Serving as pastor in the congregation in which I work here in Newberg, Oregon, is a joy. I am particularly thankful for the way in which the saints (which is what the Bible calls believers) reflect the grace and comfort of God. In the broader world I see fear and panic on one side, and on the other, some dismissing safety concerns as irrelevant, or at least as not applying to them. The members of the church have been reaching out to one another (by phone or email) as well as looking for ways to be of help in the community at large. They are taking seriously the danger of spreading the COVID 19 inadvertently and are abiding by the necessary restrictions. At the same time, they refuse to live in fear. They know One who has conquered the grave. I am thankful for their encouraging, servant hearts.
This is a congregation that loves to gather for worship. Yet this past Lord’s Day (and apparently for some time to come) they could not, both because that would have put others in danger, and because of restrictions on gatherings. Since we could not gather in our building where we usually worship, we moved to live streaming. We cannot not worship. We will not stop worshiping. But we have changed how we gather for worship. It has been a learning curve for me, who has never put together a YouTube video, much less live streamed. Although the morning was a bumpy start, by the time of the evening service it seemed to be coming together, thanks to helpful advice from others.Continue reading