One of the last times I saw Pastor Justin in person was by the bulletin board in the public library early in 2020. As I recall, he was a good sport, letting me tease him about something he was looking at.

The next day I attended worship at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing and told the greeter while Pastor Justin was standing within earshot that whenever I see Pastor Justin in the library I come to church the next day. Really, it would have just been good timing for when I felt like going to church.

Checking their website, they are now back up and running with four worship services on Sunday mornings. Social distanced and abbreviated. I saw the picture of how the pews were arranged and remembered that they’re quite small, almost like loveseats and fairly lightweight. At least half of them were removed entirely and the rest are scattered about the worship space in an appealing arrangement — perhaps calling for footstools.

Watching some of their videos online gave me the opportunity to emote a bit in the comfort of my own home (harmonious notes, bridge art to the words “when the stars begin to fall” and personal stories of real life angels).

I recall Brian from when he preached at First Lutheran and how he described one time that a good friend of his was going to be the new pastor across the street. It’s fun and funny to see them work together. And Lisa. Lisa’s been there longer than either of them. (As her husband would say in the Sept. 13 video, “Yup.”)

Down by the boats, we heard about Jesus asleep amidst the “mega” (not just a “good for the garden” variety) storm. And the “mega” calm that followed. We were told it’s not that Christ didn’t care but that he wasn’t afraid. And he was in the same boat.

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There were some sibling shots from the first day of school, prayers for creativity, and the first family Sunday school in the fellowship hall where they were studying the creation story. When the book came to the part about creating humans, the lyrical descriptive words were “blink, wink and hiccup.”