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Return of the Back Page

The last edition of the Back Page was penned for Sunday, March 8, 2020. That seems like an eternity ago. When writing that edition, I had no idea it would be 595 days until I returned to this weekly discipline. Of course, had I kept it up, I might remember all those lessons learned during this never-ending pandemic. But here we are, back together again — and another tradition returns. I hope you’ve missed me!

And what have you missed in the days since that last Back Page? Well, my two sons had three weddings, two for Danny and one for Jeremy. Jeremy got married on the coldest day in SoCal in history, I think. Outdoors, but glorious. And Danny got married on the loveliest August day in Kansas City in history, I think. Again, glorious, but indoors. And the repeat ceremony for the SoCal guests was a lovely afternoon on the church patio.

And you missed the stories of our days moving Lindsey and Noah to Tacoma through the smoke of those horrible fires last year. It was an expression of parental emotions, I’m sure. And then our Sabbatical stories in Montana (snow) and Colorado (joy) and Mammoth. And my first Resurrection Sunday celebration not at Peninsula was hard on me. I came very close to joining you all in person, but realized that was not the course of wisdom, just emotion. It was a great livestream, by the way.

This morning we celebrate (or maybe not) the return of the printed Worship Folder. It is such a helpful communication tool, especially for those new to our church family. We can cast some vision and share our direction. As you will notice, we have removed all the data that has found a new home in the weekly Update (calendar, finances, things like that). That information will not return to the Worship Folder. Want to know that kind of info? Read your email Update on Friday afternoon.

But that brings me full circle, it is time to launch again the Back Page. The discipline is good for me to attempt to encapsulate some lessons I’ve learned during the week while walking with God. This week I did doubt the wisdom of bringing the Back Page back. But now I am forced (by my own choice) to stop each week and figure out what God is doing. Sometimes that is easier than other times. But that’s what I hope you will find in 500 words or less on Sunday morning on the back page of the Worship Folder.

So, if this is a new thing for you, welcome to Peninsula. For the rest of us, it is another sign life is returning to normal. As I look back on the past 595 days, I remember the lyrics of my favorite song writer: “What if I’m looking for rivers when the desert is right where You are.” We’ve been looking for normal, but God has been with us in the desert. Without a doubt. What great hope we have in a great God.

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