13 Oct His Love Endures Forever
“O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 118:1)
As I sit at my desk this Monday morning, and ponder what to write to you, Calvary, this is my first thought: God is good, and we are blessed. Not even the novel coronavirus changes who God is or God’s love for us or that God is actively engaged in our lives and in our world. Even as we deal with very real struggles, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that God is with us, gracing us with life and spirit and creativity. And, as the sermon touched on yesterday, we are also blessed to have each other. So, yes, let us start this day giving thanks to the Lord, for God is good and God’s steadfast love endures forever, enveloping us and embracing us in the very life of God. How’s that for something to ponder over your morning coffee?
Now for the latest and greatest updates: the Session met on Saturday and my appreciation for virtual meetings has moved to an entirely new level. Over the summer, elders were able to “zoom” in from remote work and vacation locations, like Maine, West Virginia, and Georgia, and I moderated one meeting from Colorado while I was visiting Emily. On Saturday, Travis joined us from Qatar, where he is in quarantine for two weeks awaiting his deployment to Kuwait. Google tells me that it is 6,880 miles from Alexandria to Qatar, and in case you’re wondering whether it should be on your “bucket list,” Travis reports that it’s a great place to visit if you love long walks on the moon—in 100 degree heat!
Let me say again how grateful I am for Calvary’s elders. Our discussion of how and when to move to hybrid worship (limited in-person while continuing to live-stream) has been deliberate, careful, prayerful, and wise. As much as we long to be together and in the sanctuary again, the realities of a global pandemic and the necessity to keep us all safe must guide our steps. In light of that, the Session made the decision to continue virtual worship through the end of the year. It is our fervent hope and prayer that we will be able to begin hybrid worship in early 2021. But, that will depend entirely on the progression of COVID-19 over the next few months.
This decision allows us to do a couple of vital things. First, we will be finalizing our logistical plan and beginning to implement it. In creating this plan, we have received specific guidance from our insurance company and the presbytery in addition to considering general information from the CDC and the Fairfax County and Alexandria coronavirus dashboards. We regularly monitor the moving averages in our area and stay abreast of updates. As we all know by now, this pandemic—and what we know and understand about the virus—is ever-evolving, and we must evolve with it.
Second, this decision allows the Worship staff to plan our Advent worship services. Perhaps this will surprise you, but I typically begin my Advent planning in September, and that is not uncommon among pastors. I have already begun writing sermons, and by the end of October, the Advent liturgy will also be well underway. The musicians have begun their planning, as well. Like everything else this year, Advent will be different than in years past. But that does not mean it won’t be deeply meaningful. We are endeavoring to offer you a season of song and prayer, scripture and sermon that will feed and comfort your heart.
I want to thank you again for your ongoing support and prayers for the Session as we discern and navigate our way through these unprecedented days. It has not been an easy task, and yet, it is still true that God is good, and we are blessed. Thanks be to God!
Yours for the Kingdom,