Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Please know the staff of St. Martin's and I continue to pray for your wellness and safety. Last week, St. Martin's started the process of training worship leaders so that we can begin to offer small outside prayer gatherings. Ten people participated in the initial training. I am grateful to all of them. Soon a schedule of small in-person services will be set up. These services will not take the place of online worship, which will continue. Instead, they will be a way people can gather if they choose and pray in person (physically distanced and in masks, of course) with one another.
People's comfort or lack of comfort with risks associated with COVID continue to be all over the map. Some people are comfortable seeing family and meeting outside, others remain in strict quarantine, etc. Trying to navigate safely through these uncharted waters as an organization is a challenge. Please remember to be gracious! Remember to be supportive of your brothers and sisters in Christ, and please remember to be honest and kind with yourself about how you are feeling in regards to risk.
For the last several weeks, Jesus in our Gospels has told parables about judgment. The consensus between all of these parables is really quite simple, DON'T JUDGE. We are all in different places in regards to the issues that circle COVID. Listening with compassion to our neighbor who is in a different place seems to me to be far more effective, and, quite frankly, Christian, than judging them.