A Word from the Pastor
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Welcome to the digital age! That seems to be the theme since the virus came to town. COVID-19 is forcing us to hunker down and meet together electronically. Some of you are already good at this. Some of you don’t even own a computer!
So we’ve been struggling to come up to speed. And that’s not a bad thing. Just over a hundred years ago, the First World War brought changes to our German Lutheran church. At the time most people in The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (In 1947 we would change the name to The Lutheran Church –Missouri Synod.) rarely used English in worship. The predominant language amongst us was German. The difficulties of WWI, namely, the outlawing of teaching in German forced our congregations to start using English in worship and in Sunday school. Slowly, we went from being a very tight ethnic enclave to one of the most successful Christian denominations of the 20thcentury. But it took outlawing German services and the imprisonment of some of our Sunday school and parochial teachers to bring about that change.
Nowadays we are in a similar situation. We cannot physically meet together. We are having to rely on electronics for our fellowship. It’s almost like learning a new language. And I think it’s as important.
We live in a world where a whole generation grew up with the Internet. For these kids, and now young adults, the digital world is every bit as real as the physical world around us. By not engaging the digital world fully, the church is not a significant part of their lives. If we are to reach upcoming generations, we need to use the technology available to us. That’s exactly what this virus is causing us to do!
I know it might be a difficult transition. But I think it’s worth it. We want the church to last into the future. Apparently, so does God. That’s why he’s allowing us to struggle under this virus for now. We are learning more ways to communicate. And we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.