Video Worship for 08-02-20

Dear FPC Friends,
Here is the link to our worship video for August 2nd.  It is being uploaded now (it’s been uploading all afternoon Saturday, to be clear—I must have to upgrade my internet connection, if that’s possible).  I would suggest you not click the link until Sunday morning.  I suspect the upload will finish overnight.
It’s hot out there, please stay cool and safe.  And as we get closer to Pastor Meg’s due date, please keep Meg and Jeannine in your prayers for a safe and healthy birth of their son.
Grace and peace to you all, Derek

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  • To School or Not to School…?

    With my wife Laura being a teacher, I tend to measure time according to the school calendar.  I imagine many of you do the same—because of your children, or perhaps a job associated with Utah State University.  So, with August arriving we are coming upon the ‘end of summer,’ even though Fall doesn’t technically begin until late September.  And now at the ‘end of summer’ we are in the fifth month of the coronavirus pandemic—is that right?  I admit I’m losing track a bit.  I remember that it all began in March, just after I had a bout of influenza, and I’ve only had one haircut since then.  I’m long overdue.

    The big talk around town (and indeed the country) seems to be a discussion around the safety and wisdom of sending children (and young adults) back to school in a few weeks.  It’s a tough decision.  I certainly don’t have the answers for this.  Only questions.  And some worries.  I know that children (and college students) will get a better education in the classroom than online (Laura teaches 1st graders how to read, among other things, and that will be extremely difficult to do over ‘Zoom’ or some other electronic medium), but it seems just as apparent that the risks of in-person schooling are many times higher than remaining at home.  Is it safe to put three dozen (or two dozen or one dozen) kids in a classroom with their teacher every day?  If kids stay home for school, what will working parents do?  Will the COVID numbers spike within a few weeks of the return to in-class instruction?  Will Laura be safe?  It’s not just the two dozen kids in her class I am worried about.  It’s the family and friends of those two dozen kids.  Who do they see and where do they go on the weekends?  Did they attend a birthday party with 15 other kids, and did someone get exposed?

    Many of you have a vested interest in this, and I imagine you having feelings all across the spectrum.  And as much as I place all of my faith in God, it’s not as simple as saying “Send them to school, pray, and trust in God.”

    I also wonder if you have noticed—as I have—a lack of discipline (or desire?) in these United States of America to stick with an isolation plan (the ‘shutdown’) as long as is necessary to suppress the spread of this virus?  It seems to be a challenge in society today.  We are more interested in our own needs, desires, freedoms, than the collective good.  Sure, the Constitution gives me rights and freedoms to ‘do as I please,’ but as Christians (as humans, really, but especially as Christians), do we not have a responsibility to consider the impact our actions have upon others?  I remember Jesus saying something about loving my neighbor as I love myself…

    I’m not sure I have a good answer for this either, the balance of ‘freedoms’ against the benefit to the community, but I sure lean toward the side of sacrificing any freedoms I might have if it benefits the community.  I have a responsibility to those around me.  I was taught that long ago.  I also remember learning the phrase ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’  But it just as well might be ‘with great freedom comes great responsibility.’

    Even with all of this going on, I am not really a worrier.  I’ve always thought I should prepare for certain contingencies, and trust in God.  As people of faith we are called to trust in God, that God will provide for us.  But the promise God makes toward us is, in many ways, an eternal one.  God does not promise us a healthy and happy life to the good age of 95 years, and a peaceful passing while we are asleep.  God does promise us that God will be with us, and that after death we have an eternal peace with God (exactly what that looks like, I do not know).  We face physical health issues, mental health issues, challenges with family, friends, work, and career, and rare is the human life who goes through all of those years without strife and things to worry about.  We face loss, divorce, grief, and who knows what else, including now… a pandemic.  What remains unchanging is God’s presence with us, God’s love for us, and Jesus’ instruction that we care for others as we care for ourselves.

    Today I learned that Logan mayor Holly Daines was granted permission by Utah’s governor to make masks mandatory in public.  I am thankful for this.  I believe, and I pray, that it will help suppress our numbers.  Let’s keep our masks on.  For ourselves, and for our neighbors.  May we be kind, and considerate, to one another.

    A final note: within a few days of you reading this Pastor Meg and Jeannine are anticipating the birth of their son.  Please join me in praying for Meg, Jeannine, and the arrival of their child.  Following the birth Pastor Meg will be on family leave for about three months.  Please respect her time away from ministry.  If you have questions about youth ministry or Christian Education, please direct them to me.  Meg has been working with a group of volunteers to prepare for these months, and we’ll do our best to continue ministry while she is away.

    May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.


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