Pastor’s Corner: When Will We Gather?

April 7, 2021

People have asked when we will welcome worshipers into the sanctuary on a Sunday morning again. It is a good question. It is a question I have been wrestling with along with other leaders of our congregation for over a year.

The short answer is: I do not know.

This pandemic has been beyond my power to predict. I’m afraid I was trained as a pastor and not as an epidemiologist – and this is the first time I’ve worked through anything like this. I have neither a skill base nor an experience base on which to rely. I’ve turned to experts instead, who have been remarkably united in their guidance, far more united than social and political leaders whose contrary policies have tragically demonstrated the folly of ignoring people who know what they’re talking about.

I have also approached the question with, to be sure, a large amount of caution. I have colleagues who have lost church members to this disease, who have had to notify worshipers of possible exposure from their friends and neighbors gathered to pray. I have colleagues who have suffered COVID-19 disease; mercifully, all have survived, but several report long-term impact on their health. I have friends who grieve family members. We ourselves mourn for family members, friends, and family members of friends who died when the disease swept through Yukio Okutsu Veterans’ Home. We have seen first hand how bad it could be.

More and more are receiving their vaccinations now. I’ve had my first shot. On Monday, vaccine registration will be open in Hawai’i County to everyone over the age of sixteen. It will still take time to get all those doses administered, and for people’s systems to build their resistance. During that period, some people will still be vulnerable to severe illness and even death.

So we will still be cautious. I love you dearly. I want to be confident that in feeding your spirit, our church does not threaten your life and health.

When will we gather? I don’t know. But we will.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Photo by Eric Anderson

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on April 7, 2021

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