On Epidemic and Disease – Part 2

Dear saints gathered at Resurrection in Hilliard,
Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.
I continue to give thanks for all that you do. On Monday we had 93 families come to our food bank and because of your commitment and faith we served every one of them. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Given what is happening in the world right now, this action was a risk. But through a combination of wisdom and courage we continued to serve our neighbor.
Risk, wisdom, and courage are what brings us to our next topic. Last night, council voted unanimously to suspend Sunday morning worship for the next three weeks (3/22, 3/29/, 4/5). This decision took place because of the overwhelming evidence from health experts, state government officials, our own Bishop, and my own prayer and discernment. In the book of Titus chapter 3 scripture says “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.” While we should never obey simply for obedience’s sake, we must also remember that God has given us the gift of authorities for times such as these. In short, it is time to listen to our leaders.
I said that worship will continue, and it will, just in a different form. Along with civil authority, technology is also a gift from God. Therefore, we will be live streaming our worship service. The plan for the next three weeks is as follows:

  1. Broadcast beginning at 10AM on Facebook Live. Recording of the service put on our YouTube Channel.
  2. Participants will be me, Brennan, Charlie, an assisting minister, and a choir quartet for singing.
  3. We will be using the Service of the Word liturgy. This is basically a normal Sunday worship service just without communion.
  4. The worship guide will be emailed out every week and posted on the website and Facebook so that all may follow along.
    This leaves us with a decision about BOLD and dinner at First English Lutheran Church. Council is also in complete agreement that BOLD and First English dinner continue. Hunger does not stop because of disease. Luther noted that when our neighbor is in need during an epidemic we must stay at our posts. Health officials have recommended of only ten people being in a room together at any one time. Therefore, we will need ten volunteers, all under 65. These volunteers must understand that they are taking a risk, not just of getting the disease, but also of becoming a carrier of the disease and spreading it. These volunteers will need to take extra precautions to self-distance while not helping at BOLD.
    So, that brings us to what we are to do next. I gave you that quote from the book of Titus because the second part is as important as the first: “be ready to do whatever is good.” This includes:
  5. Patience: be patient with people. Your neighbor and your leaders, those close and those far away. For most, if not all, this is new territory.
  6. Serve your neighbor: social distancing does not mean that we abandon each other. Those who are strong must serve those who are at risk.
    Finally, I wish to convey to you this as strongly as possible: we may not be able to gather in person, but your pastor has not abandoned you. You may call my cell or the office at any time. Text, email, and Facebook Messenger are all ways to get in touch with me. I will still be checking in on all of you.
    I can think of no better way to close out than with my favorite prayer from our worship book: O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The peace of Christ be with you always,

Pastor David Kamphuis