Our YouTube Channel is up! To see this Sunday's service click below.
A Word on Worship: At our May meeting Low’s Council made the decision to hold drive-in worship beginning Sunday, June 7, at 11:00 am. Members, friends, and visitors are encouraged to park in the church lot, and either remain in your automobiles or bring a lawn chair and sit in front of your car. Everyone is encouraged to keep a space between parked cards and to observe social distancing. Holy Communion will be observed—please bring your own grape juice/wine and bread/crackers. There will be a sound system and platform for worship leaders and we hope everyone will be able to hear. A bulletin will be handed out and an offering taken. You are encouraged to bring canned and non-perishable food items and toiletries for local ministries—SAFE, Salvation Army, and Allied Churches. A container will be placed outside for food and toiletry items. Worship will continue to be recorded so that those unable to be present may view the service.
Making the decision to move from online worship to drive-in worship (as opposed to moving to indoor worship) required careful consideration and discussion on the part of Low’s Council. Since our NC Lutheran Synod has encouraged congregations to follow state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19, a number of measures would have to be followed inside the sanctuary to enable us to worship safely. The congregation would need to be encouraged to wear masks, there could be no congregational singing (a very effective way to spread the virus), and those present would need to be spaced at least 6 feet apart. Later this summer we will be able to move back into the sanctuary for worship but as of now most major denominations are not recommending a resumption of indoor worship. Some churches have made the decision to move back into their sanctuaries, and this is a decision that needs to be made according to the individual congregation’s situation. In some denominations—not ours—the bishop can require congregations to adhere to certain restrictions. In our case the Bishop and Synod Council (the governing body of the NC Lutheran Synod, elected at our annual assembly) make recommendations but they are not binding. But given the current state and denominational recommendations, there are liability issues since Low’s (and most congregations) are not covered for a pandemic situation like today’s.
While legally we could resume worship inside, it is not the best way to show love for our neighbor. While it is commonly assumed that refraining from indoor worship is done out of fear, it is rather done out of love, love for those who are at risk from the current pandemic. St. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3—4, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Of course, this doesn’t mean that those who want to worship inside are simply being selfish. Rather, the Apostle is saying that we are all to exercise humility on behalf of the neighbor, allowing for some inconvenience on our part if it helps keep our neighbor safe and well. We take the example of Jesus, who sacrificed himself for our benefit, even though we were undeserving sinners.
Certainly we miss worshiping in our sanctuary and having fellowship with one another as before coronavirus. Some of you, I know, are ready to resume worship inside. I also know others are not comfortable even attending a drive-in service. Whatever your personal situation and your preferences, please know the decision to begin the drive-in service is done to keep others safe, especially our more mature members and those who have compromised health. Thanks to all of you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this strange time.
THANKS - Again, “thank you” to those who helped with and/or participated in last Sunday’s worship. May the Peace of Christ be with you always. Pastor John Mark.
SINGING - a question came up about singing. Part of the reason for being outside is so we can sing. But please remember that singing is one of the best transmitters of coronavirus and that it is recommended you stay 12 feet apart when singing (the usual recommendation is 6 feet apart for normal conversation).
PHOTOS WANTED - Our social media presence has been extremely active. In light of the COVID 19 issues, as many of you know, we've been Livestreaming our services on Facebook and later posting them on YouTube. I would love to get some photos of folks that don't mind sharing their pics of what many of you have been doing in the times of isolation. If any of you have pictures from the drive in worship services that you would like to share, please email them to me at: email@example.com. I am beyond grateful to all of you for allowing me to share your worship experiences with you and the surrounding community. God's peace to each of you and thanks in advance for sharing your lives. Christy