I hope you will forgive me, but I must admit something to you: This is

my first pandemic. I have never been through anything like Covid-19

before.  I know. You’re shocked. I say this because my lack of experience

in what to do next, with my family, my children and my church, has

forced me to confess my ignorance in multiple areas. “I don’t know” has

become a common phrase for me, and as a first-born child and a

preacher, I find that very difficult. (My family is laughing at that.) The

truth is “I don’t know” is often the best answer I can give.

They didn’t teach us in seminary what to do in a pandemic. In my 26

years as a pastor, I’ve never seen anything like this before. However, a

long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a volunteer fire fighter. I

have forgotten much of what I was taught by the fire chief, Donald

Hudson, but I have never forgotten this: “Take your time. The fire will

kill you.” He said that when I put on equipment. He told me that when I

put on breathing apparatus. Walk to a fire; don’t run. Pay attention. Be

careful. “Take your time. The fire will kill you.”

Those are wise words for now. For us individually and as a church. I

have missed you terribly in our time of being together separately, but I

will not let my feelings get in the way of careful planning. I want to rush

into our sanctuary and hug everyone I see on a Sunday morning. But I

cannot let my desire overwhelm the good sense God gave me. Take your

time. The world is on fire. How shall we react?

Over the next couple of weeks your Board and Elders will meet. We

will be talking about how to be together again safely, but the world has

changed radically. We can only welcome about 50 people into our

sanctuary. We can’t all be there at once. There must be masks and hand

sanitizer and a way for us to share the Lord’s Supper without spreading

illness. All of these are crucial issues that will take us a while to figure

out. That’s fine. We will take our time and be patient. The fire can kill us.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kentucky has a

wonderful document to help us with our planning and decision-making.

You can find it here. http://www.ccinky.net/healthy-at-church/ I am

grateful to God that I am your pastor now. For such a time as this we

were put here. And we will get to the next step together.