Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I hope you had a great long weekend. It was probably very different than other Memorial Day weekends, but they still can be great, just different. At least the weather cooperated for the most part.
Sometimes I need to remember the purpose of this letter. It is my way that I can reach out to you during these times when we cannot meet together. I also want to keep you informed what the church is doing during these times. We are not standing idle. Your church is still very active. Here are a few things going on at St. Johns:
- The mask ministry is going strong. It seems like all of our mask-makers received a new shipment of elastic recently. Our mask-bench ministry has slowed down but there still is a tremendous need. It now takes less than a day for the dozen mask Eloide puts out for them to disappear instead of a couple of hours. Again, I repeat, the need is still there. Thank you to all those who are behind their sewing machines making us safe.
- One of the things I have tried to do during this time is to visit with everyone in the congregation. I should be done by the end of this week. I had a chance to pray with many of you. If you were not home, I prayed for you and your household. I usually left a little note in your mailbox saying I was there. If I missed anyone or if you would like another visit, please call the church. We do practice social distance during the visit.
- The garden is growing. The beans and peas are up. Plants are getting established. It has been a joy. We even received a few decorations for the garden. More are always welcome. If you have not seen it yet, come check it out. We moved the bench away from the tree because of the birds doing what birds do. It has been cleaned so you can sit, pray, meditate, or simply breathe. We have one volunteer to help. Still looking for more – no experience required.
- Don’t forget that we have your Pastor doing science experiments. If you go to our webpage, they are under sermons. You can also find them on YouTube, search St. John’s Lutheran Church, Peru. We also have a “library” of stories being read by a variety of people. Hope you enjoy both.
Probably the biggest thing on your mind is when will we get back to church. All I can tell you is we are planning on a variety of situations to help us get back to worship together. Be prepared- it will look different. I have enclosed a letter from our Bishop addressing the recent mandate expressed by President Trump regarding opening our churches. We love you. Hopefully, everything we do will express this love. We want you to be safe. We want you to remain healthy. And I hope you love us. I hope everything you do expresses your love for others including, Eloide, Melody, Tonya, Sarah, Pam, Bridget, Patty and your Pastor. One of the things we know about COVID-19 is we don’t know much about COVID-19. Even though information is constantly changing, what stands the test of time is social distancing, wearing mask (If you can. Some cannot because of medical reasons.) and practicing good hygiene. In whatever way we do meet again, we will need everyone to follow the guidelines for the worship service.
I am finding it hard not to be meaner during these times. I go out and see people not wearing masks and my go-to-response is mean thoughts. Do you know that we have at least one person who cannot wear a mask because of medical reasons? My last couple of sermons proclaimed that God showers love on to us and this love is the same love that is shared by God the Father and God the Son. I hope everyone is practicing kindness. Please pray for your Pastor. Pray that I will be always aware of this love that is in me because Jesus Christ lives in me. He lives in you also.
Peace of the Lord be with you always,