Mushrooms and More – Pastor Justin’s Greeting for May 2021

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Mushrooms & More...

A greeting from Pastor Justin for the month of May

As found in "The Branch" the monthly newsletter for Christ Lutheran Church.

Greetings members of CLC! 

The month of May always brings one thought from nature to my attention: it is time to hunt for morel mushrooms. Hunting for morels is in my genes. Both sides of my family would lead me out many a May morning into the woods of Northern Michigan. I always enjoyed this time as family time. We held competitions like who would be the first to find a morel, who would find the largest one, and who would find the most. There were often great discoveries like waking up a sleeping fawn to encountering a herd of elk. While it is always fun to go mushroom hunting, it also involves a lot of work. Marching through the forest. Climbing hill after hill. Encountering rough terrain. As the youngest member of my generation, my little legs would usually be the first to get tired and I would go back to our vehicle to rest. 

Leaving the forest brought with it mixed emotions. The fun of the hunt was over, but so was the exertion of energy. We finally got to rest our feet, but there were still more tasks to accomplish, like the cleaning and storing of the mushrooms. 

In some ways, we are starting to leave a forest together here at CLC. We are stepping out of a very uncertain time with the virus pandemic. We may have mixed emotions as our church life begins to move forward. We may be tired as these difficult months have weighed upon us. At the same time, we may be hopeful for what the days ahead may bring. We are starting to worship indoors in May 2021 while keeping both the parking lot and online options available. Some CLC committees are meeting in-person rather than by Zoom. Our youth are having their second in-person activity this year in May and more are planned to come. In short, change is upon us. 

So what might be on the horizons of our life together at CLC? I think this is an open question. God certainly has a lot in store for us and CLC has some great years ahead! As we leave the forest, we may choose to keep some things the same. But this is also a good time to review our practices to see if they are as good as they can be. For example, what have we learned about worship after worshiping online and in the parking lot? How might these experiences affect our decisions to worship again indoors? Also, is Zoom here to stay? Not that Zoom meetings will ever fully replace in-person gatherings, but might we plan for more Zoom time over the snowy winter months or in the evenings when some of our members do not drive? These are open questions with answers we will find together. 

Let us not fear leaving the woods. For we know God is with us. We also have each other. Let us be open to explore new practices together to see what the right fit might be for us in 2021 and beyond. And who knows, maybe we will find some good mushrooms along the way :). 

Yours in Christ, 

Pastor Justin 

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