I see that my actions in offering pastoral care during the COVID-19 crisis, while well-intentioned, have caused distress to some of our members and our community. I am truly and deeply sorry.
Throughout this difficult time, we have been constantly evaluating the ever-changing flow of information and government measures to prevent the spread of this virus, so as to continue to serve our members effectively and at the same time doing our part to preserve and to promote the health and safety of our community. I doubt that any of us imagined a circumstance in which those unquestionably salutary aims could even possibly be seen as being at odds with one another. All of us seek to continue to serve both aims as completely as ever, yet – likely as a consequence of the novelty of our current situation – there are many thoughtful but differing views of the best way we should do that. Some of my efforts seem to have been successful; others have not. Every day, however, I have tried my very best, and will continue to try just the same as we move forward, to serve our members and to take care of the health and safety of our friends and neighbors, and I ask for your understanding of the difficulty in striking a respectful and sensitive balance that best achieves the needs of all. I ask you also to extend that same understanding to each other, recognizing that notwithstanding the differences we might have in our personal assessments of the current environment and what it means for us as a congregation, our faith and fervent love for one another remain common bonds that unite us and will continue to unite us when this crisis is behind us.
After much consultation and careful consideration of the challenging circumstances in which we find ourselves, both as a congregation and as a community, I have decided to cancel all scheduled in-person services, effective immediately. I strongly encourage our members during this time of crisis to make use of our online devotional resources. We will continue to have video of worship available, and live-stream bible studies. Our technology committee is working tirelessly to improve those offerings and we’ll provide more details soon on what those resources are and how to access them. Please be assured, however, that Holy Communion will continue to be available on an individual, crucial need-basis to be arranged directly with the pastor, always in keeping with the current state and local health guidelines.
I look forward to the time when we can gather regularly as a congregation and am confident that time is not far in the future. In the meantime, our prayers continue for your well-being and that of all our neighbors.
Rev. Kevin W. Martin
Our Savior Lutheran Church
1500 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27608