June 25, 2020 (Week 16) Wow...4 months...under the same or similar conditions. This isn’t fun. All of us are more than ready for it to be over. More and more we see signs of the reopening of our world. Though that is a good thing; feels like a good thing at least, it is something that still requires prudence. There is a dramatic uptick in cases in various parts of the country and we don’t want that here. So there is some tension over all of this...those who on the one hand want to be free of all the restriction, and those who, on the other hand, want to be more cautious.
I want to re-iterate once again what our approach at the church has been. We are doing what we are doing on the basis of the requisites of government guidelines, and our insurance company. We are exercising an abundance of caution in all ways to ensure the safety of our members and staff. And we celebrate the insights we have from the front line workers who are members, and generally, much better sources of information than that which is publicly available.
Our plan, assuming all things remain equal, is to re-open for worship on August 2, 2020. It will look and feel different, of course. We’ll be asking folks to help us by following certain guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of us all. You’ll hear more about that as we get closer to opening. Please pray that the conditions in our community remain safe enough for us to move forward; and to be able to be together again.
For me personally, I just want you to know that I have been giving serious thought to making a move to Alpha Centauri. I have become so demoralized with the politicization of everything, I can scarcely endure it much longer. This radical politicization has polarized our citizens so terribly that friends no longer talk to one another. Having a political opinion is normal in our country. But in truth, if we cannot hold particular opinions, while holding our friends with opposing opinions even closer, then we are to be pitied; for at that moment, we’ve forgotten how to be “Jesus” to one another. My thought is that moving to Alpha Centauri ought to put me far enough away from this deplorable enmity, that I might seek to live out a life of love, and even learning to “love better.” Anybody want to come along?
Given that moving to Alpha Centauri is not a viable possibility, I’m just going to have to content myself with a new approach. “Love Better.” My dream is that people who have potentially opposing viewpoints, walk side by side in a loving and welcoming embrace of all of God’s children. Period. Nobody railing against government authorities, progressive or conservative. No name calling. None. Just God’s children walking together seeking to love better. Believe it or not, this is possible! In fact, we’ve being doing precisely that, at ILC for a number of years. I have seen it with my own eyes. People who were diametrically opposed to one another in terms of political analysis or sentiment, working together out of a sense of love for God’s children. And not only did that “working together” happen, it was an experience that was an edifying one for everyone! We can do this! In so doing, and despite our frailties and idiosyncratic opinions, we become in very real terms, God’s hands and feet in the world. It strikes me that this may be what Jesus’ was envisaging when he chose his original disciples, all of whom were so very different one from the other.
A reminder: All of our online activities are found on our website, (www.godamong.us) and can be accessed on a link there that says “ILC Online Activities.” I hope you’ll go there to find links to worship, Bible Study, devotions, etc., etc. Please do join us. (Beginning July 1 for our Bible study, we’ll be looking at the gospel of Mark).
Life is exciting after all. God is inviting us to the basic proclamation of God’s love to all people. Nothing new, but entirely new. Let’s learn to love better, together!
- After worship, around 11 am, Darrell and Nancy Datte host our after worship coffee/donut fellowship time (BYOC/D) on Zoom, and look forward to welcoming everyone in our community. Please think about joining in and saying hi to your brothers and sisters. That gathering can be found here: