We’re very thankful that beginning this Sunday at 10:30am we can have up to 80 people for indoor, morning worship! You’ll receive another email later today from our admin Katie Stacy. That email will have links to the sign-up page on our website. We will continue to live-stream that service, and we will observe all the customary precautions of distance, masks, and so on. Please read the fine print regarding precautions (including masks) and live-streaming on the website sign-up page. Also, for the sake of the hearing-impaired (lip-reading), neither Shiv nor I will be wearing masks while preaching. I ran a tape-measure in the sanctuary yesterday and the pulpit is about 20’ from the nearest member of the congregation, so we believe this is safe. It’s also the practice of Governor Inslee in his own public-speaking engagements.
The evening service is unchanged — 6:30pm in the parking lot Sunday evenings. This means, at least for now, that each week we can have up to 180 people in worship. For any given week, if you were able to attend worship the week prior, just leave time for others to sign up before you. If there are still spaces remaining a few hours before worship begins (morning or evening), feel free to sign up again. For now, both services will be Communion services.
Two more things. We will continue to have weekly drive-up Communion services for those who do not wish to attend public worship. This is a brief service (15 minutes, give or take) that both Shiv and I have really enjoyed — and I think it’s been a blessing to those who have come. Second, please be praying for the deacons who have had a heavy workload during all this. Soon we will be asking for volunteers who can offer strategic help, but for now the deacons are carrying a lot. Please take time to thank them, whichever service you attend. Everybody needs encouragement, including grown men.
No room for a note (next week I’ll be writing about the J.K. Rowling v. Transgender Community dust-up), but let me give you an insightful quote that I’ve copied onto the first page of Romans in my Bible. I copied it there because it has to do with worshiping people over God (Rom 1:25). Read it twice. It will make you think, but thinking is good. This is from Ronald Wallace’s bio of Calvin and he’s talking about the rise of Humanism in Calvin’s day as a school of thought and cultural trend (it’s also kind of a prequel to the Rowling/Transgender discussion).
“In its fuller development, Humanism was bound to reveal features, and find its expression in attitudes, alien to the Christian faith. It encouraged immense pride in what made one simply human; and in its artistic expression it glorified man rather than God. It was a thoroughly secular movement in the sense that it refused to find the meaning of human life and destiny in reference to another world. Man did not need a heavenly dimension to give his life divine significance. His own form was divine. Why look elsewhere? He could find eternity in his present human experience in its fullness. Education, rather than salvation, was a man’s only need. His own innate ability could substitute for any law as a rule of ethics… sensual desires were in themselves to be regarded as basically good. Self-expression, rather than self-denial, was to be the rule of life.”