Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I must have skipped class on "How to Pastor During A Pandemic Day" at seminary. I did, however, make all A's in my church history class and that is why I know that, while this experience is new to us, it is not new to followers of Jesus.
One person of faith we can look to from history is the famous Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther was a pastor at a time when pandemics were far more common than they are today, and I believe his words from the past are wise counsel for our future:
"I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death because of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God." (The Annotated Luther, Volume 4: Pastoral Writings, page 404)
Our Mothers and Fathers in faith have blazed a wise and compassionate trail for us to follow through the wilderness we find ourselves in. As an expression of our faith let's commit ourselves to Jesus' central teaching of "loving our neighbors as ourselves" by following their example and help "flatten the curve in our community.
Grace & Peace,
Rev. Donnie Wilkinson
I will continue to be in regular communication with you in the coming weeks to help you stay informed and let you know when we will be able to resume regular activities. Along with emails like this one, you can always refer to our
. And, don't forget you can still worship with us via
on Sundays beginning TOMORROW, March 15 at 10:00 a.m. I hope you will join us then.