Are We There yet??
Isn’t that the question we are all asking? Are we there yet? I mean in regards to this being over so that we can just be together again. But it appears that we are a long way from this “being over” which then means we need to figure out what works for us, as a community, as we step back into our togetherness.
The survey we sent out got a resounding response rate, as many of you weighed in on how comfortable you felt in this new way of being together. Your voices reflected that 70% of you are feeling uncomfortable with worshiping inside right now but 86% of you are feeling ok with worshiping outside. Hence the birth of our current Parking Lot Worship experiment!
We just had our second week of our new Parking Lot Worship and it feels amazing to actually see your faces! If you haven’t tried it yet, join us at 9:00am each Sunday. Our motto is “come as you are and worship in your car….or in a chair…or on the lawn.” Just come!
We also know that this worshiping model is only temporary, as colder temps will be visiting us again soon enough. So we will be revisiting our survey in a couple of weeks to see how you are all feeling about moving back into our sanctuary. Stay tuned!
We are also slowly reopening our building with some summer office hours, and reconvening our committee meetings and taking advantage of our ability to gather outdoors as much as possible. Bible studies will be held at Island Lake Park on Wednesdays beginning July 1. We will be at the park at 1:00pm and on Zoom at 6:30. Join us there at 1:00pm with a chair or blanket or on zoom at 6:30pm as we talk about God’s Word for us together.
As we have been saying all along, the church is not closed and never has been. We have been worshiping, doing Bible study, teaching our youth and our preschoolers, doing pastoral care, conducting church business and connecting through virtual gatherings in all sorts of different ways since this pandemic came to visit in March. And we will do all of those things in-person again…when we are ready. In the meantime we will
explore new ways where we can be together and all feel safe and comfortable doing so.
Good People of Shepherd, As we step into the month of June many things are still unknown. We have new guidelines from Governor Walz on when and how we can worship in-person, that came out on Saturday 23 May of our Memorial Day Weekend. These new guidelines were unexpected and take a very different direction than what we have been hearing for weeks, and as a result we were not prepared for this timing.
So, we would like to hear from all of you concerning the hows and whens of gathering in-person once again. By the time of this newsletter’s release we will have sent out a survey seeking your thoughts concerning your comfort level on worshiping in-person in our sanctuary. When might you feel comfortable doing that? What might you like to see happen before our in-person worship resumes?
Rest assured, the church is not closed and never has been. We have been worshipping, doing Bible study, teaching our youth and our preschoolers, doing pastoral care, conducting church business and connecting through virtual gatherings in all sorts of different ways since this pandemic came to visit in March. And we will do all of those things in-person again…when we are ready.
We also want you to know that your staff and leadership are operating out of a place of faithfulness and not fear. Please do not confuse the two. What we do know is that God’s love and faithfulness are unchanging and bigger than our fears and bigger than all the unknowns. It is into that love and faithfulness that we will lean as we listen for the Spirit’s guiding. And we will take these next steps together.
So, please look for and fill out the survey so we can hear from as many of you as possible. If you didn’t get it, call us. We want your voice to be heard. And remember, we are all in this together.
In God’s Peace, Your Shepherd Staff Pr. Renee, Jilene, Pr. Brice, Joe, Sr. Tashina, Miranda and Michelle