March 18, 2020
It is times like these that the Church is able to take its place in the world. While we are all dealing with the uncertainty of the Corona virus and the associated economic downturn,, there are wonderful truths that we have been given that allow us to breath deeply, not turn inward and live knowing that somehow, by the grace of God, we will move into our days with purpose. The psalmist (who knew plenty about trials and trouble) invites us to say together, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…Ps. 23”
To trust in the guiding hand of the Shepherd does not, however, remove us from the human task of living in a coordinated way with the peoples of the world in dangerous times. With that–and at the calling of our President and government officials at all levels–Beaver Valley Lutheran will join the citizenship of the nation in observing “extreme” social distancing over the next two weeks. The new guidelines released by the government on Monday, March 16th, spell out that we should, for the fifteen days ending on March 31, avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people.
Honoring this call to work together as a nation means for us that we are canceling all meetings of any kind here at the church until Wednesday evening, April 1.
This, however, does not mean that our ministry is shutting down. Far from it! Worship (including a little Spark bible lesson for children) will continue with the smart use of technology. I will, with no one on the sanctuary, lead the congregation in weekly worship via our video recording. Members and friends of Beaver Valley are urged to set forty-five minutes aside each week and worship in your own homes. Members can do this by either,
During these prescribed fifteen days, the office will be open. Work on the April newsletter and Holy Week worshipping will be underway. These plans will take into consideration that how we gather on Easter morning may be different than in years past (but we will safely gather, even if that means standing outside in the fresh air on Easter morning!). Also, PLEASE let the church office know if you or someone you know (member or non-member, it doesn’t matter) needs assistance during these historic times. There are smart, hygienic ways to be supportive of folks in their homes.
Now, as our work continues, so, too, does our need for financial support. Your offerings are coveted as they drive all that we are and do as a congregation. Put simply, if you are financially able to mail an offering to the church (Beaver Valley Lutheran, PO Box 128, Brandon, SD 57005) before the month of March is over, that would be a gift to your church.
Lastly, let me share this thought: I don’t think it is purely coincidental–and I am glad that some of you have noticed–the connection between our Lenten study of the importance of others (“Let you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:4) and the crisis that we are in. Let’s be saying this often and together: we are at our best when we are mindful of the greater good and the specific needs of others. My prayer is that we will over the coming weeks be strengthened as we do the work of staying faithful in our own homes; find creative ways to be supportive of those around us; and grow in our appreciation of the time in the near future when we can be back together for worship and a good coffee hour again!
Pastor Greg Johnson
|Apr 1, 2020 - 1:00 pm||Beaver Valley Not Gathering until April||View|