Well, if these aren’t the dog days of summer they are at least the mature puppy stage. Thankfully, with the switch  to outdoor worship at 9 AM, and being under the shade of the massive oak (and a little bit of shadow from five story building across the street) it was comfortable – – especially for those not wearing albs! This Sunday we are going to stretch out a few picnic blankets on the grass so people will know that area is free to spread out in as well. The shape of the courtyard itself is like a little amphitheater so Judi’s piano playing carried nicely into the congregation. It was also great to see a few more faces and even more so to see them reconnecting with friends in animated conversation. Slowly but surely our little part of the Body of Christ is being knit back together for in person worship.

For this Sunday June 20 our 11 AM online service will continue to have up to fifty people present in the sanctuary, a limit we have not yet reached. If we did, chairs could be arranged for the narthex or fellowship hall in relatively short order. Last Sunday Judi was back at the organ bench, Jan Fritz was our Assisting Minister and Ken Cothran was our in person cantor.  Our Altar Guild is preparing the table and looking for a few more people to serve in this capacity. Like all things, many hands make for light work so if you are interested in learning more please contact Brenda Monn or me or Pastor Josh. Things are beginning to return to…a new normal.

As is typical for University Lutheran, once the University lets out in May there is more travel occurring; I would guess that with the many postponed or cancelled trips that is even more true this summer. So travel safely if you are going to see family, friends or a special spot. If you are in town, and feeling good, I hope to greet you at worship. If you are unable to be physically present I do hope you are able to join us during our online worship – – something that will continue as a way to reach out to new people, be a presence for people who are traveling, or for those whom University Lutheran holds special memories in their hearts.

PSA – If you are eligible, and have not yet gotten your vaccine, please do so. Oconee and Pickens County are both behind the statewide numbers, and our statewide numbers are behind the national numbers. Like a footrace, now would be a great time to begin catching up and even passing others as we seek to love our neighbors by doing what is best for them. If you have been vaccinated and haven’t let me know yet, please do so.

God’s peace & hope,

Pastor Jon