Governance is not a sexy topic of discussion, but it is critical for our life together – – as a congregation, a community and a country. I share this because of what our Congregation Council has been deliberating these last two months, and news I just noticed from our national church body.

First, to our congregation leadership and governance. Our Council met Monday night and after catching up on the regular business of the congregation we participated in a lengthy Zoom conversation on our worship life. (Please read the Council Report in this Enews or refer back to yesterday’s email.)

Pastor Josh & I appreciate everyone’s willingness to participate in online worship, even as we know most people’s preference would be to gather safely in person. For some people that preferred timing may be sooner rather than later, while for others it will be later rather than sooner. At some point we will all be faced with when we are comfortable returning for worship.

So let me get personal for a moment. I love to sing, but the science currently points to that not being a safe activity while we do not have a vaccine. Although I’m an introvert, I deeply miss greeting you and having that few minutes before/after worship to catch up. But as I begin interacting with others I realize how many contacts I am now exposing others to. Questions cross my mind and heart, including “What is my responsibility for others’ safety knowing that some people have a lifetime of training that ‘Whenever the church doors are open, I’ll be there!’”. What is our responsibility to our siblings in Christ? How do we love our neighbor in times such as these?

This is why I love community; because I am not able, nor am I solely responsible for these decisions. We are. Our Council leaders we elected long before a pandemic was on the horizon are helping lead us. People with great experience in healthcare and medical professions are offering guidance within and beyond the congregation. I encourage you to contact me, Pastor Josh, or anyone on Council to share your hopes and dreams, your disappointments and sadness as we collectively seek the wisest course forward.

Now on to the national church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is working on a DRAFT entitled “Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy”. Links to read it, and comment on it by May 27 can be found at the following:

My apologies for not bringing this to your attention earlier; it just registered on my mental radar yesterday.

God’s peace & hope,

Pastor Jon