Greetings! God is worthy of our thanks and praise!
I give thanks for our times of worship, dedication and celebration last Sunday! I give thanks that 70 people could gather in our indoor worship space and that 100 plus more gathered behind computers, tablets or phones through Zoom. I give thanks that following indoor worship about 100 of our church family members could gather in our outdoor green space. We shared in good conversation as we sat together, ate together, prayed together, played together and dedicated our green space to the ministry of the church and the glory of God! (See link below to watch the dedication service.) It was so good to be together! I went home grateful for the gift of those moments and opportunities. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
This week conversations continue as we discern how we keep creating meaningful connection, transforming worship and gathering opportunities. Many questions surface in these conversations. When can we sing together? When can we have more than 70 people in our indoor sanctuary space? When will Sunday School begin? When will Youth group, J-Walkers, kids club, launch? When can we use our basement for activities with groups? When can we drink coffee together? When can we open our Green Space to Playgroup and in other ways welcome the broader community to our space? And how can we do all these things in ways that provide a welcoming and safe space for all those who gather?
These are some of the questions that dance regularly in our heads and hearts as we think, pray, discern and plan for the weeks and months ahead. I invite you to read the “Update on Return to our Church Building & Programming” attached to this letter/announcement sheet this week. The conversation continues as our Church Ministry Council meets again next Wednesday September 22. We will continue to reflect on questions like these. We need your prayers as we share and discern together. We invite you to reach out to the leaders you have called to serve on this council. (Their names are included in the update.) Share with them your thoughts, reflections and questions before our Wednesday evening meeting, and this way join the conversation! We want to hear from you!
Some days all the questions that need to be discerned, and the restrictions and challenges we need to navigate, become overwhelming and discouraging. But I choose again today (and I invite you to join me), to give thanks to God who is making a way through this unusual time!
A Psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.