March 11, 2021
We’ve enjoyed some warm, sunny beautiful days the last couple of weeks and now we are bracing for another snowstorm this weekend! It’s quite fitting for this fourth week in Lent as we focus on the desert theme of “the elements (climate): resiliency!” Continual changes to a climate require continual adaptation on the part of the vegetation and wildlife that live in that climate. As Pastor Alice shared with us at midweek Zoom, desert wildlife have developed amazing physical traits to deal with harsh sun, little water, lots of wind, and irritating sand. Indeed, God gives us all amazing gifts to handle our ever-changing circumstances. We are resilient because God created us to be so; we are made to adapt and change, to shed and grow – from the cellular level to the spiritual level.
As March 12 marks one year since we closed our building due to COVID-19, there is now visible hope on the horizon as more and more people are vaccinated. I know the question that is on everyone’s mind is “when can we gather all together again safely in our building?” The answer to that question depends in large part on when everyone has access to a vaccine, including our staff. When pastors and staff are fully vaccinated and our membership at-large has had the opportunity for vaccination, we will be able to gather again safely in our building in large numbers. We are hopeful that might be as early as June and if we can do so sooner based on local health guidelines, we will. The safety of all of our membership and our greater community remains our priority. In the meantime, the CDC has said that fully vaccinated people may gather safely with other fully vaccinated people in small groups with limited or reduced safety measures; this is encouraging because when we are able to gather together for worship, we may be able to do so in a way that allows us to sing together and have more than 50 people in the sanctuary if the restrictions in Denver lift beyond YELLOW. This is good news indeed!
We, as your staff, celebrate with all of you who are fully vaccinated, and we appreciate your patience as we wait our turn to be vaccinated as well. Faith leaders fall into Phase 1b4 in Colorado, which might begin by late March. And, of course, we are watching in great anticipation to see when Phase 2 begins, which allows for the general population to be vaccinated as vaccines are available. So yes, there is a bit more waiting yet to go before we can fully gather all together safely, but hope IS on the horizon.
As we journey together through Lent and Holy Week with our hearts lifted to that hope, we invite you to participate in these worship and devotional experiences, including two in-person opportunities to gather outside* which come at the beginning and end of Holy Week:
- Available for use anytime: audio guided walking meditation and audio guided seated meditation
- *Outdoor worship in the parking lot – Sat., March 27 at 1:00 p.m.
- Palm Sun. worship on YouTube – 10:30 a.m. (morning service) & 5:00 p.m. (The Gathering)
- Holy Week videos sent via eblast – including music, scripture, short spoken reflection
- Holy Mon., Tues., Wed. (Mar. 29, 30, 31) & Holy Sat. (April 3)
- Maundy Thursday worship on Zoom – Thurs. evening (April 1)
- Good Friday worship with New Hope Baptist Church on YouTube – Fri. evening (April 2)
Easter Sun. (April 4)
- Outdoor Easter Gathering in the Parking Lot*9:00 a.m. -Flowering the Easter Cross (bring a flower from your garden to put into a large wooden cross) & children pick up Easter baskets from Ms. Angela
- 9:15 a.m. – Sharing Song & Communion Together
- 9:30 a.m. – Disperse (you may take photos by Easter Cross)
- Morning Worship on YouTube – 10:30 a.m. & The Gathering Worship on YouTube – 5:00 p.m.
With hope on the horizon,
- Pastor Anne