Holding the Tensions

May 13, 2020

Dearly Beloved,

This week, I have been holding the tensions between the continued need to practice physical distancing, to wear masks, to stay at home and our deep longings to be together. I am at once grateful that people are beginning to be able to connect in person with family and friends and also deeply concerned that the spread of COVID-19 will pick up once again. I realize that people's lives are at stake in this tension.

There is so much desire to go back to the way things were, and yet, there is also the opportunity to move forward to something new. As Nikki so eloquently expressed in her email to us yesterday, there have been some incredible gifts about worshiping virtually! We have had visitors from Florida, Estes Park, Virginia, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and even Great Britain. We have had people share their voices and gifts in ways they may not have been comfortable doing in person. The last three Sundays, my sermons have each gotten over a hundred views on Facebook. Our air is cleaner. Inequalities and injustices have been brought to the front of our awareness. We have reached deep into our pockets and hearts and bank accounts to give not only to our church but to support our neighbors desperately needing assistance. How do we hold onto some of these positive shifts? How do we continue to make our worship accessible to those who may not be able to leave their homes or travel the distance to join us in person? How do we continue to cultivate the spirit of generosity that is flourishing among us?

As a congregation, we are not particularly oriented towards social justice (though many of our members are) and yet, during this time, we have practiced justice. By ensuring that all of our staff continues to be paid -- this is a justice issue. By our gifts to support those in financial need -- this gives a nod to the early church practice of holding all things in common to make sure that everyone has enough. No, we're not sharing everything, but we are giving of our extra to make sure that everyone in our community has enough. That's justice. As Cornell West so brilliantly put it: just is [simply] what love looks like in public. 

May love, justice and hope be yours,