Dear Evergreen Family:
There are rumblings about Evergreen reopening! Throughout this whole process, we’ve been relying on the excellent oversight of our Virginia Conference, and we are beginning to hear plans for resuming worship together.
How does this make you feel? Excited? Nervous? Relieved? Hesitant? This kind of talk might stir feelings we didn’t know we even had! Whenever and however it happens, this will be, yet again, another “new normal” for us. We’ll have to adjust. We’ll probably have to keep readjusting for quite a while. There will be all kinds of as-yet-unknown new procedures to get used to. Those procedures will change. It’s just the world we find ourselves in.
This is still the season of Easter, and one of the most important Easter events might be able to help us. The resurrected Jesus was once speaking with Peter, trying to help him adjust to another “new normal.” Jesus was alive again, the mission was full steam ahead (after it seemed like the mission was out of steam), and Peter couldn’t quite figure out how to get his footing in this new reality.Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter says, “You know I like you a lot.” They repeat this twice. It seems like Peter is hedging his bets, since he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. Jesus finally asks, “Do you like me a lot?” Peter nods his head. It’s an awkward moment (English translations don’t capture this awkwardness well). Jesus says, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). He then goes on to describe this new normal for Peter. It’s going to be bumpy. It’s going to be filled with the unexpected. It will involve the cross. It’s also the path to the promised land.
I don’t have a clear picture of what the next few months at Evergreen are going to be like. Some of us might feel like hedging our bets. What I do know is that it is going to be bumpy. It’s going to be filled with the unexpected. It will involve the cross. It’s also the path to the promised land.
Let’s walk this road together. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the risen Savior. May God bless you all.
May God bless you all.
Your Fellow Minister in Christ,