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.

This last Sunday afternoon, staying at home was getting a little stale, and we thought that we might take a drive as a family. By this point, just getting out and seeing something other than the inside of our house felt like pretty essential travel. In keeping with the spirit of limiting social contact, we decided to stay on the backroads. We took Frozen Dog Road out of Emmett, which turned into Shalerock Road on the south side of Black Canyon Reservoir. From there, we crossed the river at Montour, then up to Sweet. From the Sweet/Ola Highway, Brownlee Road takes you up to Dry Buck Road. Aren’t these great names for roads? There’s a story behind each one of them.

What has changed for you over the last few weeks? Jay Webster, Bob and Shari’s son, teaches at Sage Middle School, and obviously he’s been in a different mode these days since his classes have moved out of the classroom to distance education. Keri, his sister, was sharing that he was grateful that he had been able to spend so much time with his newborn daughter and her brother. For those of you who have been teachers, you know that you often end up spending a lot of time with other people’s kids, and not so much your own. Jay realized that even with the challenges presented to his occupation, there was a blessing laced into the situation, too.