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
This season the donation in lieu of flowers for Easter will go to help further the construction of the school building our companion congregation in Tanzania is constructing. It will be a modest amount, but it will help them as they prepare for the next phase of work.
With the gift we were able to send last year, windows and doors were installed, and the outside walls were plastered (see the photos on the bulletin board in the hallway). Each little step forward provides more momentum to advance the project. Please consider such a gift when you place your order for Easter flowers. Thank you very much from a very grateful congregation at Uyole Lutheran Church, Tanzania.
There will be two services on Ash Wednesday, February 26th. The first service will be held at 12 noon and the second service will be held at 7:00 pm. There will be the imposition of ashes and communion at both services. Hope to see you on Ash Wednesday.
November has the feeling of a month of transition. It is the month that the church year comes to an end. It is also the month where rehearsals and planning ramp up for the new church year, beginning with Advent, then Christmas, then Epiphany. While we tie up the loose ends on one year, we also unwrap the possibilities for the new year. Transitions.
But during this month of transitions, we take time. We take time to give thanks. And I don’t just mean the Thanksgiving Eve worship service on November 27. We take time to give thanks for the saints of the congregation we will remember on All Saints Sunday. We take time to give thanks for being in a position to prepare a plan of ministry for next year. We take time to give thanks for Christ the King, who continues to guide us, support us and prompt us to act and serve in a manner which reflects his ministry in the gospels.
Each week we pray the petition, “your kingdom come.” When that happens, our work is finished. Until that time, we will keep going, striving to share Jesus’ love in word and deed. We give thanks to God, for calling us into the mission field of grace. And we give thanks that we can do this together.
Clifton D. Eshbach,
Thanksgiving Eve Worship
The annual community Thanksgiving Eve Service with Concordia, Columbia and St. Paul, Millersville congregations. will be here, at Holy Spirit, on Wednesday, November 27th at 7:00 pm. Make plans now to attend this service.