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Living "in-between" days

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We can be “in-between” in many different ways. These pandemic days are in-between our “stay at home” orders and being able to move around freely again. For many people it is getting more difficult to just stay home, and nerves are getting frayed.

For some of us it is a time between jobs, waiting for what is next. Wondering when our employer will be able to open up again, or if there will still be a job at the end of all this.

Many of our young people are between classes. They are trying
to learn online and know that it is not the same as being in the
classroom. We don’t even know what school will look like in the fall, which really brings anxiety to kids and parents, too.

Some of our people are looking to a graduation and then wondering what’s next. Usually this can be a time of fun, and all the celebrations. But that’s not true this year. They join the rest of the population concerned about an unknown future.

We are also between pastors, wondering who will be here as a part of our leadership team. Our transition team has finished up our site profile, the job description, and we are looking to find a call committee. Day by day we wait, but we know that ministry still happens here.

God also knows us to be in-between who we are today and what we will be tomorrow as God’s still beloved one. God knows us
always and we are never orphaned, God abides here and now in this in-between time.

In-between can be a time of loss and mourning. Jesus says to us that at such a time, I will not leave you alone. This is sacred time because God dwells here, in-between.

Until we gather together again may you be filled with God’s peace and love.

Not closed, but deployed

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Re-thinking the mission of the congregation during public isolation

 Have you taken the time to re-think what “church” means during this time of a public isolation?

If church is not meeting on Sunday mornings, then what is church? Furthermore, what is the mission of the congregation?

Our mission statement reads:

“Clairemont Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterana Clairemont is a community of faith united in Word and Sacrament, building faith by inviting, welcoming, forgiving, accepting, helping, and praying for all of God’s people.”

How has the congregation lived up to this mission?

Despite the ban on large public gatherings, we have continued to offer the Word online on Sunday mornings and we hope that your life groups have found ways to keep connected as well. We have also continued to offer Drive-Thru communion as a way to keep our community in Christ connected to the sacrament. We have also continued our food distribution ministries to serve our neighbors.

But what about building faith? How are we doing that now, and how will we do this going forward? We can do this by inviting others to view our online worship by sharing the videos over Social Media. We can call others and pray with them. We can offer a sign of God’s peace to our neighbors and to those we may see at the grocery or drug store. We can help a neighbor who is having difficulty during this time. These are just some of the ways we can be inviting, welcoming, helping and praying.

For years Christian congregations have faced declining attendance and participation. Some have permanently closed their doors. One reason is that society has changed. Church is no longer the place to celebrate and mark life passages. People stopped coming to the church campus.

Now that most people aren’t going anywhere, we have an opportunity to re-think our mission outside of being a physical location in a neighborhood. We can instead think of it this way:

The church is not closed, it’s deployed.

I invite you to prayerfully consider how you can play an active role in the deployed church of Christ, both now and well into the future.

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