January 27, 2021
Since I last wrote a letter to the congregation of Union Chapel Indy, we have celebrated the advent of a New Year - Happy New Year! Many were glad to see 2020 relegated to the status of ‘history.’ But we also know that God was working in powerful ways throughout the year, and for that we are grateful. We have known in real and tangible ways that the God “...who keeps you will not slumber. The God who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” (Psalm 121:3-5 NRSV) The God who saw us through 2020 will continue to keep and guide us in 2021. Of that I am certain!
As I write this letter in the final days of January, 2021, Indiana is seeing a slight improvement in its COVID-19 statistics. Spread and the number of cases are both trending downward. This is good news! But it is not reason enough to relax our efforts in containing the virus. Indianapolis hospitals remain stressed and at or near capacity. Many around us are still vulnerable. State restrictions and guidelines for gathering remain in effect. As we continue our efforts to be a part of the solution and not the problem, we will not gather for in-person worship or public activities before April 1. As disappointing as I know this is to you, it seems the wisest and most prudent course of action.
I am reminded that Jesus had neither a church building in which to gather with his followers, nor did he have regular committee meetings in which to plan ministry. What he did have was a deep love relationship with God and relationships with others that encouraged and sustained him. Out of these he launched a movement that changed both the world and countless individual lives. These two things we still have available to us today - a deep love relationship with God and relationships with other believers to encourage and sustain us in living out our call as followers of Jesus.
To that end, we will continue to connect with God in online worship, to grow in faith through online small groups and other online discipleship content, and to serve with love those around us in need. If I, or others here at Union Chapel, can help you connect with the church’s online content, please be in touch. Lent (the six weeks leading up to Easter on April 7) will still contain much meaningful engagement. Please let us know how we can help you participate.
Please know that the staff and leadership of Union Chapel Indy continues in prayer for you. If there is something in particular that we can be in prayer with you about, please be in touch. And know that the staff here continues to work hard to bring quality weekly worship, provide learning opportunities, and otherwise lead this congregation in its faithful witness to the world. This staff - and each of you - are among the things for which I am most grateful. Thank you for being a part of this ministry!
Please reach out any time should you have needs or questions; should you want to chat or pray together. You can reach me by email at , or through the church office at 317.846.3429. I would look forward to hearing from you.
Rev. Elizabeth Gilbert,
Union Chapel Indy, Inc.