What an unusual moment in time we are experiencing. What has been familiar and even comforting for us is now not possible. The congregation’s worship, often a weekly uplifting lifeline for social and spiritual fellowship, has been transformed into a virtual experience for all of us. I’m sure you join with me in missing the face-to-face contact that lets us catch up with one another every seven days.
How we “DO church”, is changing. Our worship has, and will, continue to change and evolve as we grapple with the issues surrounding COVID-19 now and into the future. When we return to any form of “in person” worship will be decided by the General Council and the data they have. Whether we will be able to sing or how we greet one another or the method which might allow us to celebrate communion are yet to unfold to us. I know that it frustrates many of you even as it challenges your pastors as well. We’ve never had to plan worship and ministry like this before.
So how Pilgrim Church will “DO church” will probably never be exactly like it has been in the past. Not only will the current health concerns affect the future, but with God’s guidance a new settled pastor will be called to lead the congregation into new ways of “doing church.” Be confident that God is in control and in God’s time the right leadership will be secured. Times of trial, times of challenges, times of uncertainty are often the times when God is at work fashioning new models, new opportunities, and new vitality. Embrace these unusual times with a faith that places your trust in God’s abiding presence.
Pilgrim Church may have to change how you “do church” because of health issues and new pastoral leadership, but Pilgrim has never, and will never stopped the way to “BE the Church!” One of the strengths of a vital church, like Pilgrim, is that there is a constant community of caring people. During these “isolation” months there have been dedicated members who have kept in contact with the membership via regular phone calls. The prayer concerns which are received in the church office are shared with pastoral and lay leadership for response. The Food Pantry has served people in a limited capacity but is now back to its regular schedule. The Apostles Build of Habitat for Humanity has been completed and welcomed Dawn’s family. Members and friends have continued the financial support that has perhaps even exceeded expectations during this difficult time.
Pilgrim people – you continue to BE the Church! Embrace this, celebrate this, proclaim this with joy and pride!
Despite being a scattered congregation unable to come together in a physical space, a unity of spirit and purpose has allowed the congregation to fulfill the ministries that make a difference. God’s Spirit is among us, God’s Spirit challenges us, God’s Spirit fills us with hope! May God continue to use each one of you to help Pilgrim BE the Church!
Rev. Bill Klossner