Special Message from Pastor Bob 3/17/2020

Dear people of God:

I knew that Sunday morning would feel weird, but I didn’t know it would hurt.

It was a great experience to work with Bill Norton to prepare the video worship for you. He and others and I will work together to try to improve the experience for all of you. Some of you have responded not only with gratitude but also with suggestions; for both I thank you.

Given the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I expect the current restrictions to stay in place for some time. We will probably not meet on Resurrection Day or for any of the usual services for Holy Week. I imagine we will not resume our regular schedule of worship until May. I do not know that for certain, but that seems most likely as of now.

I’m glad for how we did on Sunday and look forward to what else we can do. But I was surprised how much it hurt to walk through the building on Sunday. There was no one sitting at the tables in the Commons, sipping coffee and discussing basketball scores. Ushers were not scurrying around getting things ready. Children were not running down the hall.

Chris was here to play the piano, Bill was here to record, Kathleen was here to read Scripture, and I was here to offer a message. Above all, of course, God was here. But you were not here.

I have said it, because of my theological training, for years, but Sunday I experienced it and it was a blow. A Church building without the people of the Church is an empty shell.

Pastor Bob

During the COVID-19 crisis, I will post special messages from time to time. This one is from March 17, 2020.



  1. I was very sad on Sunday, but I appreciate all the effort you and Chris and Bill put into recording the message. Thanks for doing this. My church family means the world to me and I don’t want to see anyone hurt by this virus going around.

    Top of the morning to you from me and my great-grandmother, Jemimah O’Neal Ewoldsen who immigrated to Woodburn, Iowa from Ireland.


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