There is a church on the edge of town that we’ve driven by several times recently on the way back from hikes. I remember going there years ago for a church secretaries’ lunch.

On First Covenant Church’s website there is a video about Phase 1 reopening explaining that the building will remain locked, but people can now make appointments to come inside. It was also suggested a couple of families or individuals might want to consider gathering together to worship.

When I listened to the service on Sunday, May 24, as the opening song invited the Holy Spirit to “fill the atmosphere” I noticed a few drops of rain on the window. Moments later I realized the low square pedestal pastor Mike was sitting on was a percussion instrument and he started tapping out a beat. As a video was queued up explaining about helping to build bridges in Congo for coffee production, I finished my own cup of coffee.

During announcements, pastor Marc said this was ascension Sunday, or like a social media meme says, “When Jesus started working from home.”

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Pastor Mike’s sermon explained how it’s hard to know the truth of your circumstances when you’re in the middle of them. Biblical examples included Christ calming the storm, and feeding the masses. His recent personal example was getting disoriented hiking Twin Bluffs with all the tree cover — sharing a photo of a vast view from an eventual clearing.

His recommendations for this week were not profound, he said, but could have profound results: “Dedicate” time to listening prayer (try for 10 minutes a day), “dig” into God’s word (perhaps a full “Letter to...” in sequence), and “discern” with others in the community.

His advice for quieting your mind to listen was to say “peace” when your to-do list pops into mind, or when thoughts of what you could’ve done or should’ve said distract you.

His challenge was to take it seriously if you are approached to help someone else make decisions.

After prayers for wisdom and healing, the closing hymn was, “Lord, Speak to Me.”

Peace.