Wednesday, March 25, 2020
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
We all need a good laugh now and then! I recently heard a story about a car that sputtered to a complete stop near a field filled with cows. The driver, getting out to see what the matter was, noticed one of the cows looking right at him. “I believe it’s your radiator,” said the cow. This startled the man, and so he ran to the nearest farmhouse and said to a farmer there, “A cow just gave me advice about my car!” he shouted. “Did the cow have big black spots on it?” the farmer asked. “Yes, it did,” the man replied. “Well, that’s just Ethel,” said the farmer, “Don’t pay any attention to her. She doesn’t know a thing about cars.”
As mentioned before, we all need a good laugh. Laughter is strong medicine! However, we could also use a good dose of wisdom. For in these trying times that we are living in today, there are so many who are at their wit’s end, and who are seemingly unclear as to what is the best policy moving forward. And so, we pray for wisdom with the simple trust knowing full well that we have the assurance of God’s help.
Many of you undoubtedly read the governor’s “Safer at Home” order, which lists religious facilities as an essential place. In my view, it offers nothing new regarding religious facilities and gatherings, apart from a timetable being added. It is therefore the (tentative) plan to resume the outdoor worship at 9:00 a.m. this Sunday in the same manner as the previous Sunday, albeit with some changes and clarifications that I will shortly indicate in this letter. As before, parishioners will be asked to stay inside their car and listen to the service broadcast on their FM radios. Communion will be offered car by car at the end of the service. An offering basket will be available. There will be no need to leave your car, however the church building will be open in case anyone needs to use the restroom.
Some of the changes and clarifications…
- During the distribution of Communion, please indicate whether you prefer wine or grape juice.
- A basket will be provided to deposit communion cups and to dispose of them in a reverent manner. NO trash cans.
- If you desire to pray after receiving Communion, you may park in the back of the church parking lot or in the ECC parking lot.
- You are NOT required to receive Communion or give an offering if you attend on Sunday. You will be directed by the ushers toward the exit at the end.
- Worship will go on even on rainy days. However, we may have to hold off the distribution of Communion on those days.
- The FM station will likely change on Sunday morning. We will keep you informed.
- We will have someone sing along with the pianist’s playing so that you will know when to sing during a particular hymn. We will also try to select hymns that are more familiar to everybody.
- We will give instructions in the bulletin how communion will be served.
- We will send out a copy of Sunday’s worship bulletin and the Communion/Attendance card by e-mail if you would rather print them out at home.
Some of these changes and clarifications come from my own evaluation, the evaluation of our elders, and from a number of you who have communicated your thoughts. While we had heard many favorable things about last Sunday’s worship service, we are also aware of shortcomings. We will definitely address them each week so to prevent them from falling between the cracks. Overall, these are unusual times and circumstances that we are facing, and it is important to let grace prevail.
We will keep you informed each week of changes. As of right now, Sunday morning Bible study, Sunday School, and Midweek services remain cancelled. Next week, however, I will be sending out information concerning plans for Holy Week and Easter. I am looking into the possibility of having Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services online either through an interactive medium or by video tape. In addition, if you are interested in participating in an online/interactive Bible study/Sunday School lessons, please let me know. I have a personal blog at jatvierkant.blogspot.com where I publish devotional writing and videos. Finally, I would also refer you back to last Friday’s update (3/20/2020) for additional resources and help.
Please call or e-mail me at any time if I may serve you. I also appreciate your suggestions going forward.
Your in Christ,
Pastor Jon Vierkant