I open up my little devotional reader on the first day of the new year, and these words from Psalm 84 greet my eye: “They go from strength to strength.” (Psalm 84:7)
Well, those are words I need to hear! As we begin this new year, once again we’re riding a roller coaster of uncertainty as Omicron spreads. We moved worship from in-person to Zoom for January 2, and after careful consideration at their January 4th meting, the Re-opening Task Force has decided it is prudent for our worship to remain on Zoom during the month of January. Then we will re-evaluate.
This is not what any of us would have wished, but it is wise. We will find ways to stay connected and to continue to serve the wider world as our mission, vision and covenant call us to do, whether we are physically in person or not.
I’ve said to you before that if I had to go through a pandemic with a congregation, I feel grateful to be going through it with you. Those are not hollow words. I have observed your faithfulness to one another and to this community during this difficult time, and that is not something to take for granted. I know from colleagues that it isn’t something that necessarily happens across the board. I watch you show up on Sunday, reach out to one another, agree to join a task force or committee, lend a hand.
THANK YOU for your presence and participation. Thank you for keeping the faith. Thank you for supporting me, the staff, and one another during these oft-trying times.
There is so much good that is going on within our community, even as we speak. Small groups are meeting. The Racial Justice Journey continues with energy. After a splendid tribute for Ian on Dec 19th, now the choir is regrouping under the leadership of our new acting music director Miranda Loud (welcome Miranda!). Margit and the YPC continue to find new and creative ways for kids and families to stay connected; the “no-rehearsal” nativity pageant at 5 pm on Christmas Eve was lively and well-attended, what a gift to all of us! The Search Committee is hard at work, sorting through applications as a very intensive phase of their work begins. Meanwhile, your Parish Committee and Deacons continue to steer the ship, with wise discernment on matters as far-ranging as pledge collection to spiritual growth and emotional morale.
We all know that when life is uncertain, and when life is difficult, there is no “magic” fix. Yet I wonder if you are feeling, as I am, what a gift it is to be part of something greater than myself, to be part of a spiritual community that is getting a real spiritual “workout” in these trying times, as we all dig down a little deeper for spiritual resources, and we each try to lend a helping hand to one another. It’s a comfort to know we are not alone, even as the waves rise and fall and sometimes are a bit choppier than we might like!
Drop me a line and tell me how you are faring (email@example.com). None of us can know what the next weeks and months will bring, but I’m grateful to be sharing this ride with you.