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June 2020 Newsletter

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Exerpt from Pastor Parsons' article: Coming Back - It's Exciting and Exciting!

 

Coming Back – It’s Exciting and Exciting!


What an exciting time! I mean that in more ways than one. In one sense, it’s exciting because we’ve been waiting for such a long time to come back to-gether for worship in the church, and now we get to do just that! We can see everyone we’ve been longing to see for months. We can worship together, con-fess our sins and be absolved together, sing together, pray together; everything we enjoy through fellowship in the Lord.

Of course, we never stopped being a body of Christ during this time. Over the past few months, we still believed in the same God, trusted in the same Savior, and worshipped together in many ways using virtual/digital options. Praise God that we could even do that! Even with-out access to such means, our time of physical separation never meant that we were no longer a church. We continued as one in Christ Jesus. But now we rejoice in our coming back together physically and worshiping in the same space.
This leads to my second use of the word “exciting.” This can be an exciting time in that we, as individuals, can become excited about many things happening right now, that is, poten-tially getting “riled up.” There are many different opinions about so many different things re-lated to COVID-19 and to our return to worship in the building. “COVID-19 is a real threat!” versus “The response to COVID-19 has been exaggerated as a scare tactic!” “Everyone needs to wear a mask!” versus “It’s my choice if I wear a mask or not!” “It’s too early to reopen!” versus “We never should have shut down!” “Doctors and scientists say . . .” versus “Doctors and scientists say . . .”

Who’s right? Where is the middle ground? Well, you all received our congregation’s re-sponse to moving forward with reopening. That doesn’t mean that everyone agrees on every point. That doesn’t mean everything is set in stone. But we are moving forward together as a single body of Christ. Remember: Some of you feel uncomfortable gathering in large groups and open spaces at this time, and that is okay. We encourage you to follow your conscience and wor-ship with us from home. Some of you feel more than comfortable coming back together in the building, and that is okay. We look forward to the time when all will feel comfortable worship-ing face-to-face, but for now there are some serious medical concerns, about which we all have varying levels of comfort. This is true, also, for some of the changes we’ve adopted at this time.

So what? What is the point of this? This is point. “Do not let any unwholesome
talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according
to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. . . . Be kind and compassionate to
one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29,
32)

Though we, as individual parts of the body, disagree VERY strongly on some
points, we are not just a gathering of individual parts. We are not called to speak about
each other in a way that serves only to degrade one another in the eyes of others, but
to say what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that in may benefit
those who listen. Opinions and constructive suggestions about changes are good and
are more than welcome. God made us to be individual parts of the same body so that
we could meet different needs. And praise God, we are a united body of Christ, brought
into that body through faith in Christ Jesus.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in
Christ God forgave you.” You are forgiven children of God. Let this be your drive moving
forward. Whether you choose to worship from home for a time or to enter the building
with others right away, whether you choose to wear a mask or not, to sit with your
friends or keep a safe social distance, or whatever our difference in opinion or comfort
level may be, remember that we are called to build others up. Let God’s love and gracious
forgiveness for us move us to be gracious and loving and understanding toward
one another.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you
were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you
richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms,
hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And
whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God the Father through him. Amen (Colossians 3:15-17)


In Christian love,
Pastor Wolf B. Parsons

Read 0 times Last modified on Monday, 19 October 2020 12:55

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