June 30, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Greetings in the Holy Name of Jesus the Christ!
are at a point of transition in congregational life! March 8, 2020 was the last public worship service
here at the Lebanon Mennonite Church House sanctuary. On June 28th the LMC Church Board
and Pastoral Care Commission met and we decided that we will resume meeting in
person on Sunday July 5, 2020 at 10 AM, but in a
meeting indoors for worship is still considered by the Center for Disease
Control (CDC) to be a “high risk” activity, we will be meeting outdoors at O & L Gardens (LaVerne Nofziger’s
property) 34825 Tangent Drive SE Albany OR 97322.
At this point, the format for the next four Sundays in July will be “drive-in” church where we will stay in our cars. The audio will be via a PA system, but we are also attempting to purchase a low-power FM transmitter, which would make audio/sound available on your car radio. The model/format for worship services will be reviewed at the July 15, 2020 LMC Church Board meeting, and any logistical changes or needed tweaks will addressed at that time.
Yes, the dreaded coronavirus called COVID 19 is unfortunately alive and well, and still invading our communities. But even if we’re still living in the middle of the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic, God is still God and invites us to be faithful Followers of Jesus!
Here is Oregon our “new normal” has taken another twist. In response to the recent spike in both COVID 19 cases and hospitalizations, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has mandated that masks/face coverings will be required for all indoor public spaces effective tomorrow, July 1, 2020. “Children under the age 12 years as well as people with a disability or a medical condition that prevent them from wearing a face covering, are not required to wear one.”
Virtually everyone I know is extremely tired of dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic, and yet the novel coronavirus hasn’t shown any sign of leaving just because we’re weary of dealing with it! And, for many people the idea of being inconvenienced by wearing a mask in indoor public space is the last straw and the camel’s back is about to break!
But as Followers of Jesus, we are geared differently than many people! As we follow Jesus, a primary tenant of our faith is self-sacrifice, and laying down our lives and agendas for the benefit of others! Jesus said, “Whoever finds his (or her) life will lose it, whoever loses his (or her) life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
Christians, by definition, do not just look out for themselves, promote just their own interests or do what is best for themselves! “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5) As Followers of Jesus, we readily acknowledge that Jesus stepped down from glory, took on human form and died on a cross for our benefit, and our role as Followers of Jesus is to emulate his life.
to research projections used Dr. Deborah Birx (Coronavirus Response Coordinator
for the White House) and Dr. Anthony Fauci (National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases), approximately 33,000 American lives could be saved by
October 2020 if 95% of Americans would wear masks/face coverings in public
spaces and buildings.
To be authentic Followers of Jesus during this COVID 19 pandemic we need to have the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job and the tenacity of Peter! Wearing a mask is not my favorite activity because my glasses often fog-up and the ear-loops make my ears stand out like Dumbo’s, but I’m happy to wear a mask for the benefit of others around me! And, Dr. Birx said there is also a health benefit for me too!
I believe as a Follower of Jesus, it is imperative that I do everything I possibly can for the health and wellness of the community, state, nation and world in which I live, even if my glasses fog-up and my ears stick out!
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday
July 5, 2020 at 10 AM for a “drive-in” worship service at O & L Gardens
34825 Tangent Drive SE Albany OR 97322.
We will stay in our cars to decrease the likelihood of COVID 19
transmission. The service will be
shorter then our typical Sunday morning worship time but will include a
Message-of-Hope/sermon, congregational sharing (by texting the sharing to my
cell phone at 541-409-3336) and music. No
public restrooms, so “go before you go.”
Please keep praying for all people impacted by the COVID 19 disease at 2:00 PM every day with the LMC church family, maintain social-distancing protocol of being 6 feet from non-family members, wear your mask, and wash your hands very often. Also, please feel free to call me if you have any questions at 541-409-3336.
Keep the faith! Pastor Brent
1 John 4:11-13
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.”