Grace and peace to you, beloved Bay Shore!
So many changes happen in between “Beacon” emails—it’s hard to keep up. We try to include as much communication as we can through our Beacon Newsletter, which is attached to this email. Please read the newsletter, and follow up with me if you have any questions. We are still church, even if we are not in a physical building on Sunday mornings. In fact, you will notice how much we have added this week to our Beacon! There is so much we can do from our homes and through technology.
Speaking of news and changes, our building is still closed following the guidelines of Milwaukee County. Council will be meeting virtually on Tuesday and will discuss the logistics of opening the building when it is safe to do so. It is a complicated process, and we cannot rush and make mistakes we regret later. Following our Council’s meeting, I will share a blog post here about our current plan. But let’s remember–all plans need to be flexible.
Our Synod Bishop Paul Erickson has written a letter concerning the issues, and you may read it here. I have already begun working on some of the thoughts our Bishop mentions, and our Council will work together on more. It is not as simple as saying, “we will open on…” There are many factors involved. We also know that you like virtual offerings and want them to continue indefinitely. As a Council, we are discussing that, too. I am glad to say that we are not paralyzed and wondering what to do—we are adapting very well, making positive changes as we go, and meeting the needs of the present while focusing on a solid future.
I joked a few weeks back that I was enjoying the book of Joshua. For those of you unfamiliar with the book, Joshua is the military leader that God placed in charge of literally overthrowing cities and tribes living in the Promised Land. God promised the land to his people, but Joshua and his armies had to conquer it. It’s not light reading. What sticks out for me, though, is Joshua’s dogged determination to do God’s will, and the absolute trust he has that God will keep all promises. I admit, I have felt more Joshua than Jesus these past few weeks—tackling multiple issues, juggling multiple tasks and keeping our goals faced to the future. But then, I remembered—Joshua in Hebrew is the root for Jesus’ name. And reading the gospels, Jesus does display dogged determination, too. Even to the cross. The Church needs some Joshuas to battle through the obstacles ahead, and to make the path straighter and easier for those behind us. I am grateful for the fellow Joshuas at Bay Shore, as we do the work we are called to do. It is not easy—but in truth, it never was. The work of Joshua allowed the future of Jesus’ ministry to have a solid foundation. The work we do now at Bay Shore will prayerfully do the same for those who come after us. I am not afraid. I pray you aren’t, either.
Blessings and peace to you,