June greetings to all of you! I hope the longer days of summer and outside activities are giving many of you a chance to enjoy some time away from the challenges of living under the pandemic restrictions. Certain challenges, however, should not be avoided and the social unrest being seen on a worldwide basis should lead to self-reflection for all of us. More on that in a moment.
Church council continues to meet monthly (albeit by zoom meetings) and, through its individual liaison connections with pastors, staff and various committees, staying involved with our various ministries and programs. All is possible with the continuing financial support and volunteer time of our members. As of the end of May, we are at 107% of budgeted income. We are indeed blessed with the generosity shown during a difficult year. On behalf of the entire Church Council, I gratefully thank you for such amazing support!
Like our pastors, council members are often asked when will church services start up again at our three campuses? Much thought has been given to the process of re-opening, and a number of our physician members have provided very helpful input on the drafting of written guidelines for our members and guests. We will finalize these guidelines at the June Council meeting. Pastor Scott and I will send out a separate email outlining the details of what this return to physical worship will entail. The re-opening will likely be done in stages (always subject to new developments as they may occur) and in any event will be deferred until North Carolina has reached phase three under its own re-opening guidelines.
Finally, let me return to the issue of social unrest, one that has so many implications for own local community. Perhaps the 13th century Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi offers up some helpful advice: "Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself." Jesus has given to each individual believer the mission to love one another, including all of our brothers and sisters. May we all take this to heart.