It's hard for me to believe that this Sunday will mark one year that we have been worshiping virtually. This year has been one of the most challenging that any of us can remember and I daresay it will leave an indelible effect on each of us individually (no matter how well we've fared relative to the hardships faced by others), on our families, our children and grandchildren, our community, our congregation, our nation and our world. It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that half a million Americans have died of COVID-19 in the last year. That number is staggering and it represents such losses to families and communities.
I wonder what things we have learned and shifted in positive ways over the last year -- things that we want to be mindful to keep doing. Certainly the use of technology to help us connect with one another and to make our worship (and special services) accessible to people who may live far away or not be able to come on a Sunday morning. The deacons' amazing work to keep us connected by reaching out individually to members is another piece that has been powerfully important.
And of course there are things we haven't been able to do that will be so powerful and important to do again as it gets safe. Things like shaking hands or hugging. Things like sharing communion in the sanctuary and coffee and treats in the community hall. Singing together. Holding one another's babies and offering blessings of word and touch.
I look forward to navigating these shifts with you -- not simply jumping back to "the way things were" but discerning prayerfully and in conversation how to safely, lovingly and supportively continue to be community together.
Just a reminder that this Sunday is Daylight Savings Time -- Spring forward! We will also be collecting the UCC One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Please be sure to mark checks and gifts accordingly.
With much love,