- Written by Pastor Shawn Nettleton Pastor Shawn Nettleton
- Created: June 01 2021 June 01 2021
May 31, 2021
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
A year ago I wrote to you as we set to reopen our doors and begin in-person worship after two months of online only worship. We have been down a most difficult path over the past year, but the Lord has been with us every step of the way. This coming Sunday, June 6, we will begin having "mask optional" services as we continue to transition back to life and worship we knew prior to the pandemic.
While not everything will be back to "normal" yet, some changes have been made as we make this transition. With respect to the Sacrament of Altar, we have adjusted our communion distribution and will no longer be serving from individual tables. Instead, we will be using a modified version of continuous communion. Those serving the host, will drop the communion wafer into the communicant's hands (same will apply for the gluten free wafers). Those serving the cup will hand the individual cup to the communicant. For now, those serving the Lord's Supper will continue to be masked and wearing gloves. Those coming forward for the Lord's Super are asked to respect distancing as they come forward and move through the communion line.
I would like to thank our lay ministers, ushers, greeters, our re-opening task force and our church council for their extended help, guidance, and support over the past year in helping make our in-person worship services safe and accommodating for our entire membership.
As we move forward, I would ask that we continue to show the same respect and care for one another that we have over the past year. St. Paul writes, Ephesians 4, "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:1–6).
Let us keep these words of St. Paul ever before us as we care for one another in this body of Christ "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Finally, we give thanks to the Lord God Almighty for His faithfulness to us over this past year in keeping our congregation and its membership safe from serious illness and even death during this pandemic. We pray that He will continue to protect, guide and care for us as we move through this time of transition and beyond. For as the psalmist reminded us on Sunday, "I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:8–11).
God's Peace to you always in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Rev. Shawn Nettleton is Senior Pastor at Saint John’s Lutheran Church. You can reach him in the church office, by email at nettleton@StJohnsFC.org or at 970-305-2420.