On September 7 we celebrate Labor Day, honoring and recognizing hardworking people and their contributions to the development and achievements in our country.
In this memorable summer of 2020, we’re not only going through a novel pandemic but also seeing unprecedented protests in many cities of the US and even around the world.
The pandemic has already taken half a million lives worldwide and around 125,000 people in the US. The protests, due to the killings of our black siblings, will hopefully lead to needed reforms. Community leaders and elected officials in our country and around the world are trying to find solutions.
Does the church play a role in these conversations? What responsibility do we have as responsible citizens in these situations?
To deal with Covid-19, we’ve closed our sanctuary for regular worship services and quickly organized online services. While it’s not been easy, we’ve done our best to organize what was needed. These efforts have enabled us to reach new neighbors in the community and members living far away. Many of you wonder how our services come together. Week after week, finding different participants can be challenging, but so far everyone has been so cooperative, and I thank everyone for your willingness to serve.
I’d like to share with you that we’ve also divided the congregation into 19 small groups, with leaders for each, and the hope is that the leaders would call those in their groups on a regular basis. We’ve had zoom calls for group leaders to share the progress we’re making. This new ministry effort is progressing well. I feel that this approach will help connect members to the church family. Ideally in post-COVID life, we’d continue these efforts, strengthening our church life.
The protest rallies after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis continue to gain momentum. There are signs of hope as conversations about reforms begin to happen. I feel the church cannot be a silent spectator. God is sending us into the chaos of the world. God is calling us to be agents of transformation. Our invitation as followers of Jesus is to do the transforming work that dismantles, heals, restores, and reconciles. These are trying times, and it is difficult to ignore the injustices present in our society. To join a peace rally in solidarity is important. Let us be attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Open Mic at Lincoln Park
Open Mic at Lincoln Park is a new ministry initiative, aimed to engage members and those interested to converse and learn from each other on important topics. We already had discussions about racism and how to be an ally to persons of color, how to talk to children about difficult subjects, white privilege, and more. The idea originally was to help our members, in the context of limited movements like sheltering in place. These informal conversations have been helpful so far.
During July and August, many people normally try to travel and take vacations. While some may be unable travel, for those who will, I pray for traveling mercies. Enjoy your summer as much as you can and be safe.
Regards and Prayers,