Sunny Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, was a good day for a fall color drive. With a chill in the air, there was some fabric artfully draped over landscaping flowers along the way as protection against frost.

The band with guitars and voices and a violin played inside the building at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, Minn. Watching the video later, one could see there were many different shades of brown in the wooden panels behind the big dark brown wooden cross in front of which Pastor Eric spoke.

Announcements included about Ruby’s Pantry, (where, according to the church’s Facebook page, you “get plenty for your $20”), confirmation students working on their testimonials over pizza, and a planner explaining the thought process going into raising awareness of sexual abuse as a widespread issue in society. Prayers included for healing from surgeries.

The piano player appeared from the kitchen just in the nick of time to play the hymn about peace like a river attending our souls.

A scripture reading that referenced not patching with “unshrunk cloth” reminded me of some of my grandmother’s skillful handiwork evidenced on a shirt of her husband’s that I still have hanging in the closet. As for cloth, I don’t think the masks referred to in the sermon were of the virus blocking variety (partly since their website references a ready supply to go along with their social distancing reconfiguration), rather the psychological identity deflecting and distorting type.

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The children’s sermon was about the fine art of mending broken pottery with gold. A main point of the main message was about being relatable.

“A church without the broken is a broken church.” Those words were projected overhead for a considerable amount of time.

Pastor Eric said he often counsels someone in a time of suffering — “Don’t let this pain go to waste.” Use your experience to comfort others. Either because of bad choices or something that just happened to you, God “chooses and uses” human imperfections as a means of creating unique works of beauty and grace.