Dear Friends in Christ:
If you are like me, nearly every communication you have received in your inbox over the past few days - including from the church - has included the word "coronavirus" in the subject line and recommendations ranging from how often to wash your hands to the proper way to cover your mouth when coughing. Don't get me wrong, those things are all important. But that is not the purpose of this particular message.
Again, take a deep breath.
Rhonda Hambright forwarded me a note written by a pastor in NYC to his congregation this week. It pointed out that everywhere we look things are being cancelled: March Madness (madness!), weddings, vacations, school, worship, campaign rallies (okay, maybe this one isn't so bad). But, he noted, we have
cancelled the most important things. We have
canceled the ability to
call and check in on friends and neighbors.
picking up groceries for someone who is sick
. We have
. We have
. What are some other things you can think of that we have not and will not cancel?
So deep breath.
God is with us
. In the good and in the challenging, in the known and in the unknown, in health and in sickness, in life and in death: God is with us. That is the promise of the Gospel. We are not and will never be alone. Now more than ever, may we breathe in that truth, that hope, and that love.
To aid us in our breathing, the pastors and staff have created what we are calling
"Unsettled But Unafraid: A Liturgy For Worshiping At Home."
Each week that we are not able to gather in-person, we will send out this resource so that we can gather together in spirit around a common liturgy and theme. During this time of disruption from our normal routines and places, we hope this resource will be a tangible place for you to go for spiritual nourishment.
The lliturgy for worship at home for the week of March 15 is linked below. Take ten minutes to sit down, reflect, and tend to your soul. Be sure to also read the beautiful devotion written by Kate Buckley (Parish Associate for Congregational Care) included in the liturgy as well as watch the video devotional that corresponds to this week’s scripture. We are doing all of this in lieu of a livestream of our normal worship service.
Lastly, please remember that though worship and activities have temporarily paused, the church itself is not closed. We are here for you. Call on us anytime. And call on each other too. Remind yourself and those around you to breathe. God is with us. Ever and always, God is with us.