“Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” – John 17:11
At Monday’s Council meeting, after faithful discussion and careful consideration, it was agreed upon that Drive-In and Online Worship Services will continue through the months of June and July. In addition, it was decided that Holy Communion will begin to be offered monthly, beginning on Pentecost Sunday, May 31st. Although our desire to reconvene within the comfort and safety of our church Sanctuary grows with each week, our primary commitment is to the health and safety of the congregation. New research has shown that the act of singing indoors is extremely risky in these epidemiological conditions. Instead, we will opt to continue to lift our voices in song confidently in the safety of our own homes or vehicles.
We have all been missing communing with our Lord at the Eucharist, and your pastors have been prayerfully considering how Holy Communion could be reinstated, safely and reverently. Now that we are all getting a better handle on how to remain safe and diligent amidst the continued spread of Coronavirus, the Council accepted a plan to begin the practice, in a modified format. Beginning on May 31st, the pastors will offer monthly Communion at our Drive-in services in one element only: the bread. Our Lutheran theology teaches us that the body and blood of Christ is fully present in, with and under both elements of bread and wine. Whoever receives one element of Communion receives the full gift of the Sacrament. In the presence of widespread illness, we do not yet have a safe and sustainable way to distribute wine. The communion bread will be available for pick-up on your way in to Drive-in worship on May 31st, and it will be consecrated during the service.
We had hoped that this time worshiping outside the church building would be brief, but it looks like we are all having to adapt to a new normal. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of your leadership and your church. Making difficult decisions is so much easier when sustained by your prayers, support and encouragement. Although the world is slowly beginning to “re-open,” please remember that the epidemic is not over. Any and all precautions you are able to take – staying home, avoiding gatherings, wearing a mask in public – will not only help stop the spread of the virus, but also protect the most vulnerable and at-risk in our community. Dedicate these simple actions to Christ as small acts of loving service toward your neighbor.
Again, please keep us informed if you have any concerns, updates or pastoral needs during this time. Although the church office will remain closed, we are here for you. Our prayers continue to be with you, just as we remain deeply grateful our prayers for us.