One of the most challenging things about almost anything in our lives right now is looking into the future. It's hard to know what the next month is going to look like in terms of the virus, let alone the next few months. I saw a post from a specialist in virology from Harvard saying it is likely that the next year is going to look pretty much like what the first three months of this pandemic has looked like. We could have spikes, or "second waves" or with increased testing and isolating we could get to periods of declines in the virus and few deaths. We seem to be in a better place in Minnesota, even though cases are increasing. We are testing at 7,000+ a day now, and our ICU bed numbers have decreased by 100 from a month ago. But the truth is, until and if an effective vaccine is developed and deployed, we are going to have to live with this thing for quite some time. What does this mean for Messiah?
I think the question of what that means for Messiah is an important one. How do we live out the gospel in a time where it feels like we are handcuffed from doing so much. Christian ministry is always relational ministry and it is focused on outreach. How do we do this for the next year? What can we do and what can't we do? What will worship look like when one of the most dangerous things someone can do with this virus is be in a smaller space for an extended period of time breathing in these micro particles that carry the virus into your lungs?
We are going a head with a plan to start worship at the end of July. We will do our best with our planning, but many people will not like what worship needs to look like in a time when this virus is very much in play. My hope is to give people a choice to worship in-person if they desire to. We will also have opportunity for outdoor worship and parking lot worship. We should be able to present something everyone as a comfort level with. It very well might be that some of these options will evolve. Just because we start out doing a worship one way, might not mean that it can't change over time, depending on circumstances. All I ask is your patience. All of this is a work in progress. We are in his together as partners in sharing the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.