Pastor’s Ponderings

Dear Woodmar Family,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

On Thursday, May 21st, our Church Council met to discuss when we might safely reopen our building for worship.  Our meeting began by reading Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting     ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 This passage along with Ruben P. Job’s “Three Simple Rules: Do no harm, Do good, Stay in love with God” laid the groundwork for our discussion.  We also kept in mind that Lake County is still a hot spot for the coronavirus.

Every person with whom I have spoken longs to be physically together again in worship. We’re family; we have eternal bonds through our Savior.  We enjoy being together.  Because we love each other we decided to prayerfully consider reopening our building on a month by month basis. Therefore, we will continue online worship only until July. The Church Council will meet again via ZOOM on Thursday, June 18th at 6:30PM to prayerfully consider the possibility of opening in July.

Please continue praying for our Church Council and for three teams that will lead us through the process of reopening:

  1. The Logistics Team will prayerfully discuss how to prepare to reopen the church building and keep all safe.
  2. The Learnings Team will prayerfully discuss what we’ve learned and experienced in our response to the pandemic and what will be beneficial ministries to maintain now and in the future.
  3. The Leading Team will prayerfully discuss how we move forward as a gathered and online church; what the implications are for ministry now and in the future, and how to fulfill God’s call on our church in the midst of the pandemic and beyond.

The pandemic has forced us to rethink who we are as the church and how we are to continue being the hands and feet of Christ in ways we had never imagined! These are difficult and exciting times!  And, I am thankful to be in ministry with all of you…learning together, struggling together, pushing ahead together, and pushing through together.

The apostle Paul says it the best way: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Hang in there, beloved children of God!  God’s got this!

 Living in the Grip of God’s Grace (moment by moment),

 Pastor Esta