Welcome to the Monday Tuesday Mailing #10 –
When the Politicians Tell Us to Open the Church
The world is abuzz. . .when will the church open up again? The question suggests that the church has closed. My colleague, Ed McLeod, (pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC) answers this question:
Our church is already open.
We are open to the Spirit’s leading.
We are open to new opportunities for mission.
We are open to the stirring challenge of the call to discipleship.
We are open to anyone who wants to join us on the journey of faith.
We are open to learning new ways to tell our old story.
We are open to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue.
We are open to criticism when we fall short.
We are already open.
We just happen to be worshiping in our homes, for now, as a way of promoting safety and mitigating risk, as an expression of the love we have for our neighbors, and as an acknowledgment that any reckless behavior on our part could have a devastating effect on others. And we are grateful for the technology that makes this possible, aware that we are richly blessed.
But we are already open.
Your church is already open. . .and being demonstratively faithful. We worship, engage in fellowship, bible study and mission from our own homes. Certainly we miss passing the peace with a hearty handshake or hug, but we pass the peace with one another every time we gather, don’t we? We miss nibbling on goodies and sharing a cuppa on Sundays, but coffee, tea and water bottles are at our side when we gather . . .and even bread and cup. We have even gathered, socially distant, for lunch in the parking lot, and PW will gather the first Saturday in March for the Mission Minded Breakfast in the chairs. We have. . .you have adapted quite wonderfully. One has to wonder and only imagine what new ways of being church are ahead of HUPC. . .
Finally, J Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the PC(U.S.A.) offers us these words:
The work of Jesus never required a temple. His ministry was adaptive. We need to be mindful of Jesus’ model. He lived, preached, and gave his life to serve the Kingdom wherever God calls. You have permission to not open the Church on Sunday if it is not safe. Demonstrate love.
Love God, love everyone else. Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words. Demonstrate Love. . .now, and always!
Peace be with you!