Supervising Pastor Mars’ January 2021 Newsletter. loo
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. … 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. …”
Joshua 1:1-2, 5 (New International Version)
As we head into the new year, I would like to be able to say that 2021 has got to be better than 2020 – but that would be arrogant of me. The reality is that we never know what a new year – any new year – will bring. This year, though, we are more aware of the uncertainties ahead.
When the church closed to in-person services in March to help keep our congregation and our community safe from the coronavirus, we had no clue we would be apart this long. Now in the tenth month of online services only, we know we are not done yet with this new reality. When we will be back together in person, I do not know. When reopening does finally happen, there’s a very good chance it will occur gradually, beginning with small groups and remote groups and growing from there.
When we do get back together, it will be different. That’s a certainty. When we can once again gather in person, some people will remain hesitant to participate in large groups. Some will have fallen in love with their small groups and will prefer to congregate in that way to worship. Some will have grown to prefer the online services that allow them to worship on a different schedule. And finally, some who join us from other parts of the country – whether singly or in small groups – will continue to do so. To continue to grow our ministry, we will have to be flexible and adaptable. We will do some of what we used to do but do it better, incorporating all the improvements we have made and adding in new elements as well.
What we will be has not yet been revealed, but we are excited about the possibilities and dedicated to being better. We know that we will not be taking that journey alone. In the passage of Scripture above, Moses has died; the Israelites’ world has been turned upside down as a result. God’s statement to Joshua is: “Moses is dead, but your mission is the same. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” When we gather in the future, we will be different, but at least three things will remain the same:
God will still be God.
God will still be with us.
We will still be loving all, changing hearts, and transforming lives.
Let’s make 2021 one of the best years in the long history of the Church of the Warm Heart.
Grace and Peace and Calm and Wisdom and Hope,