RED WING — Sunday morning, March 15, while I was out church shopping to see who was open I saw and heard a band practicing in a cavernous worship space with appealing cafe tables on one side of the double doors and a few big artsy lounging chairs on the other. The worship time listed on the door was 9:30 a.m. I thought I might come back. I did.

The many chairs generally in neat rows were deliberately scattered about in an inviting way — furniture arranged like somebody’s living room. I started off closer to the band and then since others were still milling about, decided to move to the stool at the hightop in the corner by the windows with the abundant sunlight pouring in instead. A couple other lone women were settling in at a couple of the lower tables.

Pastor Robert talking about almost calling off the gathering today and getting ready to livestream in the near future, commented that “preparation is wise.” He also said his first interview was online, delivering a good laugh line about how a couple of the interviewers looked taller on T.V.

He also spoke of practicality and behavior change and was happy to report that he witnessed a couple guys in a gas station men’s room recently scrubbing their hands well beyond the 20-second mark with others in line to do the same. He counseled the many in attendance to think and act responsibly, “get a handle on what we can’t see.”

He knows from personal experience uncertainty doesn’t always have a happy ending but advocated for “faith with a focus” — acknowledge fear and then move forward with knowledge.

In keeping with the name of the church and the concept of firm foundations, he mentioned that the house he’ll be moving into in Red Wing is 145 years old with “foundation rocks the size of doghouses” — physical testaments to wisdom and strength as a basis for hope.