Letter from the Pastor
As many of you are aware, we are now experiencing significant concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. This illness is exponentially affecting some of our most vulnerable neighbors. I am regularly monitoring recommendations from the Department of Public Health, and the board of Beacon will be meeting this Sunday to discern the best way we can spiritually care for our neighbors while also protecting others' physical safety. The board welcomes your prayers for that meeting, for wisdom, clarity, and discernment from the Holy Spirit. Operating out of fear never leads to good decisions, but prioritizing the needs of our vulnerable neighbors--those who are elderly and/or food/housing-insecure--is in line with the desires of God's heart for this world, as seen over and over again in Scripture.
For now, worship is being adapted to have less contact between persons, and the building is being frequently disinfected. Beyond maintaining space between other people, the best thing we can do is keep washing our hands diligently. Those of us who are less at risk can run errands or drop off groceries to those who are more vulnerable.
Our Gospel text for this coming Sunday is the story of the Samaritan woman at the well who encounters Jesus in the midst of what was most likely a very long season of isolation. If the effects of the coronavirus continue to escalate, many people will experience a different kind of isolation. For people of faith, this is especially difficult, because living out our faith can only be done in community. That is why so often when Jesus healed people, the healing included a restoration into the social fabric of their community. Beacon is committed to spiritually and pastorally caring for all of our neighbors. We are also committed to building up community, which may have to take a different form for a season. We have been called to do so creatively in the past and we are being called to creatively do so now. We are exploring various options and will discern together the best path to take.
Our board members and pastors make this promise when they are ordained to their roles:
Will you seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?
I will, with God's help.
This invitation is extended to all Christians, too. How are we using our energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to serve others in this anxious time?
The story of the woman at the well shows us that Jesus is willing to meet anyone where they are, no matter what. In the midst of paralyzing anxiety, in the midst of isolation, in the midst of swirling fears about an unknown future.
The woman at the well was open to receiving the love of Jesus. She named her desire for living water, for healing, for new life. She shared the Good News that Jesus, God-with-us, our Savior and Redeemer, was here, offering grace, eternal life, andhope.
Jesus is still with us, meeting us in our need and desire for new life, offering us and all people grace, eternal life, and hope.
I encourage you to hold onto that truth. I invite you to join me in prayer for our neighbors both locally and around the world. More to come.
"[Jesus said,] Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."-John 14:27