Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I wrote the first edition of this letter in early August and this edition in mid-August. What a difference that two-week plus period has made. In early August we were brainstorming ideas to more fully open the church, to encourage members we have not seen since the pandemic to come back, and to invite others in the community in to worship our Lord Jesus Christ with us. Oh, how things have changed.
We are once again embroiled in the latest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this Fall Edition of Eye On Zion Monthly, you will repeatedly see the word “tentative.” My instructions to the Council and other interested leaders was to brainstorm ideas because “if we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” As I see it, we already know how to shut down the ministries of the church when requested to. So let’s not fail to plan. As of this writing, it is anyone’s guess as to whether any of our plans will be initiated – they are all “tentative.”
Nevertheless, I feel it is my responsibility to remind you that God remains sovereign and our Lord Jesus remains on his throne. I could quote scripture to you telling you that everything is going to be alright. And come what may, everything will be alright. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to do all the due diligence. We are not snake-handlers and poison-drinkers who test God.
God gives us civil, medical, and science professionals to guide and direct us. As I see it, we have no choice but to listen to them. It may not be what we want to hear and their recommendations may not be what we want to do, but to do otherwise tempts fate.
Too much of this pandemic has become politicized. This disappoints me. I am not more knowledgeable than the experts in their fields, so as the spiritual leader of this congregation, my advice to the Council is that we listen to them. We have to believe that they intend only what is best for all of us.
The “tentative” details of our fall programming will be laid out on the following pages. We have not failed to plan. We hope and pray we can proceed with our plans. Our plans are to minister to our Lord, our membership, and our community. We will faithfully move forward, trusting that the LORD is on our side, while listening to the public health officials. We hope to see you again soon, but you, our members, are smart enough to figure out whether and when it is safe to return.
With you on the journey of faith,
The Rev. Duane A. Jesse, Pastor
“I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
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