From the Pastor's Desk
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
mean nothin', hon', if it ain't free, no, no
These words come from the song "Me and Bobby McGee"
sung by Janis Joplin in 1969.
I was in high school when that song was released. A lot has changed since
then. Much of our society has flipped upside down.
Back in those days, the young people on a college campus
were protesting that everybody had a right to be heard. Today, the young people on a college campus will protest - to
the point of violence - that people they disagree with should not be allowed to speak. That’s an excellent way
to never improve yourself -- never listen to different ideas or criticisms.
Have you gone nuts yet? Isolation
is not a good idea for normal human beings. Even with adults, we need social contacts beyond social media. For
young people who are still developing it is even more important. The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a call
to reopen schools this fall.
According to "npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/06/29/884638999/u-s-pediatricians-call-for-in-person-school-this-fall":
"The nation's pediatricians have come out with a strong statement in favor of bringing children back to the
classroom this fall wherever and whenever they can do so safely. The American Academy of Pediatrics' guidance 'strongly
advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically
present in school.'"
"The guidance says 'Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development
"The AAP cites 'mounting evidence' that transmission of the coronavirus by young
children is uncommon, partly because they are less likely to contract it in the first place.
'On the other hand,
the AAP argues that based on the nation's experience this spring, remote learning is likely to result in severe learning loss
and increased social isolation.' Social isolation, in turn, can breed serious social, emotional, and health issues:
'child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.' Furthermore, these
impacts will be visited more severely on Black and brown children, as well as low-income children and those with learning
"The guidelines do note that adult school staff are more at risk compared to young
children and need to be able to distance from other adults as much as possible — no in-person faculty meetings, no class
visits by parents. And they emphasize the need to make accommodations for students who are medically fragile or have
special health care needs or disabilities."
Of course, social media went nuts.
We think we
know how many people have died from Covid-19 even though the CDC seems to want to pad the numbers. But what about deaths
caused by isolation and the economic shut-down? According to "thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/499394-the-covid-19-shutdown-will-cost-americans-millions-of-years-of-life"
Because of lock-in and economic shut-down, (this was a month ago, May 25):
"These unintended consequences
of missed health care amount to more than 500,000 lost years of life per month, not including all the other known skipped
care. If we only consider unemployment-related fatalities from the economic shutdown, that would total at least an additional
7,200 lives per month. Assuming these deaths occur proportionally across the ages of current U.S. mortality data, and
equally among men and women, this amounts to more than 200,000 lost years of life for each month of the economic shutdown.
… Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy,
we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month,
or about 1.5 million so far …"
[This is not the number of deaths - it is the number of early deaths
multiplied by the number of years death came early.] This estimation/speculation is based on people being afraid to
go to the doctor or hospital, or were unable to go because the facilities had been shut down, in addition to the added stress
of being unemployed. If anywhere near true, this is scary.
We are not intended to be isolated from each
other, or from God. A healthy faith-life can be very important to our physical health. We need community worship
to be healthy.
God and Christ used to be important in a majority of people’s lives, and so was church worship.
I seldom trust statistics from unfamiliar sources, but I remember reading that fewer than 5% of Europeans and 25% of Americans
regularly worship. Is it any wonder that young (and older) people have become so selfish and self-centered? The
influence of the world leads to self. Religion has been counter to that (not just Christianity).
PREVIOUS NOTE FROM THE PASTOR
WE ARE BACK
Well, actually, we never really left. We were just
temporarily displaced. Our worship in the sanctuary resumed on May 17. Understandably, our attendance has been
down from normal. If you have not returned on Sunday mornings, I hope that you are worshiping with us through our Facebook
videos. In today's world we are still pretty low-tech, but it is nice to have the option to be present electronically
where we can't be physically.
I have been asked by several people how to find our worship videos. I try to answer
with as simple a method as possible. Google "Arlington Christian Church Lexington Kentucky". Click on the
option that takes you to our Facebook page. On the left is a choice of options, click on videos, and the most recent
one is the featured video. You do not have to have a Facebook account to access our videos, they are open to the public.
If you haven't watched any of them, try them out.
Since the beginning of my ministry over 16 years ago, I have
frequently mentioned and prayed for the Christians around the world who are unable to worship together openly because of the
oppression of their governments. I usually had places like Communist China and North Korea in mind. It was quite
a shock to have most of the churches in the United States shut down by government edict - actually by governor's edict.
Please pray for the people who are unable to worship as a church family because their churches are still closed or because
they are afraid to be in groups.