Calvin Presbyterian Church
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on March 24, 2020

Dear Calvin Family:

As I have reaching out to you today, the word "dizzying" continues to come to mind.

  • The pace at which new information continues to be reported from around the world.
  • The magnitude of change in what is being asked of all of us
  • The speed at which the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases continues to multiply.

Box with question mark on each side Dizzying. Phrases Merriam-Webster uses in defining "dizzy" include: "mentally confused," "extremely rapid," and "bewilder." Have these times also been "dizzying" for you? If so, you are surely not alone in that.

Pages 10-12 of governor DeWine's Stay at Home order tracks, chronologically beginning with January 23, 2020, the progression of knowledge of COVID-19 and the actions taken by the state of Ohio. Fifteen days ago, on March 9, the governor declared a State of Emergency.

Remember when kids were in school, cancellation of worship wasn't on our radar, and restaurants and bars were still open? Before 'social distancing' was a phrase in our common lexicon, before senior-only-shopping times were a thing, and before we were ordered to Stay at Home? Fifteen dizzying days that sometimes feel like we're in a different world or lifetime.

Baby Bottle with Milk As I look at the timeline in the governor's order and see the progression of restrictions I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 3:2, which in the New International Version reads: "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready." In its Biblical context this verse references spiritual development and the concept of being "infants in Christ." As I think about that verse in relationship to the world of COVID-19 around and among us, I suspect the governor and Department of Health Director, Dr. Acton, knew where they needed Ohioans to be, and spoon fed us day-by-day, knowing we "were not yet ready for it."

At the heart of the Christian faith is the recognition of Christ's sacrifice of his own life for the sake of all people. John 15:13 (NIV) says: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."

The current urgency around the Stay at Home order is an invitation to all of us to live sacrificially in order to save the lives of our healthcare workers, our neighbors, our friends and our family. We can show our love for others in the unfamiliar and unusual way of staying home.

Our faith continues to be our anchor as we strive to stay grounded amid the shifting sands all around us. Let's all stay connected, reach out to and pray for one another, and trust that we are all in the Lord's hands.

We continue to work on worship delivery electronically. This week, as many more churches began offering worship on-line, the internet was overwhelmed by digital traffic. In my Friday update I will address that topic in greater depth. The bottom line is that we are still learning through trial and error.

While you are at home, perhaps you would be willing to take a few minutes to think about this and share with me your idea… Beginning after Pentecost I would like to offer a summer sermon series that focuses on scripture verses or topics you would like to hear about. Are there texts you have always wondered about? Do you have favorite stories you would like interpreted anew? Is there some Biblical instruction you find particularly troubling or puzzling? If so, please let me know.

Love and Peace to you,


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