So, things have opened up a bit. In some respects, things have opened up a lot, depending upon one’s age group, perspective, and what was seen as imposing and discomforting. We seem to know more and less at the same time, so we are still unsure and uncertain or bold.
It’s rather like a train pulled into the station and we boarded, not aware of where it is going or what the route may be. We grabbed a strap and held on for dear life…and we still are rolling, slowly sometimes and fast at others, waiting until it seems appropriate to disembark, where ever this thing stops.
One thing seems certain: The “experts” are divided. Another thing seems evident: More “experts” have arisen at every dawning of a day. The common variable I have observed is that one’s degree “expertise” seems to be a question of which news channel he watches or what paper he reads. I know more about hand washing, masks, airborne particles, and wiping-down than I ever expected to need to know. Yet, someone would argue every point of what I think I’ve learned. So, who knows?
I know that God’s people want fellowship that involves contact and that turns out to involve the senses of touch, seeing, and hearing each other. They want to worship together. They are expected to worship together. We have been as together as the suggested practices (for health reasons) permitted over the last several weeks. Then, last Lord’s Day, we met in the church building for those who were comfortable doing so. We kept the rules very well, but perfection escapes us. Fifty-one were present. There may be more, or less Sunday. Memorial Day weekend will have some impact as to attendance, perhaps. I expect attendance at the lakes to be better.
The freedom to go camping may prove to be more missed than the freedom to assemble for worship?
The changes the governor made in moving from Phase 1.5 to 2, do not really make a lot of difference as to our assembly, though some will have shorter hair. We will meet with the same guidelines in place as last week. The elders have chosen to STRONGLY REQUEST that we wear masks, even when singing, in case that does serve to put others less at risk of contracting the virus. Last week, some wore their masks coming into the auditorium, but took them off for the worship period. Our “most vulnerable” opted to stay home last week. They will likely do so several more weeks, but protecting people of all ages and health conditions is optimum in the fight to return to our normal.
As to our lesson Sunday, I want to address the issue of keeping our faith and our spirits healthy in these prolonged periods of testing. Have you noted that no matter how carefully we live, YET TROUBLE COMES? It tends to be very discouraging and depression, or even lessening of faith may occur. How do we prepare and how do we endure? The basis of the study will be Psalms 77, with some other supporting passages. I encourage you to read the 77th Psalm in preparation. The “Songs in the Night” part is prompting study on my part, in hopes of another lesson not far into the future on that topic.
AS TO US
In all, we have held together well. Our efforts to stay in touch, using electronic devices and the phone has been very helpful. We have been able to stay together partly because we have been able to pray together. All that we have been doing will continue, indefinitely, as we start to add more and more of the things we have traditionally done. If the conditions allow, we have a very busy JULY!
Your cooperation has been exemplary for the whole of this experience. Your giving has been amazing during the months of separation, though I was told that our numbers were down some last week. Hopefully, that will come back strong, along with all facets of our work.
During the past week, some things were happening with members:
Paul Burk’s daughter and grandson were in an automobile wreck late the week before. She had to have a wound treated, but Kyle (10 months old) eventually had to have surgery to remove fluid from his brain. Both are home now.
Roy Rankin was taken to the emergency room Sunday night and then on Tuesday was admitted to the hospital with an abdominal problem. He stayed overnight and was released on Wednesday.
Danielle Steiner’s mom has been sick.
Bob High is seeing specialists and not doing well, though he is still able to work. Results of these tests will likely be sent to an oncologist in Kansas City.
Carolyn Thomas has knee surgery scheduled,
Gerald Smith’s back surgery has been scheduled June 12.