Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sunday thoughts about worry, connecting & faith March 29, 2020

On the Trinity Lutheran Church Facebook page, you will find daily inspirational bible verses such as this one posted last week.

 

I TEND TO BE AM a worrier. I overthink things. I consider all angles and possibilities. Maybe my journalism persona is partly to blame. Lessons learned in college classes and in my days of news reporting called for balanced, unbiased reporting. Consider all sides of a story.

But, in all honesty, my personality is such that I ruminate. I don’t particularly like change. I like to feel some sense of control. I expect that applies to many of you. Especially now.

These are days that challenge us in so many ways. The uncertainty. The fears. Separation from loved ones. The reality of COVID-19 touching us personally. Our families. Our friends.

Now, more than ever, I rely on my faith. To calm me. To give me hope. To reassure me.

This morning I listened, for the second week in a row, to worship services online, live-streamed from my church, Trinity Lutheran in Faribault. This was a gospel service with violin and piano music and old familiar hymns. Volunteers and staff practiced social distancing during that service. Not to worry.

As I listened to the music, the sermon and Scripture read, and prayed, I remembered the pastor’s opening words that we can still be “spiritually present with one another.” Yes, we can. I miss my faith family, people who mean a great deal to me. People who have supported me during really difficult times. People who have celebrated with me. People whom I care for deeply.

I care about you, too.

 

A photo of Christ’s face from a stained glass window in my church, Trinity Lutheran, Faribault. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

While listening to the songs played today in the Trinity worship service, I jotted down these especially meaningful snippets:

O Mighty God, great is your love.

All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to thee.

Let trials turn us not aside.

In the children’s message and pastor’s sermon, we were encouraged to “go” (without “going”) and do what we can—even in this time of isolation—to spread the love of Jesus. Make cards. Call people. Connect.

 

Vintage art from the Trinity radio room. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

We all have the power to do exactly that. From our homes. Even when ordered to stay home, to social-distance, to isolate, we can support and encourage each other. Be there for one another. Work together through the fear, worry and anxiety. I turn to Scripture, too, to uplift, encourage and give me peace. I pray.

And I write, because writing is a way to help myself and others through the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to read my latest Warner Press blog post, “Past Plagues Remind Us of God’s Power & Compassion,” published as part of our new Sunday “Scriptures of Hope” series.

These all help me deal in these difficult days… Be well, my friends.

PLEASE SHARE WITH ME ways you are connecting with others, dealing with your personal concerns, etc. I’d like to hear. We can all learn from on another. Watch this week for posts showing ways people in my community are sharing the love.

FYI: To hear this morning’s Trinity worship service and more, click here, for Trinity Radio and Video YouTube videos.

Disclaimer: I am paid for my work as the Warner Press blog coordinator. 

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

8 Responses to “Sunday thoughts about worry, connecting & faith”

  1. Gunny (the unlikely preacher) Says:

    Ok, a preacher I am not and I rarely darken the doorway of a church but I will submit, is there not a passage in the Bible that says to give your worries to God, and have faith in Him and that he will provide? Not to say that you should do nothing. The old saying “God helps those who help themselves” (and others). Place your faith in God, do not worry issues you are not faced with directly. Have faith in God to keep you safe in these perilous times (but wash your hands). Today, we are blessed with technical tools to reach out to each other. : Cell phone, texting, Facebook (except me – I was banned while creating an account!). We have FaceTime, Skype and if nothing else, pencil and paper. We have YouTube to help answer some of our questions. Often we can get food delivered to our door. If someone you know is in duress, you can have food delivered to their door. Just because we get sick, doesn’t mean God hates us and is punishing us. If we get sick, only God knows when it is time to call us home. Of course, we have free will. God may call us home for being stupid such as not washing our hands during these critical times.

    Pray to God for his protection and his guidance during these perilous times. Use (not so common) “common sense” in your daily life in you tasks that you face.

    May God Bless you all and keep you safe from harm.

    • Dear Unlikely Preacher,

      You make a fine preacher. You’ve got it down right. Yes, lots of bible passages exist telling us not to worry, such as the one above. That’s why I read and reread those because I need to do so.

      You are right. God gave us a brain and (most of us) common sense. I sometimes use the analogy of stepping in front of a train. It’s not something God wants us to do.

      Be smart. Wash your hands. Social distance. Stay home. And, if you’re like me (and Gunny) continue to pray. Thank you for the mini sermon, Gunny.

      Dear readers, please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

  2. Audrey-

    Please add all the veterans/National Guard/Reservists who are getting called to service once again away from home and families to treat the sick, care for moving supplies, making sure that the world is in limited not total chaos. Then add a special prayer for my hubby who is working with MN based SunCountry to get his Dutch airplanes back home! This has been a trying week and those in charge in MN can’t seem to follow a simple aviation checklist. It will be the death of my hubby long before some virus I am certain.

    Stay healthy and keep inspiring us to do better.

    • Prayers said for our military. Thank you for the reminder.

      I’m sorry your husband is facing those challenges in getting Dutch planes back home. That has to be intensely frustrating.

      Stay well. The hubby, too.

  3. I’ve been leaning on prayer and scripture a lot. I’m more anxious than I care to admit

  4. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Catching up on your posts. I’m now following 7 different churches, including 3 LCMS, the church of my youth and most of my adult years. There’s a comfort in hearing all the service components in their proper order and deliverance. As I watch the clergy try to keep their game faces on while having no human interaction, there was no sem class for this. So good you have a team at Trinity. The behind the scenes voices are stars. Pr. Reiger is doing great, composition and presentation are so worshipful. The comfort level of the radio broadcasts that served Mother so well during all her home bound years with MS, is coming through the screen. Reassurance of our next home. An essential group that probably won’t be recognized is clergy. No funerals. Can’t imagine not burying a loved one in a timely manner, have the comfort of a clergy blessing. Even a hug. They become grief counselors The emotional stress of this is only beginning to sink in. Pr. is part of the Faribault Area Emergency Chaplains. They need each other. It was shared with me “he has given the pastoral roles stability, reliance, and competency.” We will again have corporate worship, or as it’s called now, community. And…we’ll thank God just a little bit more. It’s just starting to sink in. Bless your work, stay safe, Izzy needs you. (Such a deal on that garage door!)


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