With heavy hearts and in steadfast love, Pastor Matt and the St. Mark’s council have endorsed the expectation of the North Carolina Synod that all in-person gatherings of our congregation will be postponed though May 12. Certainly if circumstances change we can reevaluate that plan. As council, as staff, we deeply grieve this reality. But right now, being physically distant from one another is how we can do our part to love our neighbors and keep each other safe. Following Jesus is about the way of self-giving love, and this is a sacrifice we can make to support the vulnerable in our community. This means that we will not be gathered for in-person Holy Week or Easter services, but we are making plans for how we can observe those days in meaningful ways. And look, the fact of the matter is that Jesus is raised whether we dress up in our Easter best or not. Jesus is raised without the egg hunts, brass ensemble, lilies, or special breakfasts (just like Christmas comes without packages, boxes, or bags). I mean, if death can’t stop Jesus in his work of bringing healing and wholeness, then God can handle a postponement of our festivities. If you are bummed about all this, I’m right there with you. But I’m also convinced that there are still plenty of opportunities to practice our faith right now by checking in on neighbors, family, and friends. There are still opportunities to be the people of God by focusing on our faith formation at home, and you can still bring tithes and offering by donating to St. Mark’s online.
When we do get the all clear on this, boy, what a celebration it’s going to be! In the meantime, stay home and stay safe, take care of each other, and let us know if you or someone else needs help.
In Christ’s Peace,