Grace and peace to you, the wonderful churches of The Capital District!
I remember you in my prayers and give thanks for the ways that you continue to be church. Even in this time of uncertainty where we are engaged in social distancing and sheltering in place, you worship in new and creative ways, you keep food pantries running, you give to ministries around the world, and you reach out to the most vulnerable and lonely in your congregations. Thank you!
While I cannot begin to imagine the many different emotions and experiences you are each carrying, I think it is safe to say this is a heavy time. The weight of all that is unknown and all that is known is an unwelcome burden. And even as I write these words, I know I write from a position of privilege. While my retirement account is taking a dive, there are many who no longer have work. While I juggle working from home and helping my daughter through online assignments, I wonder about the many children who do not have easy access to computers and wifi. While I brace myself for one final run to the grocery store before the shelter in place ordinance, I admit there is plenty of food in my pantry and fridge to feed a host of persons who live on the streets. Living in the time of the coronavirus continues to teach me about myself. I am still learning to be honest about my privilege and how that can and should inform my own transformation.
As I received news of the shelter in place ordinance this week, a new wave of grief swept over me. Having practiced social distancing for days, I was brought to my knees with the realization that I won’t see a great number of people for….who knows how long? The not knowing how long certainly adds to the weight of this time.
My daily spiritual practices have been manna for me in the wilderness. How will we stay in love with God during this time? I encourage you to continue giving yourself to time of prayer, devotional reading and other practices that keep you centered in Christ. Yesterday’s Psalter reading has stayed with me today: “You are my secret hideout! You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of rescue! – Psalm 32:7”
As well, find ways that keep you connected and in love with one another. In my own home, meals around the table, evening walks and working a puzzle or playing a game provide an opportunity for joy and perhaps even a not-so-unhealthy escape from the news.
Be encouraged!, teresa
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you:
wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
– Benediction from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals