“…do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
In Second Isaiah, the prophet is addressing the exiles towards the end of their captivity in Babylon. (Remember that Babylon took the Hebrew people into captivity)? There was pure excitement for many of them in the thought of returning to their home after generations (about half a century in the estimate of many scholars). For some of us, quarantine has felt like our own version of captivity - removed from the familiarity of physical community and human contact. The return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem did not go as expected - from which we get further stories and accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures.
While we are slowly easing back into being together once again, we need to do so vigilantly. September 27, 2020 is the date when we will be offering an in-person worship opportunity. What we need to keep in mind is that not all of our community will be ready or able to re-gather in person. So from the church side we will be offering livestream and service recordings. From the member and friend side, we want to encourage constant contact through text, phone calls, and emails to keep everyone connected. It takes us all to keep our community connected.
There are new policies at the church - like signing in and wearing face coverings. If we are committed to the greatest commandment - to love one another as Christ loved us - then there should zero issues with this.
This coming week please check back often to see updates on what to expect upon your return to in-person gatherings. They will be posted on our website and Facebook page. I encourage you to pray for us as we regather - volunteer as an usher or altar guild member - and most of all love one another as Christ loved us.
Yours in Christ,