News from the Pastor
January 17, 2021
The Return of Pick Me Ups
The threat posed by COVID-19 has radically changed the rhythm of my life over the last nine months. Much of my ministry at Vineville has been spent in my “office on wheels,” traversing the city to check on our far-flung congregation. More often than not, I could be found on the road, either visiting those in the hospital or checking on folks who had suffered emergencies, sadness, or occasionally, great celebrations.
The coronavirus has mostly confined me to my office. Yes, I did a lot of traveling in December, delivering little presents and tokens of appreciation to many of you, but even then, my visits entailed nothing more than leaving little gifts on doorsteps. For your safety and mine, our medical advisory team has strongly advised that I not enter hospitals or people’s homes, and I have respected their counsel and abided by it.
But I realized quickly that since I couldn’t go see you, I needed to devise some way to allow you to see me more frequently than just on Sunday morning. The transition from teaching a Bible study in the activities building to teaching that same Bible study online was relatively easy. Leigh Halverson tapes my Bible studies on Wednesday mornings, and they are available for your viewing by Wednesday evening. Incidentally, we are not far along in our study of I Samuel, and if you haven’t been taking advantage of this series heretofore, you can start doing so now, and go back in our church website’s archive to view the prior chapters.
However, sensing what a depressing and confining time the coming months would become, I resolved to do something more – create inspirational messages that might articulate a word of encouragement during these dark times. Thus, I developed my thrice-weekly Pick Me Up offerings. These have usually appeared on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, though occasionally they appear on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I thought this would be a short-term project, but as the pandemic threat intensified, I have kept providing these daily messages. I ended 2020 having composed no less than seventy-five of them!
I was thinking that perhaps we would have progressed to a point in the pandemic when such Pick Me Ups were not needed, but I have realized that the hunger for words of encouragement remains acute. So, beginning Tuesday, I will start offering them again. Next week’s inspirational thoughts will center, appropriately, on Dr. Martin Luther King and one of his disciples, a man well known to Georgia. I hope you will find them edifying. They look back to the time and place where I grew up.
I confess that one factor that persuaded me to resume these inspirational offerings has been the positive feedback I have received not only from folks in our church, but from people around the country. From as far away as Colorado messages have come to Melissa via Facebook thanking us for making these Pick Me Ups available. Past parishioners of my mine have made it a point to express appreciation for continuing to feed their souls in these trying times. Though composing these Pick Me Ups is a lot of work, I have come to realize that the Lord has used them to bring a little light into people’s darkness. So, here we go again . . . The year’s first Pick Me Up will appear Tuesday night.
I want to say a word of thanks to Angela Blizzard and to all of our church musicians who blessed us with last week’s Christmas cantata. Their beautiful and reassuring “sermon in song” was exactly what we needed after the shocking events of last week, when unimaginable scenes of violence in the very halls of our U.S. Capitol roiled our souls. Thanks also to Jim and Barbara Jones for lending their reading talents to the event.
Please note that the ad hoc committee of the church council met last Sunday evening to review pertinent data compiled by our medical advisory team. The sobering information they shared with us confirmed the wisdom of worshipping only by livestream throughout the month of January. We will continue monitoring the seriousness of the pandemic in our area and within a couple of weeks will come to a conclusion about how we should proceed in our February worship. In the meantime, 3,000 – 4000 people in our country are dying of COVID-19 every day! Do all within your power to stay safe!
A word from your pastor,
Dr. Richard Kremer