Weekly Lifelines 10/28/2021

I have a couple of quick notes to share this week.

I’m really excited about our new faith formation program. Beginning Sunday,
November 7, after a brief coffee hour, we’ll gather in the fellowship hall (masked,
distanced, etc. etc.) to explore our faith and learn together. We’re going to begin
with a practice called “Dwelling in the Word.” Dwelling in the word is one variation
on the ancient tradition of lectio divina. Latin for “holy reading,” this is a way of
seeking and experiencing God through scripture. It’s core to my own faith and is
the primary way I begin sermon preparation. Our bishop has invited all Episcopal
congregations to engage this practice together in the coming year, which makes it
a fantastic starting point for our new faith formation practice.

In keeping with this new era of hybrid church, you’ll be able to join faith formation
via Zoom (link in next week’s Lifelines). If you’re at home or traveling, you can
watch the worship livestream, take a coffee break, and the log on for faith
formation. I hope you’ll plan to join us in-person or online on November 7, two
Sundays from now.

And now, on a less exciting note, COVID. The trend was looking really good until a
day or two ago when it shot back up. Just so you know what to expect, the
benchmark I’m watching is daily new cases per 100k in Olmsted County. When
that’s been below 20/100k for a week or so, we’ll relax the mask requirement in
church. (Two caveats: 1. The trend needs to be downward, not just dipping before
shooting back up. 2. As with all the metrics we’ve used, this is something of a
moving target; it may well change with the conditions.) I’m as tired of masks as
anyone, but I believe it’s important to wear them when we gather, especially if we
want to keep singing. Some of my colleagues have had breakthrough infections
among vaccinated folks in their congregations and I would very much like to avoid
that at St. Luke’s. Masks aren’t much fun, but neither is COVID, so we’ll keep them
on for the time being.

Finally, since Sunday is Halloween, let’s have some fun at church by dressing up.
Anyone who comes to church in a costume will get… extra communion? No, since
that seems a little heretical—God’s grace is given fully to everyone, costume or not
—how about trick-or-treating after church. I’ll have candy to pass out after worship. Let’s see those costumes on Sunday!

Yours in Christ,
Justin

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