If you’re like me, the phrase ‘Stay-Home’ rings something like: ‘Stay-Away-from-People.’ While good advice, it does not feel good to stay away from hugging children and grandchildren. It feels unpleasant not visiting friends in nursing homes or eating out with familiar faces. The lack of physical contact may weigh heavy. How do you handle it?
Peter, an apostle of Jesus writes:
To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-3).
Persecution pushed these Christians away from familiar places, spaces, and faces. ‘Scattered’ meant ‘Stay Home.’ How did they deal with the lack of close contact? Peter reminds them of who they are, who you are. Connected to God through Jesus Christ. Still connected to God through the Word. Strengthened by God with his promises. Heirs of heaven. People under his care now. We might be scattered, but never scattered from God. While the loss of physical closeness stings, God blesses us with phones, devices, and windows so that we can see and talk and hear. Until we all meet again, God fills us with peace— the peace of approaching him in prayer with burdens and anxieties, the peace of God granting patience and strength in every challenge.
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE UPDATE AS SOME INFORMATION HAS CHANGED.
We currently operate under Governor Whitmer’s current ‘Stay-at-Home’ (set to expire May 28th). Currently, we plan resuming worship Sunday, June 7th, at the normal worship times. Early last week, your church council drafted a set of guidelines that will be used when worship resumes. Still, much can change between now and then, and so we remain alert for future guidance. As our planned reopening approaches, you will receive clear, definite instructions regarding expectations for worship. Until then, worship materials remain available in one of several formats:
a. Access www.youtube.com
b. Type: ‘St John Lutheran Clare’
c. A circle with the picture of the church will appear in the search results. Click it.
d. Select desired video.
** Thank you to all who have subscribed. If you have not yet done so, please considering ‘subscribing’ as this makes our content more visible and easier to find.
Pastor Ewald remains available by appointment for devotions and private communion in his office during this time of restrictions. (This type of activity is allowed under the current Executive Order, 2020-77, pt. 16.) Please call to schedule. He holds steady office hours (8:00am-5:00pm) at St. John, Clare He will be at Faith Harrison Wednesday afternoon (1:00pm-5:00pm). He also will try to contact you via telephone, e-mail, Facebook, or text message about every 7-10 days. Please do not hesitate to reach out to him.
Please contact the church office should you have difficulty picking up essentials or are experiencing hardship. We will do our best in meeting reasonable requests. Also, fabric facemasks have been donated to the church by Jim, Ann, and Betty Schaeffer. If you have need of one, please reach out. We will make sure to get one to you.
God continue to provide you with spiritual and mental strength as you live by his promises.
Rev. Andrew G. Ewald