Dear Friends in Christ,
Following the announcement of the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision regarding the Governor’s “Safer at Home” guidelines, two questions emerged:
1. Can we restart Noon Run now? and
2. Can we have worship services in the Sanctuary now?
The answer will feel similar to anyone with an active prayer life: Wait; not yet; in time.
Why? Because the Supreme Court order had nothing to do with public health and everything to do with the structures and powers of various branches of government. The virus is just as present and just as communicable. We know far too little about who is carrying it, when a vaccine will be ready for use, even whether having the illness grants immunity against it.
In talking with many of you, I believe we share a common sense about this. Further, for me it really comes from the “strong God” perspective I’ve preached about many times. I do not for a moment believe the power of God is diminished one bit because we are not gathered together at 19th
and Wisconsin at 10am on Sunday morning. However, worship itself remains deeply important
. It is important for your spiritual health and well-being, and it is important for young ongoing walk with God for God to know you are still open to Divine connection. Please continue to worship at home, including communion (a guide is available on our website, www.redeemermilwaukee.org
). Remember also God’s ministers that speak without human tongue—the trees, grasses, blooming things, animals. Breathe deeply, several times a day, and pray without ceasing.
While we cannot serve Noon Run as we have the past eight years without seriously endangering the health of servers and guests, we are sharing food in the neighborhood through the Redeemer Sandwich Brigade and Project Lunchbox, www.outreachforhope.org
. Your donations support both of these efforts, https://www.redeemermilwaukee.org/giving
. Private contributions have been directed to help those hurting most during these pandemic weeks.
There’s so much that is not in our control right now. But as a faith community, the Holy Spirit is active. One recent example springs from Pastor Mick and Judy Roschke, who wondered how Redeemer might help a neighborhood small business keep striving. I’d like to introduce you to the new go-to bakery of Redeemer Lutheran Church: https://agoodmansdesserts.com/
. Collected donations will help him with his fee for kitchen use at The Ambassador Hotel, and once we can safely reconvene, GoodMan’s cakes and cookies will be featured each Fellowship Sunday at church. We strongly recommend you call Alan anytime you need a cake for birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations.
In preparation for weekend at-home worship, I urge you to ponder the word “conscience” in I Peter 3: 12-18a; 21.
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you--not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience.
May peace dwell in you today,