From the Pastor – May 2022

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your
wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of
living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all
the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply
on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
Genesis 8:15, 15

Well, it is really happening! We are able to
travel more. We have fewer and fewer COVID-related
restrictions in our daily lives. Even those who do get ill
are usually not nearly as sick as back in the early days of
the pandemic, thanks to vaccines. It is really
happening. We are getting released back into the wild!
In the children’s sermon at our first worship
service as COVID visited our community, I compared
our houses to Noah’s Ark. That, while the weather
raged outside, the people and animals were safe
inside. They still felt waves and heard the wind howl,
but inside they were safe inside their sanctuary. That is
what our homes have been like. The waves of pandemic
came and might yet come again. The news howled fearful
things, but we were safe in our houses, for the most

Now we are in a new phase. The sun is shining
again. The winds are drying up the land. We are able to
get out and do things that are important to us with less
concern for mitigation and winter snow or spring mud.
This may be the more difficult phase. As we
emerge from our sanctuaries, we all will make the transition
at different paces. Young, healthy, and fullyvaccinated
individuals may have rushed back to
“normal” months ago. Many people who struggle with
getting vaccinated may still be sheltering in their sanctuaries.
And, people can be found making decisions at
every stage in-between.

Here at the church, the choir is leading worship
again. We are seeing more smiles now that masks are
optional. And, as of last Sunday, we are serving coffee
and refreshments after worship (and all God’s people

It is important to respect the diversity of decisions
that people will make in terms of health safety.
One good axiom for life is, that when well informed,
people make the best possible decisions about their lives
for themselves. So, when greeted with someone who is
wearing a mask, respect that person’s needs; I put on a
mask while talking to them. We need to be skillful with
how we respect each other during this new phase of the

This affects the church in a unique way. We
hold Sunday School, in-person worship and coffee hour,
but not everyone has transitioned back to activities. The
effect is we have a usual load of things to do, but few
people to help with the work. Ushers and coffee hour
hosts are particularly challenging to staff these
days. Back in the old days, the office would schedule
people for these tasks and inform them of their dates/
times. So, in essence people were volen-told. We are
reluctant to do that until everyone has returned to
normal. The conclusion of all this is, if you are able,
please contact the office to communicate that you are
willing to assist with ushering, coffee hour, baking or
reading liturgy.

On another and unrelated topic, the past several
years have been especially difficult for many people who
struggle with substance abuse. Because of this, Alcoholics
Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous were two of
the first groups to meet at the church when we started to
open our doors again. These organizations do good
work, and your church is grateful to partner with them as
they make individual lives and our community a better

But even so, drug abuse has persisted and
perhaps increased in the interim. The church has been
approached as a possible location to teach community
and church members how to administer Narcan. If you
remember, Narcan is the medication to counteract opioid
overdose. The Session has agreed to partner with Bad
River Harm Reduction to make this a reality. You will
hear more about this in the coming weeks.

The message that the Session wants our community
to hear is that we believe that substance abuse is
taking a severe toll on our community. The Session does
not condone substance abuse in any way, but we do seek
to protect individual’s lives to support sobriety.

In the story of Noah, he knows that his time in
the ark is coming to an end when a bird returns with an
olive leaf. It is a symbol of
new peace. I think that peace is
something we have a part in
building and maintaining. My
prayer for you is that as we are
released back into the wild that
you will find and help build a
greater peace.
Grace and peace,