I found a letter on my desk last week. The sister who wrote it was not happy with me. I had said in church the Sunday before that due to the pandemic I wasn’t encouraging anyone to come to church. I admitted it was a strange thing for a preacher to say, but she insisted it was a wrong thing for a church leader to say. And she was right.
She suggested that some were simply getting out of the habit of coming, or just found watching the service on TV more convenient. I told her I said what I said because I didn’t want to guilt anyone into coming who shouldn’t come. If she’s right, it’s time for me to pull out the guilt card!
Obviously if you are at increased risk, and are avoiding being around others because of health concerns, you should take advantage of the opportunity to worship online for the time being. I certainly would not want to encourage anyone to go against their better judgment and do something that would needlessly endanger their health, or the health of someone under their care. And I realize that by not providing a nursery it’s difficult to worship while trying to corral little ones. But if there is really no good reason for you not being here, you need to be here. And we have done everything we can to make it as safe as possible for you be here.
Every other pew is taped off, and social distancing is encouraged. Doors to the auditorium are left open to facilitate air flow, and to allow people to slip in and out without coming in direct contact with anyone if that is their desire. Those who want to socialize a bit are encouraged to do so in the parking lot. And we do encourage the use of masks. In fact, some, like my grumbling grandkids, have been ordered to do so.
To end on light-hearted note, I have to tell you how someone who happens to share my first name responded when I asked why he had started coming back. He said he had run out of soup crackers for communion.
Rest assured communion will be waiting for you in your pew when you come this Sunday.
God Bless, Rick