Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them [or because of Covid-19], for the LORD your God goes with you; God will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Time with Pastor Tina 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

These words from Deuteronomy are intended to bring comfort, assurance, strength and courage. Since March 15, and for many who have been facing personal trials even before that, they are often easier said than done. Life is always uncertain. Yet, we get up each day and go about our business like any other day. However, since the pandemic, our lives have been put on hold. Days of social distancing, self-quarantining and not being able to see, visit, hug, or hold the people we love and care about are extremely difficult.

Our emotions and our outlook on life—either positive and negative—affect how we spend this time of isolation. Also, whether we are alone or with our immediate family. The way we remember this time—as gift or punishment—depends on what we experience during this time. If you or someone you love became ill or if a loved one died alone in the hospital, your memories will most certainly be different than someone who remained healthy. The way we remember this time also depends on the lens through which we look at life in general.

Look at the glass to the right. Do you see “a glass half empty” or “a glass half full”? If you use the “glass-half empty” lens you may see this time of restrictions in a negative light focusing only on the things you can’t do. If you use the “glass half full” lens you may see this time as an opportunity to serve God and neighbor. Either way, I’m going to share with you the way I see things.

I see communities using this “time” to bless others even while keeping a safe distance. I see this “time apart” as an opportunity for humanity to draw closer to one another through acts of service and compassion. I see people of all walks of life sharing their gifts of time, talent and treasure to bring comfort and joy to the lives of others who are struggling. I see how creativity has blossomed as neighborhoods use teddy bears and Easter eggs and other decorations to create a “Where’s Waldo” type of activity to occupy both children and adults. I see teachers driving through neighborhoods waving to their students, so the kids know they haven’t been forgotten. I see food banks rising to the challenge and finding more efficient ways to serve the multitude of people who find themselves in need. Some for the first time in their lives. And I see schools across the country still providing meals to school children who might otherwise go hungry. I see individuals young and old learning to find new ways to communicate and come together to “see” family and friends via Facetime, Facebook Live, Zoom and more.

Personally, I see this time as the closest thing to a sabbatical that I’ve never had. Oh, I’m not traveling or sitting on my bum doing nothing. I’m still serving Salem – preparing and recording worship for Sunday, morning, checking in with members and staff, attending meetings via Zoom, sending letters, the Newsletter, etc . . . but on a Sabbatical you take time away to learn something new, you rest, and you rejuvenate. I have been given the time to learn more about social networking. I’ve been tuning in to webinars and watching Youtube videos to learn “how to . . .” which I’ve implemented now and that will be useful in the future at Salem Lutheran Church. “Virtual office visits” aren’t only for doctors. They work great for pastors too! More importantly during this time of social distancing it helps me serve members who are unable to attend physical worship. And you won’t get a bill!

Negative emotions cause us to feel angry, fearful, powerless, lonely etc. Turning to God’s word in scripture and our brothers and sisters in Christ can bring comfort, reassurance and peace. If you didn’t get your “Christ in Our Home” devotional booklet for April-May-June, please contact me and I will see that you get one. I can’t give you peace, but God can!

Your Sister in Service to God,

  Pastor Tina



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  May 2020  
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