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Happy New Christian Year
December 1, 2020, 3:21 PM

Happy New Christian Year, which begins on the first Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2020. We await the coming of Christ and we wait in this time of the pandemic exile. It was in that Old Testament story of exile that the people of Israel waited for the Messiah. They waited to return to the Land of Israel.

Each year we come to this Season of Waiting.  This year we are anxious, we want to be together. We observe some churches meeting and singing and going without masks. We long desperately for gathering. Yet we WAIT! I find myself anxious. I go to the store, some people not wearing face masks or have them below their nose or chin. I don’t know where or if they receive the news. Do they know that just last week 1 million people contracted coronavirus? Do they listen only to people who make light of the situation? One cannot help feeling frustrated and wonder where is God in all of this? What in the world is going on? Yet, our Advent season gives us lessons in Love, Joy, Peace, Hope, and Faith, in various ways from Sunday to Sunday.

We are still doing and being in ministry. Zoom Bible Study and in December a zoom meeting just to visit is currently scheduled for Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. At least that is the plan and I invite as many to join to talk or speak during that time. We may have to make a virtual Christmas Eve Service. The decorations in the sanctuary would only be on the chancel. Even if only 25 can be in church we can video it. Of course, no communion, and no singing, though we can have limited instrumental music and pre-recorded music. We will still have social distancing to protect worshippers.

On another matter, some may be aware that I brought to Council the request from a small group of Hispanic women’s request to use our Fellowship Hall on Friday, November 20th from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (5 hours). Hispanic people are also seeking how to fill out tax forms for Covid-19 relief. There is obviously a language barrier with the people who provide that service and also an $80 charge. These friends of the community do not charge and simply help them fill out the paperwork for the relief. They will receive one party at a time. Everyone is required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer after each one is helped. I will be monitoring the guests in our building.

The restroom was off-limits except for the 4 or 5 Hispanic women doing the work. I have spoken with the D.S. who affirmed my intention to host the Hispanic women who are doing essential work to help others applying for Covid relief.  Again, this was a one time service in line with the way we help “the least of these” (Matthew 25.45).

At Council, we can discuss building use. We would like to allow others to resume use of the building, such as quilters, AA, exercise group, men’s breakfast (can’t eat though). Also Bible Study – though zoom has and is working pretty good. The Bells ministry also should be considered. All of this would require face masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing the space used by the people. It is day by day, week to week, figuring out what we may do that is safe for us all. It is also possible that some may want to come on Fridays at 2 p.m. to observe worship, though it would be by reservation as 10 or less is the requirement. If you have questions feel free to phone me. I will try to answer and if I don’t have an answer I will seek further information.

So much waiting and wondering which seems to make Advent more experiential for all of us.

In Christ our Hope we wait,

 

 

 


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