Church Update, July 31, 2020
Members & Friends of WCC,
I pray that you are well and I hope that you’re finding glimpses of the glory that is summer in Minnesota! It’s been a while since my last update regarding the mission and ministries of Wayzata Community Church, and our most recent goal for a “Comeback to Worship” on August 9 is fast approaching.
Getting right to the point, we are going to push our “Comeback to Worship” out another month with the new goal of Sunday, September 13–the Sunday after Labor Day, which is the traditional Rally Day.
We didn’t come to this decision lightly, but with much prayer and discernment. The instability of the viral spread of COVID-19, the experiences learned through other churches that opened early, and the results of our own membership survey, compel us to continue on a path of cautious compassion.
Our own survey of WCC members, with more than 450 responses, produced a typical “bell curve”: 20% of you are ready to come back together anytime, 20% of you have NO intention of returning in the near future, and the remaining 60% of you are uncertain for a variety of reasons.
So in the final analysis: since we cannot guarantee your safety and with uncertainty about the experience we will be able to provide…it seems the better side of wisdom to embrace the slower pace that is August in Minnesota, and focus all our efforts on being as prepared as possible for Rally Day on September 13.
I know some of you will appreciate this decision and embrace it wholeheartedly, while others will not–and perhaps some will even be angered by it. This is affirmation of your commitment to faith and good evidence that the church is alive and well! We are a diverse group of people representing a broad spectrum of convictions, but in the end we are in this together as a community–a family–that agrees to differ, unites to serve, and resolves to love.
Details of the service time, safety protocols, and what you can expect in worship will be communicated over the next few weeks. Whether in-person or online, I’ll be launching a sermon series that day titled, “The Geography of Hope” in which I’ll draw on experiences from Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery…where we’ll find wisdom for the church as we, like they, navigate new geography and discover new paths to the future.
Since the start of this pandemic nearly 5 months ago, we have all had to walk by faith. This should come easily to us as followers of Jesus–the pioneer and perfecter of faith, but still I know it has been hard. With a focus on our mission, not just on methods, we set forth these three priorities: to care, to connect, and to keep the mission moving forward.
Although we are unable to gather together for in-person worship, every aspect of the church is alive and passionately pursuing these goals to care, connect, and keep the mission moving. It’s impossible to name, much less fully celebrate the profound ministries that have emerged in these unprecedented times, but we will attempt that in the coming weeks in online worship and video messages.
And looking to the Fall, our ministry catalog for September and October will be arriving in your mailboxes soon and I pray that you’ll see within it’s pages ways that YOU can continue to grow in your faith…consider the needs of others…and inspire the world with the inclusive love of Jesus.
As I’ve said from the start of all this: no one can close the church because WE are the church. And you can cancel many things in this world, but you can never cancel LOVE.
I look forward to seeing you soon. Until then, be well, and know that you are loved!
John F. Ross