Dear Friends,

Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please be patient with me, friends. This is my first time pastoring in the time of a pandemic. And, please be patient with one another, we’re all just doing the best we can. What a strange time we find ourselves in.

I hope that you all have found the video content we’ve been creating to be helpful during these times of physical distancing. I know it’s not the same, but it’s the best we can do right now. A big thank you to Laura Reno for volunteering to host some Zoom meetings, it has offered great time of fellowship. And, it helped the church council to decide to get a Pro Zoom account so that we can start utilizing it for more stuff and with less restrictions.

Zoom will give us the opportunity to gather together digitally for the foreseeable future while we wait on this pandemic to run its course. Maria used Zoom to teach Sunday School with the kids last Sunday. Perhaps we can use Zoom to continue adult Sunday School as well. Also, we can use Zoom for council and other meetings. And, I plan on using Zoom to host a live Worship service for Palm Sunday and Easter. But, I will also continue to upload my sermons (or the recorded Zoom worship service) to Youtube for anyone is uncomfortable using Zoom. All that said, Zoom is very easy to use, and any number of us would be glad to help all of you navigate how to use it. Please don’t let it be an obstacle, it can truly be a gift to us in these times of isolation.

All that said, I will continue to create and post weekly video devotions on Youtube. And, I’m willing to host a weekly Bible Study on Zoom, if anyone is interested. If you have any other suggestions for how we can stay connected, I am ALL EARS. Seriously, don’t hesitate to email me with any ideas.

In closing, let’s address the elephant in the room for most of us. I’m sure we are all experiencing some level of grief during these times of separation, but especially grief over our inability to gather for Holy Week and Easter. If I’m being truthful, when I realized that this was going to be the reality a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t think about it without getting tears in my eyes. Allow yourself to acknowledge this grief. Grieving the loss of gathering for Holy Week reminds us just how much Holy Week truly means to us. It reminds us how much gathering for worship truly means to us.

Yes, you can grieve over our inability to gather during the most important time on our church calendar. But, you can’t unpack and live there. Because, to remain in grief and despair, is to deny the power of the resurrection, it would undermine the spirit of the Easter holiday. No matter where we find ourselves on Easter Sunday, the resurrected Christ will meet us there. No matter where we find ourselves in the days and weeks to come, the resurrected Christ is present with us there. Christ the Good Shepherd walks with us during these times when we find ourselves in the valley of the shadow of death and he will continue to lead us through.

I miss you all dearly, take care of yourselves.

Love, Pastor Robert