Walking Together Toward Courageous Love
As we move forward in this corona-time, it is difficult to say when we might
be able to gather together in person for worship and fellowship. Yet at the
same time we know that in some places, one just a state away, people are
already taking a few steps in that direction. Last Wednesday, Bishop Laurie
of the Oregon Synod, sent pastors and congregational leaders an email which
reminded the clergy that our gospel lesson was the story of two disciples on
the road to Emmaus (Luke 24. 13-35). While they were uncertain and
frightened about what laid ahead for them, Jesus was there with them, even
when they didn’t recognize his presence, to encourage them as he accompanied
them on their journey. So it is also, that Jesus is with us in this COVID
Journey as well.
It is with this confidence in the presence of Christ with us, that we are
taking a few tentative steps forward to begin to consider what might lie
ahead of us on the road before us. When might we return to worship in our
sanctuary? What are the steps we will need to take to get there? Moreover,
what are the considerations we must look at before we take those first
steps? What needs to be done to prepare? What comes in-between? What will
our worship look like on the road? How do we keep things fresh? How do we provide
continuity? How do we remain faithful?
Ultimately, our Congregational Council has the constitutional responsibility
to decide the overall scope of these things. Yet, pastors, committees,
staff, and volunteers have an important role in these considerations too. To
that end, those you have elected and called to do these things are taking
their responsibilities seriously. We are moving ahead toward our Emmaus and
that time when, together, we again see Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
To that end, we will continue to seek Christ’s guidance through the Holy
Spirit in these things. So, keep us in your prayers. Let us know your
yearnings and your anxieties. None of us has really been down this road
before, yet we know that we do not walk this road alone. The peace of Christ
be with you all.