Monday, October 26, 2020

How are We Doing?

The link for this week's on-line worship service is:

 As the pandemic lingers into the fall and winter, the question, "how are we doing?" leads the newscast most days. Health officials want to know if they have enough protective equipment for their workers and beds for their patients. Administrators want to know if the outbreaks in schools are contained and whether students are learning their course work. Psychologists assess the public and individual mood. "How are we doing?" has become more than a polite greeting. 

At SPPC the answer to "how are we doing?" is somewhat hopeful. 

--We have held in-person worship services since the end of June, including two communion services. 

--There have been no cases of covid reported among the congregation. Now that winter is here, we've closed the doors so the sanctuary is warm but we must be extra vigilant about Covid protocols.

--Worship committee has met and is considering ways to celebrate Christmas while keeping our distance and remembering that singing is a "dangerous activity."

-- Our "youtube" services are reaching a wider community than our in-person services ever did.

-- Our building is being used

  •  for several concerts by the Die Mahler Group and Raven Baroque. Thank you to those musicians for the gift of music.
  • for family dinners
  • for a small book club group
  • for the North Saanich Residents Association
  • for an all candidates meeting
  • for voting on Oct. 24
  • for a Tai Chi group that meets regularly in the parking lot

Of course, there are not so hopeful answers to the question as well. We have lost much loved members of the congregation but have been unable to hold large funerals. We all grieve these losses and regret deeply that we cannot offer the comfort of fellowship to families.

We have lost community. No Friendship Coffee, no Fellowship Coffee, no Bible Study, no out-to-lunch bunch, no hugs.  Individual phone calls, informal coffee dates, after church chat in the parking lot help to fill the gap, but cannot replace the lost programs.

We're all feeling a bit tired, a bit grumpy and a bit frightened about what comes next. 

And yet we know that:

While in prison, the Apostle Paul wrote:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21 


When Israel had turned away from God and faced the threat of the Assyrian Empire, Isaiah wrote: 

. . .Thus says the Lord,  "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. "Isaiah 43: 1-3


Yesterday was Reformation Sunday. We should remember that during the Middle Ages, when the Plague killed one third of Europe's population,  Martin Luther wrote: 

 “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 as a result 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 neighbour 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.”


In the face of this pandemic, the moderator of our church wrote:

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:5–6).

Thank you for the peace and comfort that comes from knowing that we are not alone. God, grant us patience as we wait; grant us courage as we serve you and care for one another; grant us hope as we trust in you for the future.  -- The Rev. Amanda Currie, Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in Canada


      How are we doing? I don't know, but I do know we are not alone. We live in God's world and He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future."Jeremiah 29:11

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