(St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:50-53)
This month we continue celebrating Easter joy with three more Sundays including one for the Ascension of Jesus, then it’s Pentecost Sunday and the Holy Trinity the Sunday after. On the national calendar, May also includes the National Day of Prayer, Armed Forces Day, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day. There’s much to celebrate, remember, and be thankful to God for.
As I look back on the last fourteen months, it seems there is a gradual return to pre-covid life even though the pandemic is still with us. During the stay-at-home order in the Spring of last year, I was the only one in the office for weeks; Sunday worship was reduced to one service with me, Frannie, Chuck and the Praise Team in the sanctuary, streaming the service to our members at home. Sunday School, Bible study, Confirmation, and all youth activities were put on hold. Today, people are back in church in small numbers, the seniors are meeting again, Tim Grace has jump-started a family Bible study in between Sunday services, Confirmation has resumed, and we had an Easter egg hunt. Lord willing, if things go the way they are going, more of our regular activities will resume as well—maybe even some new things, who knows.
It might seem this past year has been a time for our church to simply retreat into itself for protection and survival. There have been fewer meetings, less things to vote on, fewer activities for volunteers to donate their time at, etc. You may be pleasantly surprised to know however that many of our ministries have continued unabated. For example, our preschool opened for class in September with twenty-four students. At a time when older siblings were staying at home attending class on a computer, the younger ones were able to be here a few hours of the day, making life a little easier for families in our community—parents were thrilled we had this much-needed ministry. On top of that, we have hosted a home school with ten students in one of the modular classrooms. Again, parents in our community have been so happy to have this option for their children, and have thanked us (our church) for letting them learn and play here on our beautiful campus. I am baptizing two of the home-school children and their older brother on May 2nd. Through the generous giving from you, our church members, we have been able to continue support for our friends at Camp Lutherwood Oregon, Public Safety Chaplaincy, Wash Jo Mission of Hope, The Northwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and The Gideons International. And our seniors group continued meeting via Zoom on the internet.
So continue to enjoy the beautiful Spring Easter season of our Lord, and give thanks for the many blessings He is pouring out onto us on a daily basis. May His peace and joy be with you.