I have a really happy, though tentative, bit of news today: OHIO has come off the Guv’s bad list. So I hope to go take care of home duties for a little more extended period for the first time since the beginning of February!! If COVID-19 remains on the downward slope, I will be in Ohio from August 31 through September 12. I am excited to go home, even though I know my “To-Do” list will be long and challenging. It seems like another world—another universe—that I will be navigating since my last extended stay at home. But home, being home, will be just fine!

I would like to share two causes for gratitude today. 1) CONTINUED thanks for your generous support of this ministry as we enter the sixth month of this way of being Third Church from a Distance. We expected to be making some really challenging financial decisions way before now. Even though we have made very careful spending choices (as a Dutchman ALWAYS does), we have so far not been required to make painful verdicts—thanks to all of you!

2) Thanks for your very good response to the re-opening survey members of Session supervised. I believe the last number I saw was that we had 229 participants. Any survey designer would affirm that level of response and treat it as a good representation of your thoughts. A link to the results will be shared in another place in this Update. I want to focus for a bit on Question 4.

What’s the learning we gleaned from this question? That members of Third Church are all over the place on the issue of return. No one stated that we should simply open up and return to “normal” as soon as possible. The largest slice of you (22.7%) expressed uncertainty at this point. Those of us charged with your health and safety are pleased that you share our concern for caution. We feel that this survey confirms that you want us to be cautious, too. We have plans for what Session called the “slow ramp up” of activities. Session members made several suggestions to consider on this matter. Consider them we will. Stay tuned.

Blessings,

The Rev. Conley A. Zomermaand, PhD
pastorz@thirdpresbyterian.org
(618) 606-1053—after office hours; emergencies