A Message from Pastors Peter, Kathy, and Lenny, and The Church Leadership Team
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear … (1 John 4:18a)
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mk. 12:28-31)
What a difference a week makes! The Church Leadership Team, Kathy, Lenny, and I concur with leaders of other local faith communities, our healthcare professionals, and the counsel of the CDC that we must suspend all worship services and onsite activities at Messiah as our congregation's moral and civic duty.
As we enter this new territory of how to be and do church during a pandemic, we need not be afraid or anxious. We have a Lord who loves us perfectly and enables us to love others and ourselves in ways that do cast out fear.
Former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy noted yesterday that loneliness will be the public health concern with social distancing. He also said compassion and caring for others are our greatest weapons against loneliness. Compassion and caring are the heart and soul of who we are as Lutheran Christians.
Because of this, and as quickly as we can, we will be introducing ways in which the Messiah community can remain connected, supported, and care for each other. We hope to have an online worship experience ready by next weekend. We'll also experiment with online small groups and serving opportunities. As perfect love casts out fear, we will discover new ways through which the Holy Spirit is working.
As we move into the weeks ahead, please keep Messiah in your prayers, and especially our elder members who are most vulnerable to this virus and isolation. Thank you for your continued love, participation, faithful support, and adaptability.
In God's Peace, Prs. Peter, Kathy, and Lenny, and Members of the Church Leadership Team