When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
– Mr. Fred Rogers
Normally, this letter begins with a rousing welcome to the month and to a new theme. This month, it didn’t feel quite right to say “Welcome to April” with the usual exclamation point. This month of Easter and of Flower Communion finds many citizens of Earth sheltering at home as we seek to avoid the worldwide pandemic that has claimed 80,000 lives thus far. So, this month, I offer a very gentle welcome to the month of April and a gentle welcome to each new day we wake to witness the beauty of the Earth even as we experience the discomfort of unknowns.
While most of us are quarantined at home (the only way to diminish the spread of this virus), others continue to work out of necessity on the front lines. We offer our deepest gratitude to the farmers, health care workers, first responders, social workers, chaplains, truck drivers, manufacturers, food service, grocery and pharmacy workers, and those we’re unaware of who work day and night to ensure we have what we need to survive. Thank you to these “helpers” referenced in our quote above.
What’s Going On At Church?
Part of the answer to that question is this: What’s going on where you are? Because, you are the church.
Several of our members are sewing masks for medical professionals and others. Theses loving efforts will save lives. Denise Cold has step-by-step instructions on her Facebook page. Part of China’s success in “flattening the curve” of the virus was due to their citizens wearing face masks. At this point, we should all be wearing masks.
Many other members have been making sure local school children and migrant children are staying fed by contributing donations of food. Currently, that food must be pre-packaged. (See article in the April newsletter by Vivian Lord).
Meanwhile, we are working hard behind the scenes to create new ways to connect.
For example, we are sending out activities and video links to parents and children, and our Religious Education folks are planning to meet with children and youth online on Sunday mornings to maintain connections and support.
This week begins two new online opportunities for connection:
- Mindfulness Mondays with Holly from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Bring a quote or short excerpt or song to share as we discuss what’s helping us get through the more difficult days.
- Thankful Thursdays with Rev. Mary Frances from noon to 1:00 – Bring your lunch to the computer screen as we dine together and chat. We will begin with a check-in and sharing of something we are grateful for as we seek to focus our gaze on what is right in the world and what we’re thankful for in our own daily lives.
Our teams and committees continue to meet virtually as our work and ministry move forward.
We’ve now had a month of pre-recorded services prepared for you by our amazing staff who are working from home. Each of these services offers words for contemplation, a time of meditation, readings, beautiful images, and wonderful musical offerings. (See the article below for tips on self-care from Sunday’s service).
Tune in Sunday morning for a virtual Flower Communion Service.
Beloveds, cherish one another, and take good, intentional care of yourself each day as you seek to feed your mind, your body, and your spirit.
Holding you in my heart daily,
~Rev. Mary Frances