Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Garner
Letter from the Pastor
As June begins our church is almost two weeks into our “Re-Entry” into indoor ministries including worship, study, and service.
We still have certain guidelines in place to make sure these efforts can be safe, especially for unvaccinated folks, particularly youth and children. In worship we are learning a new rhythm of offering praise as we enjoy corporate worship, learn to livestream, and adapt to advice, such as that offered by the Center for Congregational Sing here: https://congregationalsong.org/covid-updates-congregational-song/ or North Carolina DHHS here: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/media/618/download, both of which still encourages refraining from full congregational singing as vaccination levels are still under 70% nationwide and for our area.
In study, we have committed folks who want to grow in knowledge and service of Jesus and do so in ways that create access for those who feel comfortable being in person and those who are still not ready for that, no matter the reason.
In service, we continue to gather food donations for Garner Area Ministries (bring yours to the office during the week or to the narthex during Worship) and are again able to provide space for community partners such as AA, Boy and Girl Scouts, and the youth service organization Community Navigators/Community Builders.
These are but first small steps of our return to a sense of “normal.” Our return to “normal” does not mean a return to things as they were or to business as usual. After all, this past year has changed us and our world. And the church is also changed—both literally in terms of the physical spaces that have been repainted and refurbished but also in the sense that we have discovered that our life and shared ministry together doesn’t always have to be done the ways we have always done them. We couldn’t return to whatever normal was before March 2020 anymore than we could build a time machine to return to what normal was 20, 30, 40 years before that.
So our return to normal is not to March 2020 but rather to the “norm” established by God through Jesus Christ—whose work and walk with us continues to unfold in surprising, often comforting, but not always easy ways. I sense that these was are creating new energy and new possibilities for us to know, love, and live the Good News of Jesus Christ.
You can see some of those possibilities in the ministries described above and in articles in this month’s edition of The Spire—new ways of thinking of our Stewardship of Time and Talent, new beginnings for our high school and college graduates, new sacred space for prayer and remembrance in our completed Memorial Garden, just to name a few. And there are more sure to come as we proceed through summer and return again to the “norm” of loving God and neighbor just as God loves us.
The Lord Bless and Keep you,
To read The Spire in it’s entirety please click on the following link: June Spire 2021