Dear beloved St. Mark’s community,

There’s a lot of information in this letter, including my moving out date so please read until the end.

Palm Sunday came and went. Easter Sunday came and went. And now, Mother’s Day will come and go under this pandemic.

When I initially wrote all of you about ceasing our in-person worship, I honestly thought it wouldn’t be more than three weeks before we  gathered back together again. We are now approaching our third month of social distancing.

Before, I wasn’t able to share with you how all of this would unravel because this pandemic was unprecedented. Medical and political professionals were trying to understand all of this in real time, as it was happening. As such, I had to reign in my urge to control and take it one week at a time. I couldn’t make any promises to you as I didn’t know what the future held.

Now, after several months of researching, praying, listening, and observing, I am able to share with more certainty on how the following months may unfold.

Saying Goodbye:  The first matter is my being able to say goodbye. It breaks my heart that I will not be able to say goodbye to all of you in the context of a gathered Sunday morning worship service as the ban against large public gatherings probably won’t be lifted until late summer or early fall. HOWEVER, I still want to see your faces and say goodbye! That would mean a lot to me because you have meant a lot to me. Therefore, I will be in the church parking lot on Tuesday, May 26th and Thursday, May 28th from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for a drive-thru goodbye! Come with your cars and face masks and we will share our heartfelt goodbyes as we maintain a careful social distance.

Our official move out date is Monday, June 8th so that the Board of Trustees can prepare the parsonage for your next pastor, the Rev. Darin Arntson, who will begin her appointment here officially on July 1st. Don’t worry, virtual worship will continue every Sunday morning even after I move out.  (CONTINUE NEXT PAGE)

Worship as of July 1st: Speaking of the new pastor, she along with the rest of the St. Mark’s worship team have decided to resume worship back in the St. Mark’s sanctuary, no longer doing worship with Pacific Beach United Methodist Church as of July 1st. This is because Pacific Beach United Methodist Church is also receiving a new pastor and it is important for both churches to begin a new chapter of their lives under the leadership of their new pastors. I suspect St. Mark’s folks will be ecstatic to see worship in their own sanctuary once again.

The worship will continue to be virtual until further notice from our governing authorities regarding large gatherings.

May Sermon Series – Creativity: Finally, our sermon series for the next 5 weeks centers around the themes of art, creativity and imagination. We decided to focus on these themes as they are the antidotes to our suffering and helplessness. Adam Marshall-Lopez, a ministry candidate at Pacific Beach United Methodist Church and the one who preached at our Good Friday service, will be preaching in honor of Mother’s Day and how God, our ultimate mother, breathed all of us into creation and is still creating anew even now. Especially now. She is using the chaos of these present times to create beauty, hope, and fresh beginnings. I hope you will tune in this Sunday at 9 a.m. to watch.

In this together,
Rev. Lydia