Dear CLC Family,
Looking at the world around us, we are all no doubt having flashbacks. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was March 2020. But here we are, on the cusp of Advent and Christmas. Throughout Indiana and in our own backyard of Boone County, we are once again seeing an alarming rise in positive COVID-19 cases and rapidly rising positivity rates.
The good news is that we are a lot more knowledgeable about COVID-19 and the vaccines appear effective and suggest a better future. However, given the trend in not only positive cases but the climbing positivity rate, the COVID-19 Task Force and I believe that it would be prudent for Christ Lutheran Church to take a proactive step and suspend in-person worship services and concerts and offer virtual options starting this upcoming Sunday, November 29th 2020. It is likely that this closure will extend through at least the end of the year. Both I and the COVID-19 Task Force will be watching the situation closely and will be making determinations as to when in-person services and concerts can safely resume.
This decision has been informed by the gathering restrictions and recommendations put forth by Governor Holcomb, the pastoral recommendation from I-K Synod Bishop Gafkjen, conversations held with local clergy, and both the staff and COVID-19 Task Force here at Christ Lutheran Church. But most of all this decision was made in the interest of our collective calling to be good neighbors and to keep one another safe.
So long as it remains a safe option, we will still offer private prayer time and communion on Wednesdays. Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0944acac2a1-sanctuary
For the time being, the Preschool will continue as their decisions and operations hinge on factors beyond the scope of Sunday gathering. I have total confidence in that the Preschool Board and Director Sarah Zell will make sounds decisions surrounding the safety of our students, their families and our teachers.
No doubt this decision will be met by those who agree, and those opposed. Yet, however unpopular or popular this decision may be, it was made with what Soren Kierkegaard called Fear and Trembling.
In the book of the same name, Kierkegaard tries to understand the anxiety that Abraham felt when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac. And while the anxiety Abraham felt is different, there are certainly those in our midst, who share deep concern and anxiety surrounding COVID-19. At the end of the day what sticks with me, even with a decision as difficult as suspending in-person services, is that even though Abraham was unsure about God’s plans, God remained faithful even when things seemed most bleak. And friends, in this wilderness time, that is what I faithfully hang my hat on - the God who remained faithful to Abraham and Isaac is the same God who remains faithful to us whether we gather for worship in-person, or virtually at home.
These are stressful, and trying times, and this has been a very difficult year, but in times like these we need to be ever vigilant in staying in touch, finding those ways for us to form connection and fellowship, even if it be virtual. Join in a Sunday Zoom adult education class, a Wednesday Zoom Bible Study, or join the Zoom Book Club. Call, email, or text someone you haven’t seen in a while. And as our last E-newsletter said, “Rejoice in the fact that we have so much technology at our fingertips to retain connections while socially distant.”
Through all things, the COVID task force, the Governance Board, the staff of Christ Lutheran Church, and the one privileged enough to be your leader and pastor thank you for your faithfulness, and your continued support.
Pastor Wesley Smith III