Dear Friends,

Grace and peace to you. How is it with your Spirit? On an online gathering with other Clemson pastors, this was a question we asked one another. How is it with your Spirit?

I’m balancing the paradox of both hope and the reality that the worst of the Covid-19 crisis for the general population (not the folks in the Seattle area etc.) is yet to come. The seriousness you can catch up on with the CDC site and from the medical and scientific community, I’d like to talk about hope.

Already I’ve seen this congregation kick into gear an additional intentionality about reaching out to one another and their neighbors. Up to this point Pastor Josh & I, while focusing on some interpersonal outreach, have really been about the big picture. How do we coordinate Worship on a Sunday? Preparing for our meeting with Council on Monday evening to help us address policies for this time of crisis. Quickly progressing up the learning curves of technology to see which online platforms may be best suited to help us maintain AND DEEPEN our sense of community while physically separate from one another.

Hope shined through this morning when Marty High helped coordinate 8 of us from the regular Wednesday morning Bible Study to meet online. My guess is half would self identify as novices to the technology. But our teacher walked us through the steps, helped us get connected and we spent a good forty minutes or so catching up with one another, seeing most everybody’s faces, prayed together, laughed together and heard one another’s concerns and fears. In the words of Paul to a Christian community, we are “to share one another’s joys and bear one another’s burdens.”

A reality for us (Pastor Josh and I) is that there are two of us, and with students, close to 400 of you.  Please call either of us if you are not regularly connected with anyone else in the congregation and we will make a connection with you. If you hear of pastoral needs we would rather hear twice or three times than not hear at all. Please call me 843-304-5664 if you’d like to talk, or text or email if you want to just share information.

Lastly is my peony. My mom had a peony in our yard when I was a kid. I’ve never had them in any other house we’ve lived in but now we do. There is a flower in that bud that is waiting to burst forth in all its glory. Our hope in God springs eternal.

God’s peace & hope, Pastor Jon