Pastor’s Report November 2020
Trying new things is sometimes difficult. I love to try new food, and yet whenever I try to attempt to serve my children a new dish, there is great suffering – it ends in weeping and gnashing of teeth. They like the old familiar foods.
The traditions and routines that have been established make us all feel more comfortable and we look forward to them. As we enter the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and advent right around the corner, the only thing that we’re really sure of is that it won’t be the same this year.
But we’re learning. We’ve witnessed confirmation, baptisms, and congregational meetings online. Our streaming worship has evolved, with music provided by the gifted Dr. Alex Le, and through video submissions from other churches, our own members, and friends.
We have refrained from partaking of Holy Communion for the sake of those unable to gather with us, and yet we remain centered in the Word and held together by the Holy Spirit. So, what’s next?
Thanksgiving worship will be streamed online Tuesday evening, Nov. 24th, at 6pm. We’ve invited people to drop off gifts of non-perishable food items that will be collected and taken to the food pantry at LSSN. We will also be purchasing 50 pies! You’ll be invited to pick one up beginning Sunday, 11/22! Our first Sunday in Advent (11/29) will include the (online) hanging of the greens as we decorate the worship space for the season. We’ll be sending home Advent wreath kits for families with children, and daily Advent readings for home devotions. Holden Evening Prayer will be live-streamed Wednesdays at 6pm beginning 12/2, with special guest vocalists! We even have a special event with Santa coming up! Our current plan is to offer a pre-recorded online service for Christmas Eve, to avoid any technical issues, as well as incorporate additional produced elements into the worship.
Our staff has truly risen to the challenges of this year, and keep us going. Mary, Danny, Alex, Pr. Matt and Marissa have adapted, created, reached out, and gone above and beyond to keep things running smoothly here. Our seniors are still able to receive meals every day at 2pm. AA Groups have continued to meet (and we’re working to make sure they are following safety protocols). Our Samoan church (about 25-30 people) is meeting Sunday afternoons. Our Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat event was even more successful than we anticipated!
We are still moving forward with our strategic plan. We are welcoming new households to worship with us online. We are reaching out to our LGBTQIA+ neighbors and the Latinx community. We are working closely with Synod leaders on confronting racism, and serving with Nevadans for the Common Good to help make a difference where we live. So much has changed around us, but our mission to share the heart of Christ in the heart of the city has not.
Thank you for your patience, diligence, generosity, dedication, and faithfulness. We have all been through so much, and many are still suffering, but we know that
“suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:3-5).
Let us continue to love and serve one another in faith, pray unceasingly, and hold onto the Word of hope that sustains us always, sharing the good news of Jesus in every way we can.