2020 July Newsletter
2020 July Newsletter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy Independence Day!
View the July 2020 “The Bell” Newsletter from Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Dime Box by selecting link: 2020 07 Newsletter July SJLCDB PDF Version
When I came home I read online the latest news that Governor Abbott this afternoon mandated the use of face masks in public gatherings in every county with over twenty active cases (this includes Lee County). Governor Abbott is not a raging control freak by any means, so I will give him his due here and encourage people to work with him on this.
While The Bell thus does not reflect this change, I think the order is one we can comply with for the most part on Sundays, in hopes of avoiding any need to take our worship back outside or to again cancel it all together.
I say “for the most part” because I plan to take my mask off when leading our prayers and songs, and when preaching the Good News. There is no point in the gathering if no one can understand what we are doing! I’ll put my mask right back on when I am done.
We will again forgo Holy Communion this Sunday. I think we will limit it to once a month for awhile, and I will consult further with the Council on ways to make it safer. The good news of late is that each day it becomes clearer that this deadly virus is passed among humans mostly by contact and close proximity with humans, and not so much from subsequent contacts with surfaces, as originally feared.
On Sunday we will also rope off every other row of the pews, and insist that some of the large crowd that always sits on the left side (as you face the altar) move to the right side. We simply are not spreading out enough – our old habits are suddenly inconsiderate for the moment. I know, ‘breathing inside’ is the new ‘smoking inside.’
This past week I went and got tested for COVID-19 in Giddings, and was negative for the virus (so far). But if someone, in the congregation, or beyond, gives it to me, it is a bad situation. This is even if I remain asymptomatic, because in my work I come in contact with lots of people in diverse circles, and some not so healthy, and I don’t want any of them to get sick.
We are created equal and free, and this week celebrate that our nation has long sought to remain a people living in equal liberty, even in the face of the great sinfulness of all mankind. At dark hours of our history, worthy and inspired men and women in America have often taken on great burdens to preserve and reemphasize that liberty. As a nation and as citizens, it is our responsibility to that God-given liberty that is our greatest earthly calling. What we love in each other is the unique way in which God has created each of us, so we cherish the freedom, opportunity and good health to live out our unique lives. Our examples, focus and reliance on God in such a responsibility become our greatest earthly gifts to others, and our efforts in such a purpose, far more even than the results, become our greatest earthly joys. We are part of a long and inspired line of love.
“As they died to make men holy, let us live to make men free.”
Joe Leavengood, MDiv, JD, MBA, MA
Pastor, St John’s Lutheran Church, Dime Box, LCMC
Lt Col USAF Ret JAGC
Attorney in NM, CO, PA, ID, USSC, Fed Cts
Librarian, Writer, Bus Driver, Coach, Musician
8229 FM 141, Dime Box, TX 77853
cell 406-366-2611, office 979-884-4321