This summer our theme for worship has been hope. It is such a contrast to what is going on in our world. If you are anything like me, listening to the news each day does not inspire hope. This time of pandemic has brought many challenges to our lives individually, collectively and globally. But being part of Prince of Peace, we have many things to be hopeful about. Here are a few of the things that are bringing me hope:
- Creativity is flourishing in how we do worship and music. We have many more volunteers leading parts of worship than we did when we were worshipping together in the sanctuary.
- We are embracing technology much faster than anyone expected and connecting in new ways.
- We are more intentional in our conversations and connections with one another.
- Prayer is something that has not been impacted by the pandemic.
- We are finding creative ways to celebrate with one another like birthday parade, card showers, 100th birthday video, video greetings to our second Tanzanian partner congregation, drive thru popsicle social.
- We are seeing God’s work in the beauty of creation and enjoying the outdoors more than ever this summer. We appreciate the work of all the volunteers who keep the church grounds looking beautiful and the Karen gardeners, whose plants are flourishing.
- We are discovering new ways to express faith through art: Love in Action Chalk Art Show, HopeFULL Art Show, Virtual Art Camp, color pages drawn by Ashwini Sandanayake (Ruth series) and Michael Stetzler (HopeFULL series).
- The pandemic is getting us to think about why we do what we do, how we do it and what is most important to us as a faith community.
- We are asking the question how do we love our neighbors in this time of pandemic?
- The Affordable Housing Team is not only learning much about the challenges of people who are homeless or unstably housed, it is also becoming a close-knit small group that could be a model for other small groups.
- We are coming together in community via Zoom for our semi-annual meeting, Nell Sponheim’s memorial service, Coffee Cookies & Conversation, book and movie discussions, and bible study.
- Collaborating with creative colleagues around the country I have had the opportunity to make weekly Faith Finder Fun videos as a resource for families.
- We are getting to know people’s names and connecting with people we did not previously know well.
- The congregation’s generosity continues. We ended the fiscal year strong and donated additional money to Holy Trinity Lutheran in South Minneapolis and Bethlehem-in-the-Midway of St. Paul.
- We are understanding more than ever that the church is not a building. The building gives us comfort, but as God’s people, we are called to be the church in the world
What is it that brings you hope at this time?
Grace and peace,