A Special Message From Pastor John Cheek
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A Thought for Sunday, May 10, 2020
Friends, I apologize to you all. When we recorded the worship service for this morning, it wasn’t Mother's Day, and that holiday seemed to be somewhere way out in the future. But now, seeing the service, the fact that I didn’t make any reference to Mothers Day seems like a glaring error, so I do apologize to you.
For those for whom Mother's Day is a joyful celebration, even in these peculiar times, we rejoice with you. For those for whom Mother's Day is bittersweet and a little wistful, we stand by your side. For those for whom Mothers Day feels like a cruel joke, we hold you in our arms and in our hearts.
May God bless each of you richly, today and every day.
Please read this message from Interim Pastor John Cheek - 5/8/2020
My dear friends:
Like you, I hate that we aren’t able to gather together in worship on Sundays. Like you, I hate that I can’t shake hands and hug my friends. Like you, I’m tired of wearing a mask when I’m with anybody except my family. You’re tired of it and so am I.
However, you and I are called to a life of love, and, when I put on a mask, I’m doing my best to prevent potentially infecting someone else with Covid19. I don’t believe that I have it, and I don’t have any symptoms, but just the potential is enough to make me take precautions, because it’s one way I reflect the love of Jesus to those around me.
So, what about worship? The time will come when we once again gather together in the sanctuary and worship God there. When will that be? The real answer, unsatisfactory as it is, is that we will resume gathered worship when it is safe for us to do so.
How will we know when it’s safe for us to resume gathered worship? Our Holy Way Health Task Force is carefully tracking the infection rates and mortality rates in Arizona and in Pima County. We do know that we will not resume gathered worship until the infection rates in Pima County are decreasing for at least fourteen consecutive days. At this point those rates are consistently increasing, rather than decreasing or even holding steady.
And what will worship look like when we do resume gathering? The one thing we can say for certain is that worship will not be the same as it was on March 8, when we last gathered in the sanctuary. I don’t know what the changes will be. It seems certain that we won’t be shaking hands and hugging for some time. It seems certain that those practices where we all touch the same articles (receiving tithes and offering, communion, etc.) will be different, but I honestly don’t know what they’ll look like.
So, do I have any good news? In fact, I have the best news ever! Jesus the Christ is the Head of the church. Through his life, death, and resurrection, our sin is forgiven and our lives are transformed and we have eternal life. God continues to receive our weekly worship. We, all of us, continue to glorify and praise God’s name. When you participate in worship online, you lift your own sacrifice of praise to God, and God is pleased.
This pandemic will ultimately come to an end. We will emerge from our homes and greet our neighbors and friends. We will, once again embrace our sisters and brothers in Christian love. God is good, all the time. You and I will wait, and remain faithful, and rejoice in God’s love.