Two more days left on my quarantine…but who’s counting?!? You want to know how many hours? I have held up a lot better than I thought I would. I came back from Ohio with a carful of supplies, and the Spauldings helped out with a midpoint resupply mission. I must have fresh lettuce! I’ve been as busy as ever these weeks, with even more screen time and meetings than usual. I had gotten into a pretty good rhythm of getting out to visit with some of you on your porches and patios. That practice screeched to a halt. I’ll be firing it up again next week, however. I did have the time to focus on some administrative details that became important just at the moment when I was free to deal with them. God has a good sense of timing…and humor.

Two (at least) learnings from watching online worship: 1) I’ll never be an on-camera personality, especially when recording myself. Yeesh, what a hambone!! Not to worry on that score. I don’t plan on changing horses at this point in my career. I am even happier than before with the work of your Sunday morning tech crew at Third Church. They make me look good…or as good as possible. 2) As I watched from my apartment for two weeks, I was profoundly moved by the production, both the quality of it and the greetings in the chat. We are separated; but we are still one body. In some cases, more broadly than we imagined. Home-centered folks from the Rochester area are able to be a part of worship now. Additionally, friends from all over are joining us. Your warm, kind, loving chat greetings touched my Dutch heart. I’ll be happy to be back “live” next Sunday, benefiting from the aesthetic enhancements of our tech crew. Still, I am glad that I had this forced separation for this reason: I have a better sense of the experience of most of you related to Third Church who are not in the Sanctuary on Sundays. Livestream worship will NOT end when COVID-19 fades, that’s for sure. Oh, and Mr. Kealey can play!!

We don’t always, or even often, pay attention to the denominationally-determined themes for particular weeks. We will this Sunday, which the PCUSA designates as Evangelism Sunday. Relax, I have a PCUSA-ish, even Third Church-ish, approach to the subject which has more to do with sharing stories than depositing dogma. I think we really miss the boat when we spend so much time trying not to be that kind of evangelical church, ignoring Jesus’s final earthly words, Go…and tell! Every church says it wants to grow. Third Church needs to grow. We have marvelous stories. I hope I inspire you to figure out how to tell yours!

I’ve spent zero time in the church office this week. Guv’s orders! I will be back in that saddle next Monday! I can always be reached at the email address and cell phone number below. I am surprised by how often I hear folks say they don’t know how to reach me. I encourage you all to post this info in an accessible place. I am never “bothered” by your calls! Well, maybe by calls after 9:00 pm that could wait until morning. But emergencies? Never!!

Blessings!

Pastor Zomermaand
pastorz@thirdpresbyterian.org
585-271-6513, ext. 105; 618-606-1053 (after hours; emergencies)