Many of you are asking when we might return to in-person worship and our (newer) summer tradition of meeting around the brunch table in Hayden Hall. At this time, the leadership of CCOV still feels that it is best that we hold off and then re-evaluate come September. We want to base our decision to resume regular worship on the best science available at that time in order to keep everyone safe. The Southwest Conference and the National Setting of the UCC have continued to guide churches through the process of deciding how and when to return. Here is my takeaway from them in short: We have been urged to make our decision based on how it will affect the most vulnerable among us. That, I believe, is a thoroughgoing Christian principle and the one that should guide us in our decision making.
I know some churches are clamoring to reopen and justify this by saying that worship is essential. And I would agree that worship is essential, but worship does not necessarily mean gathering in buildings where we might spread contagion to the most vulnerable among us. The Rev. William J Barber II recently said this: “Houses of worship are not essential, but true worship is: “When I was hungry, did you feed me? When I was thirsty, did you give me a drink? When I was a stranger, did you invite me in? When I was naked, did you clothe me? When I was sick and in prison, did you visit me?” These practices are the outcomes of true Christian worship everywhere. We continue to give and to serve as a means to worship God—now perhaps in more powerfully conscious ways than ever before. We see the urgency of unemployed folks needing food and supplies, and we are stepping up. Let us continue worshipping God by our collection of nonperishable goods for Vista del Camino Community Center for the foreseeable future. What an excellent way to say that the Church of Jesus Christ is alive and well! See you on line!