Beloved of God,
Grace and peace to you all! I pray you are well.
Worship this week will be a hybrid of drive in and outdoor worship.
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU ATTEND: SPLC Drive in and Outdoor Worship Procedures. It will be imperative for us all to agree to the procedures outlined here so that we may continue to worship in this way.
Remember, you are your brothers' and sisters' keeper. That means you put their health and well being as important as your own. Keeping distance and wearing a mask may feel strange but these days, it is how we say, "I love you."
This weekend in worship we will hear Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Elizabeth Eaton preach for Holy Trinity Sunday. I am looking forward to her words to us and all our siblings in Christ across the ELCA. I know she will both challenge us to stand against the sin of racism and comfort us with the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are words we and our world need these days.
Some of you have asked me why we have to say "Black Lives Matter." Don't all lives matter to God? The answer to that is yes, obviously all lives matter. The problem is that in our country, we have a legacy of valuing black lives less than white lives. It started way back with slavery and continues even through to today. I have heard it explained best using the story of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He loves all of his sheep equally. But when one goes missing, he leaves the other 99 sheep and goes to look for that lost little sheep (Luke 15). In other words, when one especially needs him, he gives that one particular attention. Right now we give black lives particular attention because they need it. We pray for the day when we don't have to say any particular lives matter because everyone will be treated equally. Until then, we work to recognize the sin of racism in our own lives and in the systems of which we are part. I hope that helps some understand. And I'm happy to have more conversation with any of you around this subject. I know that it is sensitive and carries with it a lot of baggage. I hope that we can all come to a place of mutual respect and grace rather than prejudice and judgment.
Grace and peace to you in this time unlike any other we've ever known. God is always good and always with us.
Peace to you, Pastor Sarah