The new normal is online worship and community gathering. We are using YouTube for worship and Zoom for community gathering and meetings.
The other major event was the passing of Althea, our Church Administrator. I am now doing the administrative work of the church as the interim before we look for and hire a new administrator which really only makes sense after we get back into the building. Whenever that is.
Our church is fortunate that as of last year all the files for the church are now on Google drive accessible remotely and securely. Emails are also remotely accessible and I am working from the parsonage on this newsletter. I also have Althea's passwords for the church computer and the church's Google account.
I will greatly miss Althea. She was always supportive, kind, loving, and caring. In addition to her administrative duties, Althea would often make crafts for Bethesda Preparatory School children. She had a personal touch and love for all church members and our ministries. I am sure many of you are grieving with me. Please join with me in praying for Maureen, her daughter, and Kirin her grandson.
I would like to lift up Paul Mazzi and Ann Williams who have been attendant to monitoring our church building and grounds and bringing physical mail inside, Faye Rubinson who is constantly paying bills, Harvey Wise, Larry Williams, and Nancy Iden for giving me advice and guidance, Val Gendleman for website updates, Bryan DeBoinville for hosting Men's Group on Zoom, Susan Ehrgott and Emily Pope for online worship support, and many others during this time of COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways our church community is drawing closer to one another in this time of crisis. Praise God!
Don't be isolated. Join our Zoom meetings. Walk outside. Exercise.
Interestingly our neighbors on the cul-de-sac that the parsonage is on has also come together as a community, sharing email, phone numbers, and current events like where to find toilet paper.
I am grateful to government officials and experts as they are learning and growing in wisdom and experience. Pray for them to make good decisions and give good guidance.
We need great leadership in this time of crisis. When Moses left his community to go up the mountain and get the Ten Commandments from God they quickly fell into despair and made a golden calf. He broke those original tablets, asked for forgiveness from God for his undisciplined flock, and came back with a new set of tablets. We need to follow good leaders at this time and put our singular needs aside. In fact, cloth masks, which are now recommended, is more for protecting others than in saving yourself from COVID-19 disease. Virus particles, one tenth the size of bacteria, will go through most masks over time. But they will reduce the exposure for yourself and your neighbor as you breath. Stay home, stay safe, but stay connected by phone, Zoom, and mail.
Lastly, it is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of Deanie Peterson. I felt very close to this special woman. She was a terrific host for when I visited her, often having a delicious snack for me. We had long conversations of her life and family and deep reflections on her faith. She would also ask about my family and ministry. It is with deep conviction that I know with certainty she welcomed the end of this existence and the new life that is hers in Heaven. She was more than ready to be with God and her beloved family and friends who predeceased her.
God's peace be with you all,