Church families — including ours here at St. Mark’s Lutheran — are really missing each other during this grievous COVID-19 pandemic that has swept our world. We love to be together, worship together, serve together, laugh, weep and grow together.
In this very special week — Holy Week — the separation is palpable, with grim realities all around us, great loss, great need and also the living and powerful hope that Easter represents to those who follow Jesus.
Our own Bob and Cindy Maser saw a photograph of the empty pews at St. Mark’s and were inspired to do something. Those empty pews represent our respect for the guidance of health care officials and our commitment to do all we can to stop the spread of this virus and protect our community and each other — even if it means we must be apart for a while.
“But Easter should be a time of rejoicing,” Cindy said, “and we need to bring a smile to everyone at a time like this.”
So they conspired — remotely — with Interim Pastor David Mueller, drawing inspiration from a Facebook post Cindy had seen.
“In these increasingly difficult and sad times, we felt a little fun might help!” Pastor Mueller said. “So while we cannot get to church these days, my good friends Larry the Lamb and Leroy the Lion invited a few of their friends to come by.”
And they came, all right — some two by two, some solo, all with appropriate social distance.
“They were very enthusiastic and wanted to come but I only had room for two bags full,” Cindy said.
And a critter congregation — sort of a Zoo Lutheran fellowship — assembled for just a few minutes of “togetherness.”
It’s true that the pews and the buildings have no humans in them — for now. But we’ll be back soon. And the heart of the Church is beating and full of love and hope for the future.
“As you can see — the church is not empty!” Cindy said. “And God loves His creatures, great and small. Spread the message to all!”