From the Pastor

The coronavirus pandemic has attacked our country for the past five months and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. Vaccinations and treatments to control the disease remain elusive and on the distant horizon.

All Saints Lutheran Church has rolled creatively with the punches. During the spring, worship services were offered online thru Facebook Live. This summer services moved outdoors to the church parking lot with continued to use of the Facebook Live option. Under these circumstances, the congregation has functioned well. The food pantry has been a life saver for families who have lost jobs and needed groceries.

Needless to say, these have been difficult and unpredictable times. Last January no one would have guessed a pandemic was on the horizon. Even as the illness progressed and spread from China to other countries, the common assumption was the problem would remain regionalized. Now the disease infects people on every continent with deadly consequences.

I have been particularly surprised at how this health phenomenon has become a political football. Understandably, even medical experts vary in their analysis of the disease and its progress and treatments. The problems created by the illness have been magnified by individuals who made the issue the center of a contentious political debate. If nothing else, the argument about masks and social distancing has been confounding.

I certainly don’t like masks over my face. They are stifling and uncomfortable, but I also understand their necessity to prevent passing the infection to others.

I am concerned for myself and family, friends and members of the church. We need to take politics out of the debate and do what is right, reasonable, and compassionate to protect everyone. The body bags of victims buried in open pits ought to be a lesson for us to take an abundance of precautions.

For my part I will act with a great caution. Due to my age, gender, and underlying health conditions, I cannot take a chance with becoming infected. I think twice about going to the grocery store now. I stay home to avoid mixing in crowds.

As Christians we remember Christ commands us to love our neighbor. During this pandemic, that commandment ought to shape our opinions and actions. We remain alert to pandemic news, follow medical guidelines and do so out of our love for others. That commandment applies to all of us, regardless of our political persuasion. If Christ can go to the cross for us, surely we can act with caution to save our neighbors in these trying times.

Pastor Richard Pokora