Bishop Hagmaier’s August Column
Dear Siblings in Christ of the SD Synod,
Grace and peace to you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit! As we relish late summer, we are also reminded in various ways that colder temperatures are on its way. Usually that means we begin to settle in and look forward to fall and winter activities. This year will be different for us. Some of us, like my family, received already communication from the school district that the school year may look different than a year ago. For some this causes anxiety. Uncertainty is challenging. Even though I have never been a Boy Scout, I embrace the concept of always being prepared. It helps me to manage my anxiety, when I feel it coming on. I would like to use this opportunity to share with you how your synod staff prepares for the colder season ahead and how you in your ministry setting can prepare for Fall and Winter.
Realizing that many long to be back to in person worship, especially when temperatures begin to drop and outdoor worship is no longer a viable option, a task force prepared a contactless liturgy for congregational use. You can access the document by following the link here. Feel free to use it for Fall and Winter worship planning in your ministry setting. Please know that even though it is contactless, my primary recommendation is to not hold in-person worship. However, if your congregation is meeting in person, I continue to recommend wearing masks and maintaining at least 6-feet distance between non-household units. All other recommended and known preventive measures to prevent spreading the virus from one person to another are also recommended to be practiced.
These are trying times for all of us. Let us remember to be kind with each other, to create safe spaces where we respect and honor each other’s needs and to model to the world around us that God’s people are able to work together for the sake of community. As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns or if you would like me to join you and your leadership in discernment conversations of what God’s up to in your community.
Rev. Constanze Hagmaier
Bishop of the SD Synod