Dear St. Thomas Family and Friends,

I imagine that most of you have had this experience. You are doing some organizing in your home and need to bundle a few small items together to store them. You reach into ‘that’ drawer and pull out a rubber band. You wrap it around the pencils and pens once, twist the rubber band to wrap it one more time so it isn’t loose, and snap! The rubber band breaks. Hopefully there is another in the drawer. If you are like me, you examine the rubber band that broke. Now you notice that the color isn’t exactly right. At a closer glance, you notice the little cracks over most if not all of that broken rubber band. It has lost its elasticity. It snapped. 

Our bishop met with the Diocesan COVID Task Force Monday night and in light of Wisconsin’s rising cases, decided to temporarily suspend in-person worship. For safety sake, we are returning to online worship only. This change begins immediately. We will be temporarily ending our weekday services as well. Our ability to stretch and return to form will be challenged again.

It’s getting old, tiring, and frustrating. You may feel like you are not as elastic as you used to be. I think I’m cracking! I invite us all to be praying that the Holy Spirit breathes into us new life and flexibility. Pray for Deacon Lisa, Fr. Aran and Fr. Ralph and other leaders of St. Thomas. Pray that God will lead us as we try to provide online worship in a way that those watching experience God’s Holy Spirit. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please let us know and we will consider them. Pray for your church. Pray for God to refresh our elasticity! Most of all, pray that you and God stay close.

In the meantime, I encourage you to contemplate our primary icon of God, the Trinity. God is a unity. Christ called us into unity with God and with each other. That is a trinity too. It is more important than ever for us to be the church. Reach out to people regularly. Give a phone call. Let people know that you are praying for them. Have a conversation with someone about the content of a sermon. Share with others how God is being faithful to you. Pay attention for a spiritual nudge from God.

If you have any questions about the changes, please email or call the office. Don’t hesitate to text, email, or call me. We may feel far away, but we are not. God may feel far away, but the truth is that God is very near.

Still walking with you,

Fr. Ralph+
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