Does size matter? This last Sunday, we celebrated not only Mother’s Day, but also the time that Steven Headings has spent with us as a Minister-in-Training. Steven is traveling back to Michigan this week, to pursue the next chapter in his faithful journey. It would have been nice if we were able to have a full sanctuary—for both celebrations—but circumstances have made that pretty much impossible. We’ve had to find new, physically distant, ways to celebrate these life events.

As a pastor, my heart is to offer some word to you all that will inspire and give you some encouragement and hope, and maybe challenge you a little. What that word specifically becomes is dependent on a couple things—first, obviously, is that the Spirit of God needs to guide our conversation. So there’s a lot of prayer that goes into forming the message. The second thing is an awareness of what you all are going through. It’s important that the message speaks to where we all are and what we are experiencing. It’s the second part that I’ve been having trouble with. With all the quarantine stuff and the “social distancing,” I’ve felt a little cut off, a feeling I’m sure you’re all too familiar with as well. I don’t feel as connected as I normally do, and so I have to take my best guess about what you are going through, and try to speak to that experience. And I might be a little off target, and for that I hope you’ll forgive me. If you’re getting a little tired of me talking about the topics that keep coming up in my mind, hopefully we’ll have more to talk about in the weeks to come as we reconnect.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As you may be aware, Governor Little announced Thursday that the State of Idaho would be moving forward in lifting some of the restrictions that have been put into place in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This includes allowing houses of worship to begin meeting again, as long as they observe certain protocols. We have been watching the situation closely, and have decided that we will try to gather this Sunday, and see if we can have some time together, even within the constraints of those protocols.

There’s a chance that we’ll be able to gather again as a congregation this coming Sunday. The governor’s office and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare have been putting together a plan to “reopen” Idaho, which advances in stages, once certain health criteria are met. And, as we stand right now, thing are looking promising. We may be able to open our doors on the Lord’s day, and gather together around God’s word again. But it will not be exactly like it was two months ago. A lot has changed, and we’re still getting used to it.