Love Everyone, always
May 21, 2021 (Year One, Month 2, Day 4)
Sisters and Brothers in Christ!
Finally, it's happening. Subsequent to a 15 month long “in person” hiatus, Incarnation will be opening its doors once again, with safety protocols in place, as we begin the process of returning to being physically present to one another. That day is May 30, 2021!
On that day, worship will begin at 8:30 am, and will be something of a hybrid and blended worship service: hybrid because it will be an “in person” service, but it will also be live-streamed for those at home; blended because it will continue to retain elements of our traditional liturgical service, as well as elements from our Saturday evening service and our contemporary service.
There are protocols to follow, including signing up to come for worship, social distancing, masking, etc. Please check the “Guidelines” provided for us by our church council on our website, at https://www.godamong.us/post/ilc-re-opening .
The transition to doing everything back together is going to be a bit of a challenge, because though we’re going back to “the way things used to be,” there is a sense in which they’ll never be completely as they were. We will continue to provide an online presence. This has been a huge blessing for us, in that our outreach to the community is broader than its ever been. How that will affect in person attendance is yet to be seen. I am confident that between in person and online attendance, we’re doing well as a community. That said, I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone in person! We’ve missed you!
Getting back together is exciting! And so are the mission opportunities that have been put on hold by COVID-19. We have work to do, and children to serve, and we’re anxious to get back at it! We have a potential new ministry opportunity in Ensenada, Mexico, as well as the work we currently do with the house builds in the Tijuana/Tecate area. And that, beyond that, Sophie Moko Meteke has been hard at work on our behalf in Yaoundé, Cameroon, working with the street girls, victims of abandonment, war, and trafficking. When the borders open again, some are ready to serve in person! The situation in India with COVID-19 is terribly bad right now, so that we remain in a holding pattern. But, we’re watching and waiting.
One of the more exciting opportunities that we have at the moment is a potential “Anchor Church” relationship with a congregation in Lake Elsinore. Conversations are ongoing and plans are in the works for our congregation to walk alongside another congregation that finds itself struggling. It is really important for us to remember that although we have remained vital and strong during the pandemic, not all churches have done so well. Many are literally struggling to survive. Our hope would be to accompany these folks as their church community re-vitalizes, so that they eventually return to independent operation. More details will follow, so please watch. This is a domestic mission ministry that I believe a significant number of our people can meaningfully support and in which they might practically participate.
Our church, the ELCA, has recently joined another of other faith traditions, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc., to endorse an organization that seeks to encourage all people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. The ILC Council, and its President, Dr. Brent Brown, in addition to the ministry here at ILC, encourage everyone to get their vaccination as soon as possible. Not only does it protect you, but it protects those around you. Please take a look at this link: https://faiths4vaccines.org
We’ll be together soon, and that is a blessing. But please don’t lose sight of how blessed we’ve been, despite the pandemic. When much of the world has suffered, our church has grown in ways we might never have anticipated. And although for many, the pandemic brings no new clear hope for the future, we are blessed by the plethora of mission and ministry opportunities that the good Lord is putting right before our faces. We are blessed! Let’s continue to be a blessing to others, as best we can!
Peace and grace,
Coffee Before Worship
Before worship, around 9 am, join us for coffee/donut fellowship time (BYOC/D) on Zoom. We 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:
A Message from Dr. Brent Brown
Our Council President would like to stress,
"Please look into getting the vaccine as soon as possible if safe for you to do so. The faster we all get vaccines safely the faster we can have more people in church."
National Brain Tumor Society
Every year, our family is comitted to raising money and awareness for the National Brain Tumor Society in memory of our daughter, Lauren. Lauren passed away almost six years ago after an eight month battle with brain cancer, and I think about how precious life is as I miss her sassy personality everyday. Please help us help those who are affflicted with this deadly disease. This year, you can take part in our virtual walk anywhere in the country! So please join us on this special day when we remember Lauren and support all those who are fighting this illness. Thank you for your support and please consider tuning in as we honor this community on May 2nd. For more information on the National Brain Tumor Society, visit www.braintumor.org.
Incarnation Lutheran remains committed to supporting this wonderful cause, and we ask you to prayerfully consider joining us!
Training Update: Here is what our Stephen Ministers are studying this week. Please continue to pray for them as they near the completion of their initial training.
Supervision: A Key to Quality Christian Care (Part 1). Stephen Ministers receive monthly supervision once they begin providing care, and this is the first of two sessions on this important topic. Supervision ensures that Stephen Ministers provide the best care possible, yet is done in a way that keeps the identity of the care receiver and details of his or her situation confidential. If you are going through a particularly difficult period and would like to pursue the idea of meeting with a Stephen Minister on a regular basis, please call Deacon Mindy or one of the Pastors.
Hygiene Supplies Needed! Interfaith is low on hygiene supplies, shampoo, deodorant, bar soap. There is also a need for new or gently used blankets. Thank you for your consistent generosity!
Food Drop off for Interfaith Community Services Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning, volunteers are in the parking lot to move groceries and take all the donations to ICS.