Surely the Lord your God has blessed you in all your undertakings; he knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing. Deuteronomy 2:7
Last week, I sadly packed up my office and moved it to a spare room in our bungalow. My dropleaf table-desk overlooks my small back yard which currently looks dreary, to be honest. As I write this, the rain is coming down and its cold. It’s hard to be joyful. And yet…
I keep leaning to joy over despair, laughter over frustration, calm over panic. A few weeks ago, I shared that I could get through any metaphorical fire if I knew the endgame—how appropriate still. The endgame/finish line is uncertain, but we know that eventually, eventually life will return to normal.
But between here and there, it’s going to be challenging. No doubt about that.
We have moved as many activities and meetings to the Zoom format as possible. Zoom is a free resource for you to use. When you see instructions to participate, all you need to do is open the link that is provided. You can do this on your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop, etc. You may be asked to create an account (some have been asked, others have not). But again, it is free. We are using Zoom like many other churches in our community. It seems to be working the best for what we all need—staying connected.
Many of you have reached out concerned about how to connect with others, how to assist our neighbors, and seeking information about our community. I received a wonderful resource from MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope) today (for those receiving this via email, you will have it attached). I hope this helps answer your questions. Feel free to share with others but do credit MICAH. I did not assemble this information and I am grateful that someone in MICAH did.
We are getting into a rhythm as a staff. We are learning many things daily as we maneuver through this strange time. We also are reminded of the weaknesses that we knew we had prior to the virus. Lack of funds, need for staffing in certain areas, need for technology, worries of the building. None of this has changed. Our focus, though, is on triaging what is most important as we walk this wilderness. I ask that you continue to be patient as we do so.
In this newsletter, you will see many ways to connect, to stay involved, to support one another and our church, and to respond to needs. But I am also very mindful that this isn’t spiritual food—something that you may feel you need more than ever right now. So, please, DO join in on Facebook this Sunday at 10 a.m. for Danny Ellis (Choir Director) and Dulcie Shoener (Minister of Music) as they share a musical offering. Then, at 10:30, join me as I guide us through an abbreviated service of Word and Prayer on Zoom. Details on how to do so are in this Beacon, on our website and also under events on the Facebook Page. The readings for this Sunday are also in the Beacon. After the service, I will post the prayers that I used.
For years, I have attended conferences that would share the idea that the “church was not the building.” It was a push, you see, to get us Lutherans outside of our comfort-zones and do solid evangelism in our communities. Now, “the church is not the building” means something else. We still are “church” even if we do not gather on Sunday mornings. We still are “church” as we reach out via phone, text, email and connect with one another. We still are “church” when we remotely bring the Light of Christ into the dark places. We still are “church” because God hears our prayers, no matter where we pray.
The Lord has blessed us in our undertakings, as Scripture reminds us.
We are offering music via Facebook Live at 10 a.m. and a service of Word and Prayer at 10:30. Check the calendar of events for details on how you can connect online!
Blessings to you and your loved ones,
I am anxious to see you all again.
PS—in this world of social media, yes—I am fully engaged. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram (@sarahsaysamen), and more. And for fans of Wallace, my guard cat who is thrilled I am home, he is also on Instagram @Wallace_thegingercat