From the Pastor’s Desk (251) June 14, 2020
It’s been three months since we went into lockdown due to COVID-19. Through many citizens’ participation, we have been able to flatten the curve. Even though we are hearing stories of coronavirus flaring up in certain parts of our nation and around the world, it appears that the situation is not as dire as it was a few months ago when the virus that was new and unfamiliar seemed to spread rapidly.
As we have been going through the lockdown, we have been made aware that social distancing, though it was necessary for all of us, hurt us in many ways as well. It also has been evident that certain groups of people suffered more than the others. For example, small business owners and low-income class people who mostly work as essential workers suffered the most financially, medically, educationally, relationally, and even mentally.
Other groups of people who experienced unthinkable pains due to COVID-19 are those who passed away alone and their family and friends who had to watch them pass away all by themselves. Dying is hard work. It’s a long process. Therefore, we need to assist those who are passing away. Moreover, grieving the loss of loved ones is a painful journey as well. And funeral service is one of the ways we use to comfort the grieving family. But we couldn’t do any of these because of social distancing we felt pressured to practice due to coronavirus.
In light of all this, we realize that we can’t continue to practice lockdown and the extreme measure of social distancing until our medical community comes up with a vaccine. We must go on with life as we do our best in taking precautions against COVID-19.
Starting from this Sunday, June 14, we are going back to two services at 9 and 11 AM. We have 520 chairs in our sanctuary but will receive only up to 100 adults and children in each service. This is less than 20% of our capacity. So, if everyone is mindful of taking precautions such as wearing a mask, not coming to in-person worship when he has a high temperature, keeping a reasonable distance from each other, and leaving soon after worship is over, I think we will be fairly safe. Also, until everything returns to “normal” we will continue to provide livestream worship at 11 AM.
Please use our Church Center App to register. Then, make sure to come and worship in person if your registration goes through and is accepted. Let’s not be complacent about returning to in-person worship. Unless you are in a situation where coming out to in-person worship is imprudent, you should make your best effort to come out.
In regards to house church, I am aware that some house churches have decided to meet in-person. Due to several protests that have been taking place in recent times, it would be good for us to wait for two more weeks before we consider having in-person house church meetings. However, if you have decided to meet in-person, you are not wrong. Please do your best to take all precautionary measures. But let’s consider meeting in-person from the first Friday of July unless you as a house church have decided to continue to meet virtually.
About racism… Racism, which causes one race to think that they are superior to other races, is an expression of pride, and pride is sin. If we think of the US as our big family that we get to live in, then everyone becomes our brother or sister. The truth of the matter is everyone has been hurt and is suffering in one way or another. However, at this point, the pain and suffering of our Black American brothers and sisters have surfaced, and it will be a loving thing for us to forget about our own situation and focus on theirs. It is not time for us to minimize their pain but empathize with them and hear them out. The pain that comes from more than two hundred years of slavery and the hardship that stems from the implicit bias, as well as the explicit discrimination based on Jim Crow laws that lasted nearly one hundred years, can’t subside so quickly. It’s time for us to self-reflect to see if there is an implicit bias against our Black American brothers and sisters and if so, we must go before the Lord and repent and start to see everyone the way Christ saw people. And then, we must ask God what we as an individual as well as a church can do to express our love and care for our black community. As I briefly shared during last Sunday’s message, if some of us go into education to teach in our disenfranchised community for a long haul, into law to fight for marginalized people, and into politics to come up with and execute laws that would protect the weak and poor, I believe God would be greatly pleased. Whatever the calling God gives us in life, let’s not remain silent. Let’s not merely talk about social justice either. Let’s take action to bring about changes God would be pleased with. This world is not heaven, and therefore, it will never be perfect. But we are called to pursue justice and mercy.
No Comments to "Dealing with COVID-19 and George Floyd"