A Pastoral Update
by Pastor Josh Nelson 7/31/2020
Beloved friends and members of Family of Christ,
Here is a wonderful verse to hold near our hearts these days – yes, during these challenging days of pandemic unknowns and continued fears. This is from Romans 12:12 – “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” It is most certainly true that we have been called upon to be extra patient in our suffering these days, but that patience can sure seem stretched thin.
Our Executive Committee of the Church Council encouraged me to send out an update of our team’s ongoing discussions about when to further open up our church, especially for in-person in-sanctuary worship. The brief answer is that we’re not ready yet. We wish to continue to keep larger group activity to a minimum at Family of Christ. Though earlier this summer we had hopes of opening the sanctuary to some in-person worship experiences by August, the reality has kept us from wanting to move in this direction…at this time. In keeping with Governor Walz’s recent mask mandate, we have also set a new policy that requires staff and visitors to wear masks whenever they are around others at church.
We are staying the course for now, and striving to help people keep physically distant, and as safe as possible, while still providing many online connections (see Family News). The main point of connection continues to be our weekly Sunday morning Livestream worship at 10 am, which has even had out-of-state and international viewers. We have welcomed guests to our Outdoor Worship services since July 1, as well as some on-site meetings. Later in August & September, we will celebrate small-attendance weddings in our sanctuary. But for the most part, we continue to encourage the practice of social distancing. Even though our in-person gatherings remain infrequent, we still are offering many creative and unique ministry opportunities online, and will continue to do so after Labor Day. Things remain fluid, and the staff and lay leadership team continue to hold regular discussions about how to be a faithful church family together during this time of pandemic. Taking our cue from Romans, let’s continue to rejoice in our hope, stay patient in any suffering, and all of us persevere in prayer.
Christ continues to be our lead and our guide, and our hope is in him. Let us together continue to be in ministry in as many creative ways as we can imagine. Let us continue to be a strong financial support for the ministry of Family of Christ. We are most certainly finding ourselves in interesting and challenging times, yet we know God is good and will bless us into whatever lies ahead!
God’s abiding peace be with you all!