To the people of God at Mountain View Lutheran Church:
We live in extraordinary times. Rarely in my lifetime, with the exception of 9/11, have I witnessed such palpable fear. The same is clearly a manifestation of the anxiety-ridden times we currently live in. To suggest otherwise is to deny the reality on the ground. Jesus himself acknowledged what can be life’s uncertainties when had said in Matthew 7:34, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” How poignant that is to the current moment as all of us struggle to stay in the moment, not futurizing tomorrow’s trouble.
Amidst the current storms that we are experiencing, we need to live into the Gospel-believing community we are. We need to take hold of the words of Jesus in Mark 4, as disciples cry out on a storm-tossed sea: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And the word of the Lord: “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased and there was a dead calm.”
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we trust this wind-ceasing, storm-stilling word of the Lord to be true. We trust that same word to make a difference in how we approach dramatic times like we are currently experiencing. So, for all of us, a word: Peace! Be still!
Having reminded each of you of the same, I need to simultaneously indicate to you that we are working as a staff in various ways, particularly surrounding Sunday worship, to bring that same word of peace absent the physical presence of the community. We will, by this Sunday, have an online version of worship accessible. In addition, we hope to be making available to you distinct Lenten materials for home use as we travel the forty days absent midweek worship.
Also, we as a staff remain on site, with the exception of Pastor Bri, who is now working at home for her own protection during her pregnancy. She will be working on Lenten devotional materials, intermittently preaching, and finding various ways to connect young families via technology.
I am maintaining regular office hours, so feel free to call or make an appointment when the wind and waves feel particularly acute for you. Likewise, in the case of emergent and/or urgent circumstances, I am still available to respond pastorally; call the MVLC Church Office at 253-863-5171.
These extraordinary times require endurance, patience, and imagination. We, as a staff, are praying for God’s guidance, along with leadership, as we navigate these rather treacherous waters. We give thanks for the community we share together and a word we all need to hear: Peace! Be still!
Pastor John L. Vaswig