A Word from the Pastors | Do What is Safe

Marking time is all confused now, but it happened sometime before the City of Philadelphia, the State of Pennsylvania, and the United States of America officially required or advised everyone to wear protective face masks in public. (Was that official guidance given about a month ago?) I was out running on the streets of the Lynnewood Gardens Apartments and saw a young boy, maybe about 7-8 years old, standing still and looking down, seemingly engaged in some sort of careful thinking, looking confused or worried to me, looking down and looking around and not moving. Something made me call out to him on the other side of the street – “:Hey, are you OK?” He looked at me and said, “I don’t know what to do.” Then I stopped and we talked, properly distanced. He told me his grandma had sent him to a store to buy a “crona” face mask for her to use… told him not to come back without one, and he better not spend that money on snacks… but the store didn’t have any masks… but here was one on the ground… and he was wondering if he should pick it up and take it home to her. I’m so glad that we could talk and that he left what was a discarded and probably used face mask laying there on the ground. It would not have been safe for him or his grandma.

So many are tired of this COVID-19 season, and some are eagerly rushing back into “reopening”… or are being pressured and forced back by politicians, employers, and other authorities…or, in truth, never really had the option at all during these days to “shelter at home”… or are confronted by economic realities that threaten well-being and survival. These are very difficult times, and this new pandemic is still quite difficult to predict and treat. So many people are suffering or greatly burdened in one way or another. What is the safe thing to do?  We’re all still trying to figure this out, for our own lives but also for the lives of others. Schools, stores, restaurants, sports, businesses, organizations, communities, families, and individuals are all trying to figure this out.

And guidelines are also being offered by various sources for “reopening” by religious institutions in the, as yet, undefined future. Our pledge as Co-pastors of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is to do our very best to listen to all the guidelines, to reflect carefully, and to pray earnestly as we and the Church Council determine what steps to take and when into a transformed future.

Two of our food ministries are continuing right now. Our “FOOD SHARE” distribution to members and neighbors facing food insecurity has resumed on the third Saturday of each month, beginning at 10:00 AM. Even before COVID-19, one in five Philadelphians struggled with not having the means or the opportunity to get good, healthy, adequate food. Our “Senior Food Box” distribution of supplemental groceries also continues each month: the food boxes arrive from Philabundance on the third Tuesday of each month, and the distribution is three days later, Friday, beginning at 8:30 AM. But our twice-a-month “Whole Foods fresh produce” distributions have ended: we have been dropped by Tony the coordinator after almost nine years of participation and are on his waiting list.

Women’s Ministry is moving forward in planning and preparing for a monthly “Online Gathering” on June 12. Watch for additional details.

And Zoom Worship continues each Sunday morning at 10:00 AM. You can “show up” online or

by phone for shared worship. Or, if you don’t get up in time, you can watch what happened later. On Sunday, May 24 our preacher will be our church member, the Rev. Robert Holum. On Sunday, May 31 our preacher will be our church member, the Rev. Clesha Staten. May 31 is Pentecost Sunday, and we invite you to follow our tradition started years ago of wearing bright red, yellow, or orange clothes that morning… even if you are the only one to know what you are wearing!

What is the safe thing to do? We encourage you to remain patient and disciplined, to listen to local and state and national medical guidelines (and not advice that is strictly politically or financially motivated). Continue to practice social distancing, continue to stay home, and safe and calm. Exercise your body and your mind. Get your food (but not too much) and get your sleep (not too little). Pray for those who have stepped forward into the eye of this pandemic storm, for those who had no choice about becoming “essential workers”, for those who are battling to live, for those who have lost beloved family and friends, and for those who are in a pandemic panic because of financial, emotional, relational, or spiritual stress. And reach out to others by the varied communication media you have access to. Allow love to be the language of your heart and your hands. Do what is safe for yourself and for others.

Pastor Neil & Pastor Gwen

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 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.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 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...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 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
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 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
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.