Dear Friends,

The air I breathe is beginning to have just the slightest touch of “fall,” the tomatoes are ripening in my garden, and I’m delighting in an abundance of zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers.  I’ve had a wonderful rest, time with family, friends, time at the ocean, and now I’m ready to be back with you.

At the same time—like you, I imagine—I am aware of so many things in the wider world which are shifting and changing.  We are always in transition, but it seems as if the last several years have brought more of a sense of flux and change than before.  Recent news about the climate, Afghanistan, the Delta variant, and that’s just the tip of the  iceberg.

I am looking forward to seeing you again.  We are still figuring out what “re-opening” will look like for worship, RE and other programs, and you’ll be hearing more details on all of that.

As you may remember, the Safe Congregations Task Force has been re-named to be the Re-opening Task Force.  Ably chaired by Dr. Andy Clark, we’ll have our first meeting on Aug 24 and be sorting through what we know about the Detla variant, the CDC guidance, and guidance from our two denominations, UCC and UUA.  We always want to hear from you!  If you have hopes/concerns/ideas/comments, send them to me at jenny@fplincoln.org.

Also, as I did last fall, I’ll be getting out and about to visit folks outside in their gardens and on their patios.  If you’d like a visit, please let me know at jenny@fplincoln.org (believe it or not, I can’t read minds!).  There doesn’t need to be a problem or an issue, you may just feel moved by the Spirit to want to chat.  Let me know.  I enjoy those conversations so much.

Like you, I don’t quite know what church life will look like this year, what specific forms it will take, what gatherings and programs we will and will not be able to do in person.  But I trust the wonderful lay leaders to make wise and prudent decisions.  And I trust the spirit of this community will continue to burn brightly.  Yes, there will be discouragement at times, fatigue, anxiety.  But I trust and believe you will show up for each other, for me, and for the staff as you have done these past how many years.

Your creativity, ingenuity, and kindness will help to fashion our community life together this year.  We will be able to welcome one another and welcome brand new people into our midst.  We’ll be able to “hold one another” and create a safe and sacred holding place for all of our spirits.  We’ll work for social justice and care for one another in kind and compassionate ways.  We’ll try to deepen our spiritual lives through prayer, study, gathering and worship.

That is what church is and that is what church “does”—or rather, to put it another way, that is what we, the  people who are the church, try to do.  Together.  It’s what folks in this spiritual community now called the First Parish in Lincoln have been  doing since the very beginning in the 1700s.  And we, the current incarnation of that long tradition, will do it together again this year.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

In faith,

Jenny

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