First, let us acknowledge that these are challenging times. There is a pandemic happening in our midst, and it has probably not reached its peak yet. Although currently, its effect seems to be worse for those over 50 and those with compromised immune systems, we must all be conscientious of our choices because we have a responsibility to one another.
Currently, the guidance from both the CDC and PA regarding this crisis, is that people gather in groups of no more than 10 and that they keep to distances of 6ft between one another. Additionally, Governor Wolf has mandated that all non-essential businesses shut down until further notice. While the detailed list which the governor’s office released, lists religious organizations as exempt from the mandate because they are essential, there is still the expectation that they operate in accordance with the other guidelines.
Guidance from the EMC Superintendents has been to move forward with courage and wisdom. In the face of crisis and tragedy and suffering, it is not enough to say that we want to live by faith; we must do the right things in the right way. Recognizing that every congregation is different in its composition and community context, the appropriate response to this crisis in one place, may not be an appropriate response in another.
So this has left us in an interesting position as a Church, because while we have worked very hard to keep ourselves open, at this point we lack the ability to do so. We will continue to record services for Sunday mornings to put up on YouTube and Facebook.
Yes, this is a tragedy, but it is no different than that which every generation since Adam ate the fruit has faced. And yes, we will suffer, just as every generation since Adam ate the fruit has suffered. Perhaps not this time, but at some point, we will all go through the fire of adversity.
When that happens, each one of us will face the choice to go from talking about trusting Jesus to actually trusting Jesus. For some, that moment is now. If that is you, you know where you can find me.
Grace & Peace,