come. But we will not be together in the nave raising the roof, celebrating resurrection. Easter will come. Resurrection will be celebrated. And resurrection oriented life will sustain, and will carry us to the end of this health emergency.

I’m looking ahead to that first Sunday when we are together. Whenever that day will be, we will use the time to celebrate Easter. What a day of celebration it will be. We’ll get to that day. With persistence and prayer, we’ll get there.

The peace of Christ be with you always!

Clifton D. Eshbach

Pastor

 

From the Pastor- April 2020

I hope that you are feeling well and dealing well with this temporary new reality we must live in.

When I chose a photograph of just one person in our nave for the cover of the March newsletter, it was to be a visual reminder of Lent and our need to come before the cross of Christ. I had no idea that it would come to reflect the distancing that we are going through during the rest of March and now April.

In the past, when I have been in the nave, alone, I knew it was only temporary. Sunday would come and we would be together. Such is not the case in the COVID-19 world. While the news and the social restrictions appear to change daily, our unity in Christ remains. While we must keep following the well-publicized precautions, our unity in Christ remains. While our worry may cause great anxiety, our unity in Christ remains.

Continue to reach out to one another through the various electronic means we have. Your congregation continues to function, albeit at a reduced level. I hope you have been able to view the little worship liturgies we have been recording and posting on social media.

April 12 will come. But we will not be together in the nave raising the roof, celebrating resurrection. Easter will come. Resurrection will be celebrated. And resurrection oriented life will sustain, and will carry us to the end of this health emergency.

I’m looking ahead to that first Sunday when we are together. Whenever that day will be, we will use the time to celebrate Easter. What a day of celebration it will be. We’ll get to that day. With persistence and prayer, we’ll get there.

The peace of Christ be with you always!

Clifton D. Eshbach

Pastor