New Restrictions, But Still Gathering

Dear Ones,

You are loved by God. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” You are members of His family, born into it in your Baptism. As His children, we are privileged to cry out, “Abba, Father,” and He hears our prayers and answers them, as a dear father cares for his dear children. We deserve nothing. He lovingly gives us everything: life, a kingdom, a family in Christ.

In this moment I am compelled to cry out to Him: “Help us, dear Father in heaven!” Life is so turbulent right now. The latest restrictions that the University have imposed on many of you seem to be necessary for the good of our community at large. For a time they do hamper some of our plans together. What joy, though, that it is recognized that we have need to gather together as Christians to exercise our religion. Truly, this is essential and we desperately need it.

Do you remember Luke’s description of the very earliest days of the Christian Church in Acts, chapter 2? “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…And all who believed were together and had all things in common…And day by day…they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.”(Acts 2:42–47, selected portions)

This is a fitting picture of us Christians here and now; something to aspire to and to ask the Lord to help us be – A community and fellowship of believers here, gathered around the Word of Christ, receiving the Lord’s Supper together, eating together, caring and praying for one another and our neighbors, having favor because we are doing good and showing love to all. What type of life is better, more essential, than this?

During these next couple weeks we are going to hold fast to this center of our lives as Christians. We will heed the needs of our community and neighbors and limit our activities, but we will gather together to worship Christ in faith and receive His gifts, and we will encourage one another as we study the Word and pray and eat together.

Here’s the schedule, weekly:

Sunday

  • 9:30 AM Ephesians Bible Study in the tent
  • 10:30 AM Divine Service in the church
  • After Service, lunch together in the tent

Wednesday

  • 9 PM Topical Bible Study in the tent

Note: No Choir or Friday Fun Nights for the time being.

The Student Center will be open for you to come and study. Please try to spread out. Masks are required when moving about and if you’re not alone in a room (when in larger rooms, masks if not at least 10 feet away from others). We have the Commons, the Library, and several different spaces in the basement for you to use, as well as outside in the tent. I have ensured that WiFi is available throughout all of these spaces. There is coffee, tea, and hot water available in the Commons at any time we’re open.

Of course, I also am available to talk with you or for any pastoral care: prayer, confession and absolution, counsel from the Holy Scriptures, and blessing. Just knock on my Study door when we’re open, or text, call, or email me anytime.

I’m praying for you all. The Lord hears our prayers.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Schuermann
(cell) 217-299-2353
(email) pastor@uniluchampaign.org