Last week was a difficult one for our nation and for our local community.
Texas saw the greatest one-week INCREASE in confirmed COVID 19 cases since the start of the stay at home orders. The Lake Travis area also saw its greatest one-week increase in COVID 19 cases since all of this began. After 12 long weeks of staying at home and social distancing, our infection case load is going the wrong way from what we all had hoped. For this reason, and others (see article below), the Session has determined that the church building will remain closed to in-person gatherings for meetings or for worship through the summer. Session will revisit this decision at its meeting the end of August and determine when and how we might gather together again in physical proximity.
Last week we also witnessed protests both peaceful and violent, looting and burning of property, and an increasing escalation of confrontation between civilians and police officers across our country, including here in Austin. The lingering tragedy of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbury in Georgia, and the death of George Floyd apparently while handcuffed and in police custody in Minneapolis, sparked outrage, anger, disbelief, and riots. More people were injured, some were killed, and the chasm between law enforcement and citizens widened. Tonight, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Austin area PCUSA pastors will hold a Community Worship Service in Response to Racial Injustice (see details below to participate).
As we endure weeks like the one we had last week (and the one we seem to be having this week too), it is easy to feel like our community is fractured, broken, falling apart, dissipating. Let’s recall the story of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit drew disparate and fractured people together to create a community of God’s people!