12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Greetings my friends!
In a time when many within our world seem to take pleasure in angry confrontation and debate. In a place in which many within our world seem to take polar opposite views on difficult topics. In an environment in which feelings run profoundly deep and strong and it seems that the only way to properly relieve those feelings is through aggression, I bring you good news!
On Tuesday evening the joint congregational councils of the UPG Parish and St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church came together to once again talk about, pray about, and make decisions regarding how our community of faith will move forward during this time of global pandemic.
Our elected leaders within our community of faith represented each of you and our Lord with great distinction and honor. Various views were expressed both in favor and in opposition to a return to “In person indoor worship.” Our leaders shared genuine and authentic feelings about concerns they held, particularly in relationship to people viewed as more vulnerable within our community. Our leaders expressed genuine and authentic feelings about desiring to allow their sisters and brothers to worship in ways that were meaningful. In retrospect, this meeting was one of the more challenging meetings I ever participated in, but it was also one of the most wonderful meetings that I ever attended.
Within the “business” of the meeting there was respect and dignity given to each esteemed elected leader who was present. There was patience displayed as people engaged in dialogue expressing opposite views but there was always respect and dignity shown to one another.
I for one, want to thank our God for the assembled group of elected leaders within our community. I thank our Lord for sending the Holy Spirit to aid us in our discussions and our votes.
As many of you undoubtedly know, our community will be returning to indoor in person worship beginning October 4. If you have read our emails from yesterday you would also know that Pastor Trump is now officially a pastoral partner with me, and you would know of other challenging decisions that were reached. Yet I stand before you all honored to share that each decision that was made on Tuesday evening was prayerfully, thoughtfully, and respectfully reached.
While none of us truly know how future events will unfold within our community of faith let alone how events will unfold with the larger world around us; isn’t it nice to know that God has provided us with leaders who when they come together embody the very essence of Christianity that we all hope to attain?
God dwells within our midst! May we all pause and give thanks to the Lord!
Until we speak again
Trust God keep washing those hands and be at peace!