Continuing our common Journey through the desert.
Our lectionary readings from the Old Testament in October continue to tell the story of the children of Israel as they wander through the wilderness on their way to the promised land. It is a tale that might seem too familiar to us all as we now observe the 6-month mark in this strange interruption to our lives and to the lives of our churches.
It has been suggested that the trip from Egypt to the Promised Land was relatively short and could be easily traveled in a matter of weeks, if not days. Sadly the followers of Moses refused to trust God, and to trust Moses, and so we’re told, they languished in the desert for 40 years, and a whole generation failed to enter the land that had been their destiny.
As I read the latest data and the news this morning I see that Wisconsin currently (September 23, 2020) has experienced one of the highest percentage increases of corona virus cases nationwide over the past two weeks, and has the second highest rate of positive tests in the nation at 17%. We continue to wander in this Covid 19 desert because we too fail to trust the guidance, to maintain our distances, to wear masks, and just practice good sense.
So, we are in a holding pattern. We continue to livestream our church service on Sunday mornings, and we continue praying that the numbers will go down. This is not easy for me as your pastor, and I know it is not easy for you as members of our congregations. We need community, we crave contact with others, we all want to return to the way things were.
I ask your continued patience as we walk together through this desert. I want us all to enter together into the promised day of reopening, without anyone being compromised or infected with this deadly virus. I do not want another member of our communities to be part of the 200,000 + victims of the virus.
As I say, our services continue as a livestream. If you would like to participate as a musician or liturgist, please let me know. We are slowly opening both churches up to small groups. The Monday Lectionary group meets safely at Blessed Hope, and the Ceramic group will soon be meeting again at Memorial.
On Sunday, October 4th, we will have a blessing of the Animals at Memorial at 2:00PM, and this is open to members from both church communities, and to your friends and family who want to have their special four legged friends blessed.
Later that same day we will once again celebrate Holy Communion at Blessed Hope with a walk-through Communion service held on the half hour from 4PM to 5:30 PM. An email survey will soon go out concerning this opportunity.
Both congregations are planning Trunk or Treat events for Halloween as an outreach to our communities. This will be an excellent opportunity for folks to gather safely in our church parking lots to visit and share our love and witness to our immediate communities.
Finally, thank you all for your continued faithfulness in supporting the ministries and investing in the futures of our congregations. We will get this through this together. May God continue to bless us on this common journey of faith.