There has been quite a bit of discussion about reopening church buildings and folks have asked when we will be joining other congregations in town by holding in person worship services. We do have a small group working on the action steps and guidance offered from our bishop’s office. If we move into stage 4, we will consider reopening the building at the end of June. Know this will happen in small steps.
Based upon science and medical advisors, the church Council does not think it is safe to resume gatherings of people for long periods of time, indoors. Also, any worship we can hold in the FLC building, will not look or feel like what many of you are expecting. Social distancing practices, including wearing face coverings and creating cleaning teams, and eliminating high risk activities, like singing, will change what we do on Sunday mornings.
That said, we need to remember that the church never closed! The church is the people! And, we never stopped being the church, because the Holy Spirit has never been contained. It blows open doors, inspires hearts, comforts, teaches, guides, and keeps creating new life as it always has from the very beginning.
Sadly, health precautions and even Governor Little’s directions for reopening are being ignored by many in the larger Sandpoint community. The commitment to the social distancing practices — necessary for a successful reopening — are often touted as politically driven or unnecessary. Which puts senior living facilities and churches at higher risk - if or when we allow visitors back into our buildings.
Until that time when we gather once more, know that members of First Lutheran Church want to support and encourage you. We have people who can shop for you, would love to chat with you, hear your stories, help you work through technical issues, and serve you communion all by phone. If you are open to a call, let us know so we can share your phone number. Or tell us what you need and we will try to creatively make it happen. Because this is what being the church is all about; God’s love given and received is the heart of the matter.
If you have prayer requests, use the form you can find here: https://firstlutheransandpoint.breezechms.com/form/prayerrequest. It is connected to our church management system, so we can do a better job of following up on your requests.
Also, look for a newsletter this week letting you know about upcoming ministry opportunities like First Thirstday, 2nd Harvest Food Truck, A Church Directory update, and more.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Lori C. Morton