First and foremost, I want to tell you that I love you. That love for you has caused me to miss you dearly. I miss the pre service pastry run, setting up the hospitality table with some of you, setting up the audio and video, watching my girls arrive and set up children’s ministry, watching you trickle in, starting the service in prayer, preaching my heart out, and watching you take communion one by one. I truly miss that.
This season has been very hard on all of us. It’s shown us that we truly need each other’s physical presence. We have truly been made to be in community with one another. Though we’ve been able to meet virtually, it’s just not the same. Though we have held kids church every week since March, it is not the same. Though we have all continued to give financially, it is not the same. Though we have met weekly on Zoom to pray and listen to each others stories, it is not the same. Honestly, I don’t think we will ever be the same.
Church, I want to confess something that you may or may not be aware of. I am frustrated. Carol and I have been giving our Church our all for almost 7 years, and it seems like this season has dismantled all that we’ve worked so hard for. We feel so disconnected. Our governor has made it impossible for the school to have us back. His ordinances have made it difficult to rent out retail spaces where we could worship under his guidelines. If we could, we would meet at a park, but we can’t get a permit because the city is not issuing them.
This has been such a hard season. Preparing two sermons, and preaching to an empty room for 2 hours is exhausting. Recording the worship with Randy is something I look forward to, but we both agree, It’s just not the same without you. But what can we do?
The Book of James was such an encouragement to me and my girls. Planning for 1st and 2nd Peter was fun. It got my creative mind going and God led me to the concept we have recently communicated. But why does it still seem like it’s not enough?
On a personal note, my family and I have been house hunting, and though I wish I could tell you that this has been going well, I can’t. In fact, our house hunting journey has been almost identical to the state of our church. We feel like God is opening a door, something happens, and the door closes. Whether it is getting outbid by investors, or dealing with loan limits, it hasn’t been a pleasant journey.
Church family, though this season has tested us in ways we could never imagine, the one constant that has brought us rest is Jesus. He is the only one we can count on. He is the only one we can trust. When we feel like no one is there and no one cares, He is there. When we feel frustrated, He calms our anxiety.
Maybe you have been feeling the same way, just know you are not alone. We can relate. We are still here. Wishing we could meet. Wishing we could give you a hug, anoint you with oil, and pray for you in person. But until that day, know that you are not alone. We love you Church.
See you soon,