March 19, 2020
Jesus said…..”I am the Light of the World.” Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam (this word means ‘Sent’).” So the man went and washed and came home seeing.
Dear Lake B Family and Friends,
God has a sense of humor. The passage above comes from this week’s lectionary reading and is the text we were scheduled to preach on this coming Sunday, March 22. And here we are. In the midst of sheltering in place, quarantining, and social distancing, we see Jesus literally sharing his spit with his neighbor. You have to love this irony!
Social distancing does not mean social disconnecting. There is a difference. Hear me. Please take care of yourselves. Please stay home if you are sick. Please follow every bit of guidance coming from our well-trained health care experts. May God, during this time, give us creativity to engage with those who are suffering and those who are already experiencing the weightiness of this time – including those in our own congregation. Thank you for what you are doing to stay connected with others. It’s important. God made us for connection and belonging – to God and to one another. Anything we do toward that end helps us live into our humanity as God made us. Resist fear. Like the blind man, may God give us eyes and wisdom to see in new ways where and how the Spirit is moving in us, around us and through us.
Here are a few updates I wanted to share:
The biggest, broadest statement I can make is this: Everything has changed. Our staff is only coming into the office if they have to. Otherwise we are working remotely. Shearl has revised office hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. Our work has changed significantly.
Giving: Thank you for staying current on your regular giving. We have lost anticipated revenue due to events that were scheduled in March and April, so your faithful giving and prayers are appreciated.
Worship: Crystal, Benji and team are doing an amazing job paying attention to how we remain a worshiping community of faith (albeit virtually). I am grateful for their leadership and their creativity. Michael and Megan will be leading our quarterly “Worship Night” that will livestream on Facebook Friday evening at 7:00 PM. Sunday morning we will livestream at 9:30 AM. Our guest this week is Dr. Ron Ruthruff – super excited! If you have questions about our services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Response: One thing that has been helpful for me is to understand that what we are doing every day is the work of the church. We are learning how to broaden our reach and love for God and God’s people in a very tangible way. We are discovering how to become a NEW container, a new “well” for God’s Living Water from which grace and new life can flow (to borrow from last week's conversation with Rev. Eliana Maxim).
Friday, we will begin partnering with World Vision and the Highline School District as a point of distribution for essential supplies to families in our community. Families in specific schools, identified and scheduled by the school district social workers, will come by Lake B (drive-through fashion) and pick up supplies. We will know more about details and volunteers needed after we do a run-through with World Vision staff tomorrow. We will keep you posted.
Emergency Fund: Together with our community partners, we have launched an opportunity for people to make donations to help support families in need. The link will go live today on Lake B’s website. These resources will be monitored by a small team with the same process we have used for other efforts similar to this one (Fox Cove, Emergency Cold Weather Shelter, etc). These resources will be directed toward groceries, help with paying bills, etc. If you have questions, please feel free to email Michael or Shearl in the office. (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kids: In addition to staying connected with kids and families outside of our congregation, our children and youth staff are finding creative ways to stay in touch with our Lake B children and youth. Please reach out and let us know if there are specific ways we can be praying. (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
PIVOT: Our PIVOT young adults have been active as well. They filled 60 bags of groceries (food donated by school pantries) that were distributed to families in our community who were identified by school social workers and community partners. In addition, PIVOT along with Jenna Fox, Adelle Comfort, Lori Wright and others have been helping us stay connected to our seniors – providing support if needed for grocery shopping, errands, and just checking in with people.
There will be more to come in the weeks ahead as we walk through this together. We are definitely learning. Pray for our staff. And drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.
Finally, it is still the season of Lent. Phew. Whoever imagined this would be part of our Lent journey? What are we learning about God and ourselves? I was reminded in a conversation with Crystal today that worship is about the whole of our lives. It’s how we serve and pray. It’s how we love and work. It’s how we celebrate and honor. It’s how we grieve and lament. It is our public corporate witness and our personal devotion. May our worship then create space for joy in our lives on behalf of a world that might be losing its hope right now. This is our worship.
With gratitude and appreciation,