A Word from the Pastor

On Sunday we will look at the picture that Luke paints in Acts 2 of the congregational life of the very earliest Christian church. It was just after Pentecost and the Spirit-filled, diverse community began to grow by leaps and bounds. Luke tells us that their congregational life was marked by teaching and learning, by sharing their goods with one another and with the world around them, and by praying and eating meals together. They were doing the things needed to do to deepen their connections to God, to preserve their connections with one another, and to create new connections with people outside of their community. Although some scholars say that Luke paints an idyllic picture that may not have  completely reflected reality, nonetheless, it seems to me that a Spirit-filled community will be one in which the members take seriously the need to strengthen their faith through study, prayer and worship; one in which forgiveness flows freely and diversity is embraced; one in which the congregation’s worship and prayers enables the people to find energy and vision to work for healing in a broken world.  

These days I find myself wondering about our Christian community. Specifically, I find myself wondering what things will be like at Red Clay when we are able to resume at least some “in person” church activities again. We’ve created a task group to do some brainstorming around the issues and to bring some recommendations back to the Session for how we might re-open safely when we are able to do so.  Based on what I am reading and hearing these days, I suspect that we will need to make many modifications to what we do and to how we do things. Truly, even once we can come back together again, love requires that we continue to do our part to keep the possibility of virus transmission as low as possible. Recognizing that not only must it be safe to return, but that we must insure that members and guests also feel safe,  we may find that we will need  take even more precautions than those which might be required to make by government or public health officials.    I suspect the “new normal” will indeed feel very different to all of us.

Regardless of what the “new normal” may look like for us, and regardless of the modifications we may need to make to keep people safe when we are able to resume “in person” activities, I believe that we will continue to be a Spirit-filled community, and I have confidence that  we will continue to be a place that nurtures faith, creates community within, reaches out to the neighborhood around us, and shares God’s love with a hurting world.

I look forward to the day when we can be together “in person” again as I continue to pray that all of you remain safe and well.