Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.1

Thessalonians 1:3

Recently my father and I took a drive along Slackwater Road in Millersville, Pennsylvania.  The road follows along the Conestoga River from Millersville to Safe Harbor.  There the Conestoga empties into the Susquehanna River.   It’s a beautiful drive and concludes with a scenic view of the river and Lake Clarke.  The lake was created in 1931 when the Safe Harbor Dam was built to provide electric power.  Constructed during the Great Depression and prior to the New Deal, the dam serves as a reminder of how in the midst of significant challenging conditions, people can come together to build for a better future and to meet the needs of the present.  The dam, the lake, and railroads that run along the river continue to serve people today and make an impact 90 years later.  As we drove along one barn had the phrase “We are all in this together” painted on it. 

I have seen and heard this phrase used frequently during the pandemic.  I appreciate the hope and solidarity it offers.  We are in this together trying to figure out how to move forward in a way that cares for one another’s health, spiritual, economic, emotional, and psychological needs.  This pandemic has challenged us to adjust and adapt in so many ways.  Here at Christ Lutheran we see that adaptation in the advent of on-line worship services.  With that has come a shift in our normal worship liturgy including the suspension of holy communion for the time being.  We are adapting and moving to outdoor services for August even as we continue to produce an on-line worship service.  The pastoral staff is contemplating how to incorporate holy communion into an upcoming outdoor worship.  A task force is working with the council to upgrade our on-line worship capabilities in order that we might meet present and future worship needs of the congregation. 

We are all in this together as we continue to seek ways to support and care for one another.  We are all in this together as we seek racial justice and engage in the necessary work of anti-racism.  It has almost been close to six months since this pandemic began in our nation.  Challenges continue.  Difficult decisions abound.  Frustrations and exhaustion emerge.  Nevertheless, as we face the challenges of the present and the opportunities for the future we do so confident in the presence and strength of God. Paul wrote long ago to the church in Thessalonica and his words speak to us today.  They call us to the work of faith, labors of love, and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  May faith, hope and love abide with you and bring you encouragement as we face each new day and challenge.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Stephen Herr