And Now for Something Mostly Different...
Well, life has changed rather dramatically for us for the time being. Sunday morning church services are suspended until the threat passes, and meetings of 10 or more people are going online or being suspended.
And it hasn't been easy, has it? At Lent we are always asked to go inward, be still, be contemplative. But perhaps not quite this inward?
I know this is much harder for those of us who are grieving, who live alone, who are coping with illness. Who are extroverts. Please remember we are still here, still together in spirit, and we are finding ways to check in on one another, visit, pray, find some ways to laugh.
Three of our church members in the official virus risk group (over 60) in my neighborhood just had our first Zoom video chat yesterday. It was super easy and really helps! Others are using their phones' video calling services -- Facetime, Skype, Facebook Messenger/Video, Google Duo -- to check on one another and neighbors and kids and grandkids, to call for no special reason at all, just to hear voices and see faces. It's not the same, but can relieve feelings of isolation. Please make time to check with those you know might be struggling with this. Meanwhile, I've scheduled Zoom Cafe meetups for us for 10am on Sunday mornings. Here is the link. Or you can find it by clicking on this event on our Church Calendar.
And as always, if you are having a hard time, or need help, or someone to talk with, drop a note to your Congregational Care Team. We are here for you!
This E-pistle will look and act just a bit different for the rest of these Sabbatical weeks, and then when Pastor Sal returns, we will think again about how to be the church in this time.
Rest assured, Sal will be back. He is safe. Gregg is safe.
This E-Pistle carries our first experiment in Home Churching, after the announcements, including our readings, prayers, and Sabbatical speakers' homilies, a kind of online kit for Being the Church. These elements will be delayed by four days in lectionary time. That is, last Sunday's service is in this E-Pistle, this coming Sunday's next week, etc.
If we need to reach out to you quickly, we will use email, as we did last week. If you did not get our announcement about services by email last week, it's because I don't have your correct email address. Please feel free to drop me a line if you want to be sure to get these more urgent email notes from us.
Meanwhile your Church Council has been meeting online and in person. They are staying abreast of Federal, State, and Local updates and recommendations to citizens and churches about how to mitigate the spread of the virus, #FlattenTheCurve, and keep our whole community safe.
If you wonder whether a church group or event is scheduled or suspended, the best place to keep up is our online calendar. Click on events to get all the details.
Peace and Grace on your hearts and homes, beloved DUCCies.
I love you all so much (said Dorothy, and),
UCC's Coronavirus Update and a Prayer