Our Pause

Back in March we paused all in-person gatherings on our church campus for the health and safety of all those who attend worship, classes, committees and groups at our church and for our church staff. I’ve been thinking about that word “pause.” When we pause a show on our television or other screens, the pause sometimes shuts itself off and goes back to where we were. Other times the pause lasts forever, until we un-pause it.

Our pause will be unlike either of these. When we are ready to reopen our campus for in-person gatherings, some things will not be the same. We expect that initially gatherings will be small and we’ll still be physically distancing. Some gatherings probably won’t resume for a long time. But we won’t be on pause forever either. On Wednesday, May 21, Bishop Robert Hoshibata directed that our campuses will remain closed for now, with another update from him on June 3. A guideline that he has continued to lift up is that we need to see a steady decline in new COVID-19 cases in our area before beginning our reopening process.

I want to assure you again that a skilled group of pastors and leaders has developed a working plan for a gradual reopening of our campus when the time is right. That plan will be shared with you in the June 3 Messenger.

Meanwhile, our church is open! Worship continues at 9:45 a.m. Sundays on our website, YouTube and Facebook. You can also watch it later. I’m grateful to all those who are working so faithfully on preparing worship. Children’s Sunday School meets via Zoom every Sunday at 11 a.m. Youth group continues at 4 p.m. on Sundays. Classes are meeting via Zoom. Our office staff is working diligently (mostly from home) to keep up with communications, answering your calls, and doing all the business of the church. The kitchen remodel project is progressing very well. Mission projects continue.

You have continued to give and can keep doing that by going to the GIVING box on the website or by mailing your gifts to 1431 W. Magee Rd., Tucson, 85704.

We are planning for new things to begin this summer. We’re planning for small group gatherings as soon as we can hold them, classes on Zoom, and programs for children and youth.

So, our pause is different from the pause on your TV! Some things are paused, but others continue, and new things are emerging. Keep participating, giving, and praying for your church, one another, our leaders and staff. We need you to do that so our church will remain strong.

On this Memorial Day weekend, our worship will focus on “Never Thirst Again,” based on John 4, wrapping up our series on “Walk…With Christ.” Next Sunday, May 31 is Pentecost, so we will celebrate the coming of God’s Spirit to the church and to us.

Today’s prayer: Give us patience, Gracious God. Give us a calmness of heart and a joyful spirit to see where you are at work in our world. Comfort and strengthen those who are sick or hurting. Watch over all your people and carry us through these times. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings, Sharon