Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
The pandemic was disruptive to every aspect of American society. Senior citizens were isolated, assisted care facilities locked down, and essential workers took care of our basic needs. Meanwhile, students and teachers had to adjust overnight to online school, and office buildings sat empty as employees gave up the water cooler and worked from home.
At TLC, a campus that was occupied 7 days a week was occupied solely by our staff as we produced worship programing.
The pandemic was disruptive to every aspect of American society. This Fall we have begun to live into a new normal. Many still wear masks, but the performing arts have returned, stadiums, restaurants, and venues are full once again.
At TLC we continue to live-stream our services–providing a vital connection for those who are shut-in or joining us for worship from far flung locations. We have been blessed to hear from many people in a variety of states who have now become regular worshipers with us.
Time to come home. In person worship is currently about 70% of pre-pandemic numbers. For some it is the only option they have, and we are grateful to be able to provide this service and welcome our online community each week.
Time to come home. We had a new member’s class this past weekend. We will be receiving new members on Sunday, October 23rd.
At TLC we have two baseline expectations for our members, Worship and Service. If you are visiting the grandchildren, on vacation, or watching the kids at the state tournament, you are where you need to be. But if you are on the island and not shut-in, we expect you to be in church. We need you here. There are no hugs given online; Sunday School takes place in person, community is formed and strengthened with each personal encounter.
It is time to come home. I want to invite you to invest in community. Invest your time and energy. Re-establish your routine; show up on Sunday. There are people here who will be blessed by your presence, and you will be blessed by sharing the journey of faith and life with others.
This is the earliest glimpse we have of the early church:
“All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.” Acts 2:44-47
This past Sunday TLC gave away $20,000. We gave $5,000 to each of the following charities: World Central Kitchen, Lutheran Refugee Resettlement in Washington State, ELCA Disaster Relief, and ELCA World Hunger.
Next month we are going to give away another $15,000 to local charities right here on Whidbey. We are distributing to all who have need; we are worshiping, serving, and growing. We are the hands and feet of Jesus.
It is time to come home to TLC.
Blessed to be a Blessing!