Another week gone by, living this new reality that none of us chose. There is good news and bad news. Though there are many inconveniences and feelings of loss and disruption, and though we have had some sick members without adequate testing . . . so far . . . we have no SUUS members who have died, and none who are in the hospital as I write this. That is good news. The bad news is that we have extended family members and friends who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, and friends of SUUS members who have died. Further, we now begin to see the disproportionate effect of this virus on Americans who are black. I pray that our experiences during this pandemic will affect our behavior in our communities now, and will work to change societal structures in the coming months and years.
Toward that end, I want to remind you that I have Ministerial Discretionary Funds to support those in need. If you are having trouble making ends meet, let me know. If you need help with grocery shopping or errands, let me know (we will try to find someone to help). And, if you just need to talk, remember that phones, emails and texts still work. 😉 Reach out. The caring team (Jennifer Farmer-Etzel, Barb Francese, Beth Chipman, Alice Flemming, Xandi Garino) and I are here to listen and help as best we can.
Also, please watch for a SUUS notice inviting you to this Saturday’s Covid-19 Advisory Group Q/A webinar session at 1 pm. Our SUUS health professionals and scientists will listen to and answer as best they can your questions about this virus as it approaches its current peak. And, take a look at their weekly reflections which I personally find calming.
If you’re looking for more connection and other opportunities to practice breathing, please check out the website. We have several gatherings happening regularly, including times with Amy and I, children’s Faith Formation, meditation groups and the men’s group. Other meetings such as board meetings, finance meetings, staff meetings and worship planning meetings continue as well. (You may find it interesting to know that each online worship service requires a 2-3 hour final rehearsal, not because of the content, but because of the technology!)
These words come from Rev. Judith Campbell:
And what will be left?
And what will be left when we are done with this?
And what will we do when we are done with this?
Will we still be kind?
Will we continue to smile and wave at people we do not know?
. . .
Will we still make things for people we will never meet?
Will we draw hearts and write kind messages on the sidewalk?
Will we work more from home?
Will we spend more time with our kids and our parents?
Will we spend more time with ourselves?
We have been given the blessing and challenge of time.
We can cringe and cower and complain . . .
We can raise our fists and curse the inconvenience.
Or we can learn the lessons that have been laid out before us . . .
and carry them with us into a brighter, kinder tomorrow.
May it be so.
Friends, there is a saying that goes, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I pray that this experience makes us stronger together, as a community that so clearly cares about each other, and as a society that needs to learn how to better care for all its citizens. May these times of real loss and disruption to our worlds and families be a time that makes us stronger, more resilient, more compassionate, and more appreciative for the sacred gift of life.
Please join us this Easter Sunday, as together we hold with and for one another, the joys and sorrows of our lives at this time.