1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb. 5 those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.Psalm 126 (NRSV)
Finally, we are going back. We are going back to the sanctuary. It has been a long wait. We are about to reopen our sanctuary on Sunday, March 6. It will be my first Sunday in the main sanctuary. I feel like a kid going to his school for the first time or opening his Christmas gift. I am excited and very grateful that I will no longer have to preach on a video camera in an empty room, but praise God with others (I will talk more about my experience of going back on Sunday, March 6).
I would like to thank everyone’s patience and prayers. I would also like to express my gratitude to each elder of the Session as they spent hours discussing, debating, questioning, listening, and praying. Each elder deeply cares about sharing God’s love in an inclusive, safe, and caring environment.
I recognize that our decision is far from perfect and that not everyone will agree with the decision that has been made. We know that everyone has different thoughts on vaccination, singing, reopening, etc. Some might feel we are reopening too late; others feel we are reopening too soon. Some might feel we have too many restrictions, and others feel we have too few restrictions.
We are approaching a decision to reopen (and how we reopen) not as a matter of “You are wrong, and I am right,” but as a matter of “What is the best way to serve our community and to worship God in a respectful, responsible and safe way?”
We accept that we are humans and that our decisions will be human decisions. That is why we will remain humble, open, and flexible. We have decided this for now with what we know, but we are willing to learn, unlearn, relearn, and listen every day.
I believe that God has placed each elder in our Session and that God speaks through each one of us. We make each decision carefully, trusting in our congregation’s abilities to forgive, understand and support one another beyond our differences.
I would like to ask for your blessing, understanding, prayers, and support for our Session’s humble leadership and discernment.
Rev. Chuck Moon
A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, February 26, 2022, edition of Tidbits.