By Erik Ingram
By now, it feels almost unnecessary to say that these are unprecedented times in our lives as individuals and as a church; there are daily reminders of that, whether it’s from the media we consume or an email from any company we’ve interacted with in the past 10 years. In the time that I’ve been attending, the community at Prince of Peace has effectively become a second family to me; though people have come and gone, collectively you’ve lent me hospitality, moving assistance, and friendship, and I’m sure all of you can say the same. Of course, those gifts are what make it difficult to reconcile with our isolation from one another, and what also makes it difficult to say that as a council, we’ve determined that it is not yet in our best interest to attempt a reopening and resumption of in-person services even as other parts of society do so. Despite what some leaders and other prominent figures are saying, we feel the risks are still too great to leave to chance for the time being. Given our relatively small size, continuing to practice distancing and virtual worship remains our most responsible collective course of action.
During his time in a Nazi prison in mid-1944, Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to a friend with these words: “The church is its true self only when it exists for humanity...the church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not to dominate, but to help and to serve” (To Eberhard Bethge, July 21, 1944). That is also our calling during these challenging times; we serve a valuable role in our greater community, and the actions we take now serve to protect ourselves and our community in the short term, and ensure that we will be able to continue caring for our community in tangible ways when the time comes to do so again. Until then, may our closeness help us to remain connected, and may we continue to trust the God will carry us through to the other side. Until we meet again, face-to-face.
This blog is run by the council members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Logan, UT. For more information, check out our church's website at princeopeace.org.