Words of Encouragement
from Jess Speropulos
October 29, 2020
Our first Halloween back in St. Louis was in 2017. Now, I am someone who loves the costumes, themed parties, and (mild) spookiness surrounding this holiday. Peter does not generally get as excited about themed costume parties as I do, but, in 2017, Halloween week was also when the second season of the Netflix show, Stranger Things would be released. With this extra inducement, I was able to talk Peter into throwing a Stranger Things themed party to celebrate the premier. So, we reached out to friends, found costumes, and made our living room look like “the upside down.”
If you haven’t seen Stranger Things, it is part coming of age story and part creepy sci-fi adventure centering around a group of middle schoolers in Hawkins, Indiana in 1983. For anyone who grew up in the 80’s, it is a total trip down nostalgia lane. Needless to say, we were hooked after the first episode. As the first season progresses (don’t worry, no spoilers here), the group of friends slowly begin to realize that their reality is not the only reality, and that, after this strange series of events, their lives will never be the same. As I look back on pictures of this night, my first thought was, “wow, that was life before.” We had people in our house, we were standing close together, no one is masked, and our biggest worry was if we had enough snacks for everyone. That time was before…

All of us who are living in and living through 2020 probably have a clear memory of the moment when reality shifted—when the line of living before the pandemic and living in the pandemic was drawn. For me, it was sitting in the theater at Wydown Middle School watching some of our youth ministry students perform in the musical Matilda. Matilda was the last event I attended before everything changed. During the next week, reality would shift, masks would become part of my daily wardrobe, and I would become glued to news updates about the burgeoning crisis. 

Now that we have all been living in the midst of this new reality for eight months, you, like me, are probably very ready for “the after.” Ready to embrace family without fear of infection, ready to stop looking at maps of covid hot spots around the country, and ready to gather fully and closely for worship. Obviously, we do not know when “the after” might come, but we know it is coming. Our God is faithful. He has shown us this reality time and again. It will not always be this way. We must keep walking and believing and trusting—not living in “the upside down,” but living in between the “already and the not yet.”

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Hebrews 10:23 

Just a reminder: Remember to turn you clocks back one hour Saturday, October 31, before you go to bed. Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend!

  • Please register to attend Sunday's 8:00 AM in-person, indoor worship service by 11 PM Saturday.

  • Please register to attend Sunday's 9:00 AM in-person, outdoor worship service by 11 PM Saturday.

  • Please register to attend Sunday's 10:00 AM in-person, indoor worship service by 11 PM Saturday.

  • Entry and exit for both the 8 AM and 10 AM indoor services are through the Ellenwood doors. Parking along Ellenwood Avenue is encouraged for these services.

  • Sunday outdoor services are on the playground and parking on Wydown is encouraged.

  • Those following the Sunday online service at 10 AM may download the Sunday Morning Prayer service leaflet posted on the webWe join with one voice in the Worship of the living God.