A Word from the Pastors – Coronavirus Message

Coronavirus Message, 03-26-2020

This Season of Lent in Sunday worship, we planned to have our youth read the Gospel with individual and group parts. And each reading was, to begin with, four words written on poster board that was shouted and presented, in the “Sesame Street” style, as key words: “Today’s Gospel is brought to you by the words…” Well, on the First Sunday in Lent the four words were “TEMPTATION”, “SIN”, “FORGIVENESS”, and “GRACE”. After worship, I used masking tape to hang those four pieces of poster board on the sanctuary wall not far from the pulpit… near where the St. Peter’s Youth Choir sits on its singing Sundays. Since that Sunday of March 1, “TEMPTATION” refused to stay up on the sanctuary wall! The poster board word kept falling to the floor… sometimes twice in a day… I kept adding more and more masking tape to the back and then switched to scotch tape… but it kept falling. And the word “SIN”, the smallest piece of poster board, fell off the sanctuary wall to the floor even more than the word “TEMPTATION”! But neither “FORGIVENESS” nor “GRACE” has fallen off the wall yet! On Tuesday, March 24, I gave up on trying to keep “SIN” and “TEMPTATION” hanging around our church. But I’m going to keep praying that “GRACE” and “FORGIVENESS” will continue to stick…and not just as poster board words on a sanctuary wall… but in our lives. Lent is a season of remembering Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation. Now is the time to honestly face our sinfulness, to humble our hearts, to seek God’s mercy and strength, to fight temptation, and to live into a better life of faithfulness and love. We encourage you to get serious about who you are and what you’re really about. Can you handle the truth? But don’t stop there. Open your mind, your heart, your hopes, your dreams, and your ways to God’s grace. Stay stuck to Jesus, keep hanging on, in these times of turmoil and even terror.

Last Sunday I lit two candles at the altar, sat in the chancel, and went through the worship by myself. (Even though I know there is no public worship, I still go ahead and plan and type a worship service… that’s what happens to an old dog who’s been a pastor for 40+ years!) The singing was so beautiful! The sermon was not that good. But worship took under an hour. Pastor Gwen watched a live-streamed Lutheran service, then part of a live-streamed local Baptist mega-church service. Earlier that day, we did our grocery shopping at Walmart and Fresh Grocer… like each of you, we found that some items were in short supply. Gwen’s been making or taking a lot of “check-in” phone calls, gathering and wrapping up loose change around the house… I’ve been catching up on overdue letters, reading and running… Matt’s been playing video games online with his friends and hoping for dry weather so that he can run around the track and shoot baskets at a remote basketball court… time and tasks are changed by coronavirus and by the “Trump pandemic” (he now has said, in one of his “alternative fact” reality rewrites, that he was the very first to really understand and to label as “pandemic”… but then makes it even more confusing and threatening and pandemic by his changing attitudes, mixed messages, and even false statements)… each of us is trying to deal with something that none of us – including the old ones – has ever encountered before. 

We pray for good health for each and for all… for good coping skills and patience… and for a timely end to this worldwide crisis. We are grateful for the ways that St. Peter’s folk are staying in contact with each other, participating in online Christian opportunities, encouraging and praying for and reaching out in other loving ways to one another and to others. And we are thinking about those in our country and in our world who do not have the same resources at hand. Stick to “FORGIVENESS”, stick to “GRACE”! 

Pastor Neil (Pastor Gwen  too!) 

 

Upcoming Events

Jul
14
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
17
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 17 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
21
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
28
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 28 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
31
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 31 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.