Magnolia trees in the time of plagues.
The raging pandemic and the increasing information that confirms we are in uncharted territory as humanity, gives me a sense that the Biblical image of “plagues” applies to us in 2020.
And the question remains — in a time of plagues, how are we the church?
Loving God, neighbor, and self in the time of plagues invites us as church to acknowledge and grieve what has changed, and to root ourselves in creativity, compassion and care.
We are reforming the practice of ‘social distancing,” and join others in re-naming it “compassionate distancing.” We will not be meeting as a face to face community this Sunday, and for an unknown number of weeks ahead. All meetings will happen virtually until further notice.
The grieving of how being in the sanctuary, singing together and sharing at the table is real — so please give yourselves permission to grieve this loss.
For me, one of the most precious portions of worship is gazing at your hands as I offer you the body of Christ. I already miss your hands — the shape, the color, the size…
We have so many unknowns in this time of plague, and the anxieties we have are in multiple directions at the same time.
What we do know is the following:
Every day this week and next, Luther Place Church is a distribution point for lunch for Senior Citizens. From 10-2pm, seniors are able to receive a boxed meal. This is a DC City effort, facilitated through the Oasis program that meets M-F in the basement of our church.
Beginning, 3/22, we only offer Sunday, 10:30am worship as an online experience:
Go to https://www.facebook.com/LutherPlace/posts/ at 10:30 am to join us.
The bulletin can be viewed by clicking here
We invite you to prepare for this Sunday worship by bringing your own bread product and juice or wine, to the time of worship. We will share Holy Communion at a distance, trusting in the real presence of God.
At 9:15am, on 3/22, the Adult Spiritual Formation group will meet via Zoom to continue the study of Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark, looking at chapters 1-3.
Please download Zoom in advance - it's free!
Simply click here at 9:15 on Sunday:
Contact: Jackson Droney
We are sending out Sunday school materials to our families with children, and we will make this wonderful material available to the entire congregation. Contact: Chelsey Christensen
We will stream a Lenten Vespers this Wednesday, 3/25, on Facebook live.
We will have a new worship opportunity, Night Prayer hosted by me 5 out of 7 days of the week. I will facebook live Tuesday through Saturday evenings from 9pm - 9:15pm.
Our Community Care Team is beginning a Congregational Assessment by phone and email — please see an additional note about our having accurate contact information for you.
So what about Magnolia trees this week?
Some of the giant flower petals are now gently falling to the ground. If you pause and gaze, you might catch one in motion. The tree still has many blooms, yet white and pink petals, silky to the touch, are creating a carpet across gray stones and green grass.
May we consider how much has changed in the last week. And still, what remains is that God loves us more than we can imagine, and calls us beloved through every change.
May we remember our community’s magnolia tree — blooming and dropping petals, as a sign of God's grace even in the midst of plagues.
We are all in this together.
The Rev. Karen Brau
Pastor Karen Brau is best available by email — and she usually takes a break on Sunday evenings and all day Monday.